Digital Bookshelf: At the Library
I rarely go to “brick and mortar” libraries. I like libraries, I live near a nice library, but I prefer to do most my research using online resources. That said, I have built a fairly large virtual bookshelf of digitized books for use in my genealogy research. I access books on Google Books  and the Internet Archive  regularly while researching my ancestors.
Most the digitized books I access were published 70 to 170, or more, years ago. I have a variety of books on my digital shelf: county and city histories, family histories, genealogical reference books, etc. Some of the local history books include brief biographies of citizens, including my ancestors occasionally. Others are useful for providing historic information of locations where my ancestors lived. Many of these old books would not be available at smaller libraries or branches. Having them digitized and accessible online is very valuable to researchers, especially since they are more contemporaneous to the people we are researching.
One of my best finds is a digitized version of the regimental history of my great grandfather’s Civil War unit, the 83rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry . This book enabled me to put facts to family oral history regarding my great grandfather’s service during the war.
Just like brick and mortar libraries, online libraries have items other than books. I have also placed atlases, music, photos and art on my virtual bookshelf. Old maps are particularly useful for visualizing how a place was when an ancestor was alive. Old photographs and picture postcards can be found in online archives for many places. Although, finding images that predate photography is very challenging. I was even able to find a recording of the song that was sung at my grandparent’s wedding, contemporary with the year of their marriage, 1914, on Internet Archive .
Next time you are looking for a reference book, or other material, about an ancestor, or their place in history, think of looking for a digitized version online. More material is being placed in the “cloud” everyday!
Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.
While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.
Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.
A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one, in particular, I found very informative.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.
I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.