Monday, December 31, 2012

Perfectionism: Is the Best the Enemy?

Ideally, every genealogical article would cite every assertion of fact (that is not common knowledge) to an original source or to a proof argument resting on original-source clues. And as our perspective on genealogy broadens into family history and microhistory, the number of possible facts to add in and enrich the story grows exponentially. If you're a perfectionist, those two things alone may keep you from ever finishing any piece of writing, let alone publishing it.

Obviously a top-ranked genealogy periodical should insist on this, and several do. But most genealogy publications are not in the top 1%. And not all genealogy articles need to hold to this standard.

It's not easy to say this without appearing to give license to those who sneer at standards in the first place. I do not believe that genealogists should just publish anything they feel like because they feel like it. We should all try to do the best we can -- but not to the point of doing nothing at all (which is where perfectionism is headed).

My notion of how to resolve this paradox is to insist on transparency. Know the standards; know when and where you're short of them; and let your readers know that you know. Cite the sources you have and explain their shortcomings and where better ones might be found. Don't publish unsourced stuff without some kind of explanation, for instance: "This is a systematic account of what Grandma said about the family, for future reference; I do not claim she was right about everything and my readers should not either." (My own grandma was a saint but she was also way wrong about certain genealogical facts.)

It would of course be nice to do the article that thoroughly tests Grandma's assertions (actually I'm working on one of those right now). But getting those assertions out there, properly qualified, for future evaluation, would also be one step toward that desirable end point. And of course good editors play an important role in promoting standards (when possible) and transparency (in all cases).

Harold Henderson, "Perfectionism: Is the Best the Enemy?," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 31 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Friday, December 28, 2012

Was That a Deadline I Just Missed?

Football fans know how teams try to avoid surprises by having defensive players play deep, so that they can see any surprise run or pass right away: "Keep everything in in front of  you." Good editors and others who must impose deadlines try to act the same way. Ideally they check in before the deadline just to make sure everything is going OK and to make any necessary adjustments.

For those of us writers and others on the other side of the deadline, what does this imply?

(1) Keep track of deadlines and don't let them sneak up on you. Even procrastinators need to know what they're procrastinating about!

(2) If you see trouble, or know you're going to miss a deadline, keep the editor informed ahead of time. When possible, propose an alternative deadline, and deliver that on time.

The worst thing you can do for your reputation is to keep silent -- even if you're working all the time on the project, no one will know it if you don't say so. Editors are of necessity flexible but they are not mind-readers. (And if social media enable them to read your mind, make sure your posts are what you want them to read!)

Actually I did not discover these facts as a writer or editor, but as a homeowner who does not do his own work. My wife and I soon learned that few contractors show up when promised. (We have our folk-sociological explanations.) Once we happened onto a fellow who called ahead and told us he couldn't make it that day. Needless to say, he was our one and only guy as long as he lived, and we still miss him.

Not knowing what's going on is almost always worse than knowing . . . and not knowing brings out the worst in those kept in the dark.

Harold Henderson, "Was That a Deadline I Just  Missed?," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 28 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Don't Ask Your 1820s Ancestor What His "Job" Was

University of Illinois historian Eric Arnesen puts our nineteenth-century ancestors' lives in perspective:

At the start of the nineteenth century, wage labor was but one of many competing forms or systems of organizing productive activity. Skilled artisans produced in small shops, textile operatives labored in large factories, rural men and women made goods at home through the putting-out system, farm families tilled their lands, garment workers toiled in sweatshops, and African and African-American slaves performed forced labor on plantations or in rural industries and cities. . . . [But by 1870, the United States] had become a nation of employees. Some 67 percent of productively engaged people (involved in gainful occupations) -- a majority of the population -- now worked for somebody else . . . . Self-employment was the exception, not the rule.

Eric Arnesen, "American Workers and the Labor Movement in the Late Nineteenth Century," in Charles W. Calhoun, ed., The Gilded Age: Essays on the Origins of Modern America (Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 1996), 41-42.

Harold Henderson, "Don't Ask Your 1820s Ancestor What His 'Job' Was," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 27 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2013 Ohio Writing Contest!

