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1891 Newton City Directory with Container Plus Separate MapThe picture to the left shows the easy way of accessing city directories.  You request the book. It gets delivered to you. You look up what you need.  When you go online, it can be a whole different story.  I had a patron last month who asked me to show him how to actually search and print out information from our online city directories.  It was not easy.

As regular readers of this blog know, I do not remember how to do anything technological if I haven’t used a particular process for several months (or a shorter time if it’s complicated). Nobody has the time to keep reinventing the wheel.  So early on I devised a system where I took screenshots of what I was doing and added instructions.  (A good filing system helps here, whether hard copy or online.) So this is what I did to remind myself how to work with the city directories.  If I need it, I figure some of you could use the help, too.

Below I give two links.  The first is a link to the Newton City Directories that are online.  The second is to my instructions for dealing with digitized city directories.  Be patient. I may take a couple of minutes to come up.  It is a pdf, so you should be able to print it out if you like to work from hard copy.

Click here for the digitized Newton City Directories.

Click here for Searching and Printing Historic City Directories Using the City of Newton Website.

If the above instructions do not work for the digitized city directories of other cities or towns, let me know, along with a link to those city directories.

vea/25 November 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  http://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy

 

Newspaper ShelvingConsider newspapers a portal to your ancestors.  If you are both patient and curious (or just plain nosey) you can use newspapers not only to find elusive ancestors, but also as windows into their lives.  Articles can provide clues to where they lived or, if you’re lucky, give you fuller details about what they did and who they knew. A well placed article may talk about a church picnic, listing attendees. You spot one or more of your ancestors there  Now you can check church records too. Are they listed in school graduations?  Town meeting news?  Local events or celebrations? Legal notices?

Of course your first step is to find proof of where they lived. I’m not sure how useful newspapers will be if you don’t have a clue to your predecessors’ location.  But if you have a general idea of the vicinity, newspapers can help.  When birth, marriage and death records prove elusive, you may be able to find newspaper announcements.   First you need to check for digitized local newspapers for the period you think your ancestors lived in a particular place.  If your lucky, you may even find an index done by a local library or organization. If there is no index, check any computer search function available to find your ancestor. Once found, stop and take a look through the newspaper they appear in. You find more details about the town and may find more information on your ancestors that the search function or indexer missed.  Local social news can be especially helpful.  I once found my grandmother and here three small daughters (my mother and my two aunts) mentioned in a note about a local birthday party. As you skim a newspaper you absorb some of the people and stories that were part of your ancestors’ lives.

New Free Library in the AutumnPay particular attention to geography.  Does your family live near a county or state border?  Are you looking at a small town near a larger city? You may have to look outside your specific town.  I knew the family I was researching lived in Seekonk for generations. I wasted time when I limited my newspaper searches to Massachusetts.  I found very little.  Seekonk is right next to the Rhode Island border.  Parts of Seekonk were disputed territory between the two states and were actually considered part of Rhode Island at one time. When I broadened my research to Rhode Island I struck paydirt.  It turned out that most of the articles where the family appeared were in Pawtucket and East Providence newspapers!

At this point I would normally urge you to think about all the types of information that you read in newspapers.  In this day and age, however, I cannot assume that any of my readers have much exposure to current newspapers.  And if you do, have you noticed that many papers  are carrying less and less useful information.  When I was growing up in the 1950s, cities and large towns had multiple newspapers, even with  the competition of  radio and television. I grew up with several generations of newspaper readers. I’m not sure what future generations are going to do who have to rely on social networking like Facebook and Twitter.  But that’ s another discussion, and genealogists always do seem to find a way.

So what can you locate in digitized or microfilmed historic newspapers. Of course there are obituaries.  This is the first thing everyone thinks of.  But remember, not everyone gets an obituary.  I remember looking for an obituary in the Newton Graphic (microfilm) for a man who died in the 1930s.  No obituary.  But when I was looking at the front page, there he was with all his family information.  His death was on the front page because he had been killed when he was struck by a car.  This is why it is important to look through a newspaper.  The information may be there,  just not where you expect it to be.

Stand for Current NewspapersO.K. So what else can you find in a newspaper.  The next thing anyone thinks of who has been exposed to newspapers are wedding and birth announcements.  What they might not think of is that events like anniversaries and, yes, family reunions might be covered. And local news does not just cover accidental deaths. Newspapers covered business news, church functions, community groups and projects, farm news, fund raising events, club and Lodge news, military service and veterans groups news, political news (of course), school events, and special event announcements.  Look for a newspaper’s social column.  There can be a ton of useful information there.

And then there are the listings for unclaimed mail.  Unclaimed mail?   Why would that be important?  Up until July 1, 1847 it was the people who received a letter who had to pay the postage.  Often a newspaper would list the people who had unclaimed mail waiting for them at the post office. People who lived in outlying areas often did not make it into town frequently. For good or ill, people who lived in the same area knew each other and tended to know each others business.  Eventually a person would see their name listed in the newspaper or would hear about it from one of their neighbors. If curiosity didn’t get you into town, the fact that your neighbors knew about it could overcome an unwillingness on the part of some to pay the postage.  So why is this important to you in the 21st Century.  If you find an ancestor in these lists, it helps establish where they lived.  It’s a clue that might convince you it was worth doing more research in additional newspapers or other records covering that particular time in that specific location.

