Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Reading is Addicting for Genealogists

This year I read some very interesting books. First I read, Albion's Seed, by David Hackett Fischer, published by Oxford University Press, 1989, 946 pages. Then I read  From Deference to Defiance, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1629-1692 by Roger Thompson, published by the New England Historical Genealogical Society, Boston, 2012, 593 pages. These two books helped to expand my knowledge of how the United States came to be and I highly recommended them. The more I read the more I want to know and understand my own heritage. The first book I borrowed from the Genealogical Forum of Oregon and the second book I purchased from the New England Historical Genealogical Society.


Many types of books are key to genealogy work. I love books, and enjoy sitting in my recliner and leisurely absorbing the contents of genealogical and historical books. Sometimes I will read books on how to do genealogy, but this is usually in doing book reviews. I really love having my own library. So I am a book addict who must decide which books to borrow and which to purchase. When I purchased the second book from NEHGS it was newly published and was not likely to be found online as a used book.

A few weeks later NEHGS had a used book sale and I went through the lengthy list of offerings and chose ten that interested me. The sale was like a lottery for which ones you actually were allowed to purchase. I ended up with three books:
Charlestown, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, Volume I, by Roger D. Joslyn, published by the New England Historical Genealogical Society, Boston, published 1984, 919 pages.
History of the Reed family in Europe and America, by Jacob Whittemore Reed, published 1861, 588 pages and literally crumbling.
The History of England : from the earliest times to the Norman Conquest by Thomas Hodgkin, Vol. I, published 1906, 528 pages.
With early settlement of ancestors in Charlestown the first book is very helpful. Then I have two Reed family lines and I am very pleased to have that book. The Political History of England Vol. I will help me to further my study of the origins of the people of England.

Unfortunately when I purchased Charlestown, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 Volume I from NEHGS it was missing thirty pages of the index of persons. I inquired on the genealib email list if this was the case for other copies of this book. One group nicely sent me the missing pages. Then another person offered the set of the two volumes of the Charlestown, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, Volume I in one book and Volume II in two books, by Roger D. Joslyn, published by the New England Historical Genealogical Society, Boston, 1984, 919 and 1231 pages respectively. This type of book is best used with the index of persons pages 757-910 and index of subjects and places outside of Charlestown pages 911- 919 in Volume I; and the index of persons pages 1001-1205 and index of subjects and places outside of Charlestown pages 1207-1231 in Volume II book 2.  The three books are significantly different from the other two books listed above. They are more useful as reference books that will lead one to finding the original records of their ancestors. I am ecstatic to have these books and many others will be able to benefit from them.

Then just a week ago I went to the Genealogical Forum of Oregon used book sale. That day I purchased eleven books. They included:
A History of Colonial America by Max Savelle, 1942, 701 pages.
American Loyalist Claims Vol. 1, by Peter Wilson Coldham, 1980, 616 pages.
American Nation by John A. Garraty, 1966, 920 pages.
Daniel Boone by John Bakeless, 1939, reprint 1989, 480 pages.
Genealogical and Local History Books in Print Vol. II, by Netti Schreiner-Yantis, 1977, 410 pages.
Genealogy Companion and Source Book by Emily Croom, 1994, 230 pages.
Germans in Colonial Times by Lucy F. Bittinger, 1986, 314 pages.
Handy Book to English Genealogy by Rachel Mellen, 1990, 218 pages.
Hey, America, Your Roots are Showing by Megan Smolenyak2, 2012, 256 pages.
The America Historic Sourcebook by Joel Makower, 1988, 548 pages.

The Revolutionary Frontier 1763-1783, by Jack M. Sosin, 1967, 241 pages.

This collection of books cost $58 and most of the books were $2 and $3. Each book peeked my interest for different reasons. The first book I choose to read is Hey, America, Your Roots are Showing, as I have read one of Megan's other books and she is an intriguing author. Will I ever read all of the books on my shelves? It may take me many years to read them, but there is a lot to glean from each of them. With three sets of bookshelves overflowing I need to make room for the new books and also create an inventory of the collection.

How do you feel about books? For me the casting off of good books is very difficult. It hurts to see societies weed out books and sell these treasures. If there are duplicate copies that is wonderful, as it gives fellow genealogists the opportunity to build a collection in our own homes. My books may be recycled back to the local GFO, after I have read them, for others to purchase. This will perpetuate the usefulness of the books and provide income for the society. With fall upon us it is a good time to find an interesting book and curl up in our favorite chair. Reading digital books will never compare to the feel of a physical book in our hands. The smell and feel of books is as nostalgic as the words that are held within. What books will enhance your genealogy research?


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