 The largest state genealogy organization in the country will sponsor its sixth annual writing contest in 2013, open for entries beginning January 1 and closing February 28. Details, rules, and categories are in the Winter 2012 issue of Ohio Genealogy News and on the OGS web site. The print version also includes a lot more detail about how and what to write for the organization's quarterly and the News.

My quick take: Yes, your entry or entries do need to have an Ohio tie-in; top prize is a year's free membership in OGS; and anything more than ten single-spaced pages is too long (some categories must be shorter). Those of us who have been wrestling with Ohio families for years need to get off the dime and write up at least some of them.

I have heard that there are some people who have been tragically deprived of Ohio ancestry. In that case, check out Kimberly Powell's list of 22 genealogy competitions and scholarships at (If you're wondering whether to let me know that I am in part repeating my post of October 4, yes, I am.) Also, Michael Hait is promising a new list soon.

This issue of OGN also includes the program and information for OGS's April conference in Cincinnati, where I will give one talk at 8 am Friday morning on Indiana research.

Sunny Morton and Susan Lee, "How to Write Your Family History...And Publish It With OGS," Ohio Genealogy News, Winter 2012 (43:4): 12-14.

Harold Henderson, "2013 Ohio Writing Contest!," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 19 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Steal, or Thou Shalt Be Outed

Christmas seems like a good time to talk about not stealing from other blogs or on-line material in general, but Kerry Scott has already done it better than I could hope to do. Good comments there too.

Harold Henderson, "Thou Shalt Not Steal, or Thou Shalt Be Outed," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 25 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Monday, December 24, 2012

Caroline (Thrall) Cooper 1804-1826

In the fall of 2011 I made what seemed like an epic journey to Mt. Carmel, Wabash County, Illinois, to walk and read the Sand Hill #2 cemetery where some of my maternal grandfather's relatives are buried. (This is the cemetery where I was accosted by a policeman, but that is another story.)

Among other things I found the graves of Caroline (Thrall) Cooper (1804-1826) and her brother Aaron (1807-1847), two of my great-great grandfather's siblings. Caroline's stone is well preserved although flat on the ground. According to it, she died just short of age 22. According to other accounts, she and husband Samuel C. Cooper left Ohio in 1824 or 1825 and went down the Ohio and up the Wabash to frontier Illinois, where her husband was involved in a foundry. There she died in childbirth, leaving four children including the baby, all of whom went on to have long interesting lives and many descendants. (Samuel became a Methodist circuit rider in Indiana and had a second family.) I took a picture of the stone.

Because she was a woman and died young, Caroline left few records and has always been a mystery. We can try to guess a few things about her from her children William, Sarah Ann, Samuel, and Stephen. It hadn't occurred to me to do any guessing based on this stone. Last week I was reviewing it for a talk and reread the inscription:

My flesh shall slumber in the ground
Till the last joyfull trump shall sound
Then burst the bands with sweet surprise
And in my saviours image rise

Now I have a high opinion of these relatives, but I didn't think her widower wrote this. Sure enough, it is from Isaac Watts and if you google the first line in quotes, the top hit should be its page at, where there's a short biographical sketch of Watts and two page scans of what appear to be two different tunes, or at least two different arrangements, for this hymn. It does not seem to have appeared in hymnals after 1850.

All these tunes have names, which is so cute. One is called "Felicity." The other, which rather made my hair stand on end, is called "Illinois."

Can you see a drafty cabin in the woods? A wet, clammy day in late fall? A dozen or so people inside singing this in parts, as best they can without accompaniment? Would Samuel have put it on her gravestone if it hadn't been one of her favorites?

Harold Henderson, "Caroline (Thrall ) Cooper 1804-1826," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 24 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The World's Longest Query (Reynolds Family)

My article on Milton Reynolds, husband of Nancy Wise and an inhabitant of North Madison, Jefferson County, Indiana, in 1850, and who knows where thereafter, is in the new (December) issue of Indiana Genealogist, just posted in the members-only portion of the Indiana Genealogical Society web site. IG is a digital-only quarterly and a benefit of membership. (If you have Indiana folks, or think you might, there are almost 1,000 other reasons to join, which are the other databases available on the site, some free to the public and some members-only.)