When you are researching newspapers, you may start noticing that in the 1880s newspapers were considerably longer, with more pages and more stories, than they had been earlier.  Before then, most newspapers were limited to about eight pages or less. What happened?  Before the mid-1880s, the pages of a newspaper had to be set letter by letter, space by space, punctuation mark by punctuation mark.  It was time consuming and limiting.  In 1884 the linotype machine was invented.  Linotype literally means “line by line.”  Newspaper pages could be set up line by line much more quickly than letter by letter. In 1886 the New York Tribune was the first newspaper in the United States to use linotype machinery.  Improvements kept being made both to the process of printing type and illustrations.  You can thank these inventors for all your family  information you are able to find in these historic newspapers.

Now, if you are ready to start looking for newspspers, click one of the links below.  It will take you to a printable list of some of the larger resources for online newspapers. Below the links to newspapers online, you will also find articles on how to use them.  As usual, I am including both a Microsoft 2010 version and a pdf. Best of luck.

Where to Find Newspapers (Microsoft Word 2010)

Where to Find Newspapers (pdf)

 

 

I just discovered a posting from the One Rhode Island Family blog about yet more family information you can get from newspapers.  I am including a link because I think you not only will enjoy the entire article, but the entire blog. Take a look at Diane Boumenot’s other postings.  In my not so humble opinion it is the best example of a blog that does two things extremely well. It covers a local area and specific ancestors while at the same time explaining basic concepts of research through the material she is presenting.  Everyone benefits from this blog.  Take a look.  (I have an added benefit.  Her blog covers my neck of the woods.)   http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2013/06/10/rhode-island-newspapers

vea/24 September 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  http://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy

 

DSC03943How often have we received new computer hardware and we find that the only other item in the box is a single, folded sheet of very inadequate “instructions.” Or we need to use some software or social networking site or database that we have never dealt with before.  We go online to find out how our object or site of interest works. We may or may not find further instructions or an online user manual. If we do find something, we quickly learn that the information is not written for beginners.  The writer of what we have found assumes that the reader is an experienced user.  It usually takes a big chunk of time for determined neophytes to discover anything useful.

 We all find ourselves in this predicament at one time or another. In my case, librarian or not, if I’m doing something new, I’m a beginner. And where computers are concerned, there is always something new. We are inundated with suggestions and tips on our social networking sites and websites, as well as the insistent demands that come directly from our computer’s prompts.  They all tell us we should do something.  Unfortunately they neglect to tell us how.

 Confronted with this problem, I start with the website of the company that produces the hardware, software or site. They are the experts, right?  Like everyone else, I often waste a lot of time sifting through information I don’t need and not finding what I could actually use.  I always seem to end up at the library’s online book catalog. I know I have a lot of company.  The books I discover online are often already checked out by people trying to find the same answers I am looking for.  Like every other patron, I have to put reserves on them and wait. Once I get a book, I have a fighting chance. I can actually have it open next to me while I’m fighting with my gizmo, software, database, antivirus update, or whatever else some diabolical mind has decided is needed to complicate my technological life.

FINDING BOOKS

Bookstacks and Computer I thought I would save you some time and recommend some good book series that you might want to try when you find yourself stymied. There are so many computer subjects that it is not feasible to go into each topic.  Hence my list of book series.  I would suggest looking for these in your local public library’s catalog rather than for immediate purchase. Don’t take out jsut one. Find several, perhaps one in each series. You can see which books work best for you. Different books may have different types of information.  One may begin by telling you how to buy an item.  Another might just jump in and tell you how to use it. Another may have more detailed instructions for setup, details that might be critical for a beginner’s understanding. In the long run you probably won’t save money by using library books first. But you will have a better working home library.

 When I put [        ] with the name of a series, it’s up to you to replace the brackets with your topic of interest.  Then you just continue typing the name of the series to see if the library owns it (online catalog) or if the book has been published on your topic in a particular series (wherever you order your books). Each series will have a number of authors writing on different topics.  The only constants are the series title and the publisher.  You can do a keyword search on the entire series by using the series title and the name of the publisher if you want to see all the books in a particular series. The best place to find all of a series title would be at the publishers website. Libraries can’t buy everything in all subjects. Just because they don’t own a book, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Once you find books you want, you can look for them throughout your library network’s catalog and suggest that your local library buy a particular book (or books) they don’t own.

 The whole point of the following books is to turn someone who knows next to nothing about a computer related topic into someone who is knowledgeable and competent. Start your search with these series.

 

SUGGESTED SERIES

 [          ]: The Missing Manual.  Publisher: O’Reilly. 

          This is a brilliant title for a very good series.  Each book was written with the express purpose of taking the place of the manual that was not with the computer, tablet, laptop, hardware, software, social networking site, etc.

