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Friday, May 9, 2014

Where to Find Family History Books

Wouldn't it be nice to find that someone had already researched your family history, cited all sources, and published it in a book?  Sure would save you a lot of time, right? Well part of that wish just might come true for you.

Where would you look for such a text, if it does indeed exist?  Several places are available to you, without leaving your home.  Curl up with your computer and come explore a few websites with me.

Internet Archive : http://archive.org is a digital library of internet sites, and they provide FREE access to the general public. Research videos, texts and audio files.  Very cool.

FamilySearch :https://books.familysearch.org/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?vid=FHD_PUBLIC
Eight libraries that hold 100,000 family history and genealogy books are connected to this website.  This site is also FREE.

New England Historic and Genealogical Society : www.americanancestors.org  has many texts to discover, however it is a PAY SUBSCRIPTION site.  Some of the texts are linked to another site:
Hathi Trust Digital Library : http://www.hathitrust.org/digital_library with is free to the general public.

Look through your family history notes and find someone that you know was involved in an important job, took part in a historic event, made the newspaper, etc.  If you can't find one, just pick a surname and go with it.  Search each website with the term "_________ family"  and that should get you started.  Be sure to read the search suggestions from each site.

I chose to search the BATES family.  This family is from my husband's ancestry, and I know that they lived in New England, and some of the members participated in the Revolutionary War.  Let's see what I can find.

Internet Archive search resulted in 16 texts regarding BATES family, including many publications of the Bates Family Bulletin. I did not want to browse through these yet, as none of the titles seemed to jump at me, but I will return to them.  Bookmark that!

FamilySearch results included 412 returns.  Wow, too many to look through, so I narrowed the search, this time looking for "Joseph Harrison Bates" (who I had known served in the Revolutionary War).  This time 2 results appeared, from the Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Books, Volume 162. Now, this looks more promising.
Lineage Book of the Charter Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution
After browsing the index for the BATES name, I was directed to page 23 to follow a notation for James BATES.  Here is what I found :

A Mrs. Elizabeth Bates Tyler had provided her ancestry lineage to a James BATES, who had served in the Continental Army, in the Virginia Line.  This is very helpful to me. I saw the name Joseph Harrison Bates, and highlighted it.  I did not have the name of the father of Joseph Harrison BATES.....until now.  Very cool.  Note that it provides that birth and death years, places of birth and death, and the wife of James BATES.  These items may not be fact, but certainly, clues that I can follow up with a little more research.

Finally, a New England Historic and Genealogical Society search  for Joseph Harrison BATES, provided me with the result of a link to make my heart leap :
search result from NEHGS Library website, Jossph Harrison Bates

Note that there is a link to "Online Version of Book in Hathi Trust Digital Library".  Yes! I clicked on that and voila!....I was able to download this non-circulating book right onto my computer within seconds.
Bates, Madison C., A Brief History and Genealogy of Joseph Harrison Bates, 1915, The Galesburg Printing Company, Galesburg, Ilinois

A few pages into the book, there is a photo of Joseph Harrison Bates, the great, great, great great grandfather of my husband. Could this get any better?  Yes, it can.  

Well, I have about 50 pages of reading to do this weekend.  After browsing this text, I find that Madison Bates tells his recollections of his father and mother, their families, and everyday life in central Illinois.  Of course, nothing printed in books is absolutely valid, but it appears that there will be much   information in this book to follow up, and prove, or disprove, what he has written as the truth.  But for the moment, let's just relish in the fact that this man look the time to write this wonderful book about the BATES family.

  Do you plan to search for your possible family history books?  If this hasn't piqued your interest, I don't know what will.  Good luck, and share your findings, too.

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