Some will say I shouldn't have published it, since I still don't know who Milton was, where he came from, or when and where he died. I like to call it "the world's longest query." I review the slim available evidence on Milton as well as various negative searches, and document the three main Reynolds families in Jefferson County to see where he might possibly fit in. There is no conclusion and there's plenty more work to be done in order even to reach the threshold of a "reasonably exhaustive search," let alone to draw any conclusions. But this way at least other Reynolds researchers have a better chance of seeing whether this piece belongs in their puzzle or not.

Thanks to Rachel Popma for editing and for finding that beautiful panorama of Madison in 1866!

Harold Henderson, "The Worlds' Longest Query (Reynolds Family)," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 23 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.] 

Harold Henderson, "The Mystery of Milton Reynolds in Jefferson County," Indiana Genealogist vol. 23, no. 4 (December 2012):5-32; : accessed 23 December 2012.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Holiday Treat for All Genealogists

Michael Hait has just posted a free 23-page PDF, "US Census Pathfinder," that brings together and organizes links to on-line US census records and information about them.

What genealogist doesn't use censuses? This resource will allow us to quickly answer basic and advanced questions. And don't miss the link to Elizabeth Shown Mills's 1998 article, still as pertinent as ever, on what we need to do in order to be able to say, "I looked for the X family in the census and didn't find them."

Please note that this census pathfinder is copyrighted. Linking is fine, but if you want to print and distribute copies, contact the copyright holder for permission.

Michael Hait, United States Federal Census Pathfinder ( : accessed 21 December 2012).

Harold Henderson, "A Holiday Treat for All Genealogists," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 22 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cronon on Teaching

Historian William Cronon once again hits the bull's-eye as he argues that teaching is no less important than research.

"Our students require us to come back from the outer edges of our discipline to show them the core assumptions without which we would never find those edges. . . . Perhaps most of all, they bless us with their confusion and boredom, instantly revealing to us . . . the places where something we've said or done is in fact confusing and boring."

Read the whole thing...

William Cronon, "And Gladly Teach," Perspectives on History, vol. 50, no. 9 (December 2012):5-6.

Harold Henderson, "Cronon on Teaching," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 21 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Records and Methods in NGS Magazine

There's nothing I don't like in the NGS Magazine (that is actually a high standard for any publication to meet!) but in the current fall issue I did especially enjoy two items:

* Claire Prechtel-Kluskens explained something I had just begun to notice as a thing in itself, and not just a random additional item in a Civil War pension file: the "family data circulars" of 1898 and 1915. They are valuable to us for much the same reason they were valuable to the Pension Bureau -- as first-hand evidence of relationships.

* Sharon Tate Moody gave an extended law-enforcement perspective on methodology: "Those investigating the life of Samuel Maddox Jr. in Monroe County, Georgia, drew the conclusion that since he had been in the 1830 census but was not in the 1840 census, he must have died. Had they followed sound investigative techniques they would have conducted an exhaustive search of local records," which reveal that he wasn't dead -- merely "serving time in the state penitentiary for attempting to murder his wife."

In brief: the real past is always more interesting than the assumed past.

H Claire Prechtel-Kluskens, "Family data circulars of 1898 and 1915," NGS Magazine, volume 38, no. 4 (October-December 2012): 28-31.

Sharon Tate Moody, "If living were a crime...evidence your ancestor left at the scene," NGS Magazine, volume 38, no. 4 (October-December 2012): 32-36.

Harold Henderson, "Records and Methods in NGS Magazine," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 20 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How Not To Be Buffalo Hunters

When is our genealogical research like the worst kind of buffalo hunting? Find out in my article on why we don't write and how we can, which was published yesterday.

Harold Henderson, "Why We Don't Write and How We Can," 18 December 2012, Archives ( : accessed 18 December 2012).

Harold Henderson, "How Not To Be Buffalo Hunters," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 19 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gems from New England

Two must-read articles (IMO) in the fall 2012 issue of the New England Historic Genealogical Society's popular magazine American Ancestors: New England, New York, and Beyond:

Susan Lukesh offers an amazingly sensible view of long-term data preservation in an uncertain digital age. Can you say paper? PDF? Internet Archive?

Henry B. Hoff reveals that your poverty-stricken 19th-century New York state ancestor may have better vital records than anyone else. Town and county records of poorhouse residents may exist from 1824 and were required 1875-1920.

Other high spots include an excerpt from Robert Charles Anderson's microhistorical introduction to his new book The Winthrop Fleet; Stephen H. Case on Benedict Arnold's wife Peggy Shippen (subject of a new book), and Karin Wulf on family histories from the 1700s, which are few but can be unusual.

Susan Lukesh, "Personal Archiving and the Genealogist," American Ancestors, vol. 13 no. 4 (Fall 2012): 28-30.

Henry B. Hoff, "Records of the Poor in New York State," American Ancestors, vol. 13 no. 4 (Fall 2012):53-54, 57.

Harold Henderson, "Gems from New England," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 18 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Monday, December 17, 2012

Calling All Writer$

Besides the remaining commercial print magazines, I now know of a grand total of three on-line or non-commercial genealogy venues that pay writers for their contributions:'s expert series

Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly

-- and now, the Utah Genealogical Association's quarterly Crossroads. UGA's newsletter emailed last week reports that it is now soliciting "quality feature articles about case studies, research projects and methodology." More information from the editor at Content is not limited to Utah.

Feel free to use the comments to promote other venues of which I am ignorant. I do hope UGA is setting a trend here.

I should probably say what should go without saying: you will have better luck submitting as a writer if you have been reading the publication for a while and have got the idea of what kind of material the editor(s) like to publish.

We all need to write more in order to prove our families, to preserve the results of our research, and to propagate the information. (Am I repeating myself?) And when our articles get edited, that too is a learning experience. (We all need it, and we should ask questions if we don't get it.) Getting paid is frosting on the cake, but it's nutritious frosting.

Harold Henderson, "Calling All Writer$," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 17 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Friday, December 14, 2012

More Midwestern Military Indexes On Line

For those of you not yet familiar with Joe Beine's online guides to on-line indexes, and his related Genealogy Roots Blog, consider this your wake-up call. For everyone else, here are the Midwestern military records among a goodly number he's just enlisted:


SAR patriot graves registry
Mexican War veterans
Civil War muster rolls index
South Bend Tribune service notes (WW2)


Military personnel who died in the Vietnam War

Harold Henderson, "More Midwestern Military Indexes On Line," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 14 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What Does It Mean to Be "Out of Date"?

In an interesting discussion a while back on the Transitional Genealogists Forum, the question arose whether a certain genealogical classic -- the third (2000) edition of Val D. Greenwood's The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy -- is out of date and hence requires revision.

(1) Some argued it's out of date because of the importance of the internet in conducting research today.

(2) Others argued that it is not out of date because the basic research approaches it gives, and the record types themselves, have not changed just because we can sometimes access records in a new medium.

I would suggest both sides are right but are talking past each other because group 1 views the question from close up, while group 2  views the question from farther away.

On a daily basis, we need to know the most efficient way to get to the records we need -- indexes as necessary, and original records or good images thereof in the end. The means of access are changing daily. The research on my recently published William Berry article would have been done quite differently if FamilySearch had happened to put up 8 million New York property records three or four years ago instead of this week! Now I don't have to drive to Belmont, New York, to look at the crucial deeds. Greenwood has nothing to tell me about how to get at New York deeds, and if a 4th edition tried to do so, it would quickly become outdated too.

On a longer view, though, the basic techniques of research once we get hold of the records have not changed since Greenwood last wrote. (Even DNA requires corroboration and fits very well into the Genealogical Proof Standard. What it does require of today's genealogists is far more knowledge of biology and statistics than many of us ever expected. A new Greenwood could use a chapter on that.) We still need to understand that no single record is automatically correct or even trustworthy; they all need corroboration from other independently created records if we can possibly find them. We still need to understand how to analyze a single record and correlate it with other types. From this point of view 2013 looks very much like 1993 -- or, for that matter, 1893.

Each viewpoint is valid from its perspective, but neither perspective is complete.

Those who know the internet well need not be seduced into thinking that it has changed basic genealogical research standards. It hasn't.

Those who grew up as genealogists without the internet need not be seduced into thinking that they don't need to use it in practical everyday record retrieval. They do.

We can all get along and learn from each other.

Harold Henderson, "What Does It Mean to Be 'Out of Date'?," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 13 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Query -- A Thousand Mortgages

I've been corresponding with a historian who has compiled a database on 1,000 mortgages from around 1835, and is interested in how and where best to share them with the genealogical community (monetary return not a consideration).

I've made some suggestions and would appreciate hearing others' thoughts. These happen to be in Ohio, but your thoughts might be helpful to others in similar situations as well!

Harold Henderson, "Query -- A Thousand Mortgages," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 12 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

They're from the Government and They're Here to Help Us

It's a great time to be a genealogist, with FamilySearch continually unrolling newly digitized records. I am so tickled that they have more than eight million images of New York State land records up!

But don't forget that other great digitizing machine, the National Archives. Keep up with them here.

Harold Henderson, "They're from the Government and They're Here to Help Us," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 11 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Monday, December 10, 2012

What Is It about Historical Fiction?

Of the books deemed the ten best of 2012 by the New York Times, I find that I have only read one: Hilary Mantel's mesmerizing Bring Up the Bodies. It's the story of Henry VIII and his falling-out with wife #2, Anne Boleyn, told from the point of view of his loyal minister, the commoner Thomas Cromwell. Quite aside from the narrative skill required to make a story suspenseful despite a foregone conclusion, the author is extraordinarily deft. I was well into it before I began to realize that he was not a man I ever intended or expected to like or appreciate.

What is it that makes historical fiction so appealing to those of us who spend our best hours toiling in the vineyards of historical fact? (Or do you avoid it?) Is it a cheap thrill or a good one? I don't doubt that imagination plays a role in both, although in genealogy it's a role pretty much limited to conjuring up hypotheses.

Someone like Mantel takes the records and some of our speculations -- and weaves them into a story that makes sense to us. How much sense would it have made to Cromwell and his contemporaries? That's the maddeningly unanswerable question.

Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies (New York: Macmillan, 2012).

Harold Henderson, "What Is It about Historical Fiction?," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 10 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Friday, December 7, 2012

Overcommitted and Underperforming

I'm beginning to figure out why many of the genealogy organizations I belong to don't get as much done as it seems like we could. We're all trying to do too much and spreading ourselves too thin, myself included. So when a deadline looms there's a flurry of activity, but in between things are pretty quiet.

Partly that's because what we really want and need to do is not attend committee meetings (even on line), but dig in the archives! And partly it's because we'd like to do more and are not very clear about how an additional commitment will affect our schedule. When a new commitment looks tempting but is not feasible or not on our must-do list, we need the information and the clear priorities to say "No" and make it stick. I know a few people who have both, but they are rare. I'm not one of them.

I've taken to asking what I will quit doing if I join this project or that committee. Usually I can't answer the question and sometimes I join anyway. Then I'm always in a hurry and often late. Is it possible that we would accomplish more if we tried to do less?

Harold Henderson, "Overcommitted and Underperforming," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 7 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Personal Papers -- or Public?

Yesterday I was frolicking through the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center's complete collection of the maniacally detailed WPA inventories of county records as of 75 years ago. (Use the main catalog and search on call number 977.2 H62IC; the 92 counties are numbered in alphabetical order from Adams to Whitley.) I noticed that in many counties the chief health officer maintained his office in his private office. And frequently, some marriage records were in his custody as well.

A lot of Indiana Justice of the Peace official record books disappeared because they were considered the justice's personal property rather than a public record. As I understand it, Indiana marriage records were the clerk's job until the 1880s when the state and local boards of health were established and took an interest in having more information recorded more systematically; thus no longer were all records in one place.

Is it possible that some of these marriage records became lost as health officers left office or died? Inquiring microhistorians want to know.

Harold Henderson, "Personal Papers -- or Public?," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 6 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Top Five MWM Posts for October 2012

Once again it's time for the monthly popularity contest, listing the most-viewed blog posts made here during October.

I'm happy to see that #1 ran well ahead of the pack. Everyone deserves to understand why the phrase "primary source" is imprecise, out of date, and generally uncool.

1. There's No Such Thing as a Primary Source (October 18)

2. Road Trip! The Things We Carry (October 9)

3. Marriage Records and Indexes: Choose the Original (October 16)

4. Dueling Birth Dates: Is Your Database the Solution or the Problem? (October 22)

5. The Mistake You Can Only Make in Indiana (October 13)

Least viewed:

Word from Ohio: Fall Ohio Genealogy News (October 4)

Harold Henderson, "Top Five MWM Posts for October 2012," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 5 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

William Berry and His Progeny: Property + Probate = Results

William Berry was born in Rhode Island in 1753, was bound out at a young age, served in the Revolutionary War from New York, was captured on his fourth hitch, and survived 3 1/2 years' captivity on Prisoner Island in the St. Lawrence River. His 17 October 1839 will in Allegany County, New York, named seven children (two already deceased) and a few grandchildren.

William bequeathed mostly land, and specified how his children should dispose of each parcel. In part because of that provision, children and grandchildren made numerous deeds following his death. By correlating these with probate and other records I was able to identify more than 30 grandchildren, born between 1802 and 1833. Those so far identified and traced lived in New York, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Nebraska.

The two-part article appears in American Ancestors Journal 2011 and 2012, an annual supplement to the New England Historical and Genealogical Register. NEHGS members can read the articles and documentation on line.

Surnames in the children's generation: Berry, Palmer, Greenfield, Hungerford, Potter, Parks.

Additional surnames in the grandchildren's generation: Sheldon, Hornecker, Clark, McNaught, Goodrich, Green, Daboll, Saunders, Sprague, Hackett, Humphrey, Coleman, Bliss, Walrath, Weaver, Burdick, Wheeler, Swartwout, Morgan, Lauther, Sumner, Trask, Mead, Bliven, and Monroe.

William was my late mother-in-law's great-grandmother's great-grandfather. Several mysteries remain, and I hope to have a continuation article written next year on just one of William's grandchildren, a Civil War veteran with more than two dozen grandchildren himself.

Harold Henderson, “William Berry (1753-1839) and His Children and Grandchildren in Massachusetts and New York,” in 2 parts, American Ancestors Journal, third and fourth annual supplements to The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 165 (October 2011): 368-78 and 166 (October 2012):365-74.

Harold Henderson, "William Berry and His Progeny: Property + Probate = Results," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 4 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

Monday, December 3, 2012

Indianapolis Research on Your Way to FGS in Fort Wayne

Besides containing one of the premier genealogy libraries -- the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center -- and hosting next year's Federation of Genealogical Societies conference, Fort Wayne is also surrounded in every direction by other useful repositories. The following (by me) was just posted on the FGS 2013 conference blog, second in a series of short posts on ways to pack in extra research on your way to or from the conference in Fort Wayne.

Indiana's capital city, a little over two hours southwest of Fort Wayne, is a great place for a quick strike
in libraries or archives on your way to the FGS conference. The downtown canals and state capitol make
for plenty of photo and recreational opportunities as well.

Indiana State Library, 315 West Ohio Street, The microfilm
room on the second floor houses the world's best collection of Indiana newspapers along with the
state's most complete collection of Indiana county records. On another wing of the second floor are the
manuscript collections, with finding aids and a card catalog.

Indiana Historical Society, 450 West Ohio Street, Investigate their
massive manuscript and visual holdings at
and-visual-collections. Their store and “Indiana Experience” shows may be just the thing for any non-
researchers on board.

These two buildings are across the street and less than a block apart. Bring quarters for IHS lockers,
ISL copiers, and street parking. If you haven't been to Indianapolis in a while, allocate some time to
adjust to the higher on-street parking fees and the computerized payment system. IHS parking is free
with library use; its downstairs cafe looks out on the canals.

Indiana State Archives, 6440 East 30th Street,, with an auxiliary
on-line digital archive at Seven miles east of downtown, this is
an archive, not a library, so figure out what records you're looking for and call ahead to arrange to see
them. Parking not a problem.

Crown Hill Cemetery, 700 West 38th Street,, makes a great out-of-the-
car break with a genealogical and historical flavor. The beautiful pictures on the site do not lie. Burial
locator at

Every city deserves a blogger who's old enough to know the secrets and young enough to tell them.
Check out Ron Darrah's IndyGenealogy blog at

Harold Henderson, "Indianapolis Research on Your Way to FGS in Fort Wayne," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 3 December 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]