For example, I was just looking up information on what can be done with an iPad.  The author of iPad: The Missing Manual does not assume you know what you are doing.  I like authors like this.  This particular author begins at the beginning — by explaining how to set up an iPad. Then she takes readers on their first exploration of Apple’s tablet.  The rest of the book shows the various ways this thing can be used.  It suddenly goes from being an infernal gizmo to something that might actually be useful. Not all authors and their books do this.  

 [       ] in easy steps.   Publisher: Easy Steps Limited.  This one is published in Britain.  I like the Brits. They are a sensible race.

          As the title implies, this is another series that takes you step by step through the labyrinth of setting up, getting acquainted with, and using various computer related items.  I find I have a special affinity for this particular series.  Take a look at one and see if you agree with me.

 

 Then there is Wiley Publishing.  The following three series are all published by Wiley.

 [       ] for Dummies.  Publisher: Wiley Publishing

          This is probably the most widely recognized of the computer help books.  IDG Books was there first with their DOS for Dummies. They never looked back. It was so popular that IDG created a whole series of books covering computer based topics and then continued to expand into a large number of other topics.  Their computer series has saved my technological life at the library on occasions too numerous to count.  IDG was acquired by Wiley. “For Dummies” are still excellent books.  Although not in color, their line drawings and other illustrations are easy to follow and their instructions are usually very straightforward.  And I do not mind being considered a “dummy” if this gets me information I can work with.

 

I like illustrations.  The more the merrier.  The next two series have plenty. And they are in color. Since both are by the same publisher, I wondered why the company decided they needed two separate series. I discovered that Wiley has a hierarchy.

 [       ] Simplified.  Publisher:  Wiley Publishing

          This series is definitely just for beginners.  If you don’t have a clue, start here.

 Teach Yourself Visually [       ] .   Publisher:  Wiley Publishing

          Feeling a little more adventurous?  The Teach Yourself Visually starts at a beginner’s level, but then continues into areas that would be considered intermediate.

Until I find additional series that I find particularly useful, I will end here with my posting on books.  If you find any of these particularly useful, please let me know.  The same goes for a series you have used and like that I may not know.  I and other who use this site will be extremely grateful.

Books are always my starting point.  When writing a book, authors have the time to think about what they want to say and how they want to say it. A good how to author understands that readers are looking for information and need to have it explained carefully.  Material is checked by others and often rewritten.  For me, this is the best place to start. If I am pressed for time, which is usually the case, there are other sources that I can consult as well, especially while I’m waiting for those books to come in.  I continue with these in the next posting below.

vea/9 September 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  http://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy

FINDING MAGAZINES AND PERIODICALS

Periodical AreaIt’s a changing world out there and not always for the better. Have you ever noticed that new does not always mean improved? Just more complicated.

There used to be three reliable computer magazines that I often checked: Smart Computing (for beginners), PC World, and PC Magazine. The last two had a nice range of articles for every level, from beginners to experienced computer users. None now exist as either as hard copy or online magazines. If you own a Mac, however, you are in luck. Mac World still exists in a paper format.

If anyone reading this knows of a good, current computer magazine for beginners, or at least for non-techies, please let me know. It can be online or on paper.

USING WEBSITES

When looking at any website for the first time, you should always do three things.
1. Read the “About” section first.
2. Check for FAQs (frequently asked questions).
3. Look for tabs near the top of the home page that have a small v next to them. This denotes a down arrow that may or may not be filled in. Clicking on the arrow gives you a drop down menu. The selections offered will provide additional information.

Following these steps will keep you from wasting time on the wrong site and completely missing the perfect one.

I have found the websites that follow to be useful. Please read the descriptions accompanying each one. In them I give you additional tips for using the site and others like them.

SUGGESTED WEBSITES

Computer Newbies Help (Forum)
http://www.newbiesforum.com/phpbb3
This site is a forum. Forums are places where you can ask questions. Often these have people who work for the forum both doing the monitoring and answering queries. Other times questions are only answered by whoever happens to be visiting the site. You will find other forums on your own. You will discover which best meets your needs and who are the best responders. The nice thing about this particular forum is that is expressly designed for newbies. Computer Newbies Help does not have an “About” section, but it does have FAQ’s. Make sure you check your section of interest for the date of the latest posting. Some of these will be as up-to-date as today. One hasn’t been posted to since 2011.

Kim Komando (Radio) Show (Up-to-Date Tech News and Advice)
http://www.komando.com
Kim’s radio show has been around for years. The website is definitely worth a close look. At first there appears to be no place to ask a question or to access a topic. Near the top you will see a line of tabs: The words “The Show”, “Read” and “Watch” each have that v (down arrow) I mentioned above. Here you will find information about the show, forums and topics. Kim’s radio show and the home page of her website help direct you to some of the current topics of interest. You may have to dig a bit to find your topic of interest.

eHow — the how to do just about anything site
http://www.ehow.com/ehow-tech
This is one of the first “how to” sites I ever used and it is always worth a visit. The people who use it are the ones who provide the How tos. The entries are usually well written and easy to follow. (Ignore the ads that usually appear in the middle of the instructions.) Make sure you check the date the instructions were posted. If you need information on how to do something in Windows 8.1 and the post is dated 2012, it’s going to be dealing with the wrong version of Windows.

Basic Computer Knowledge Questions from eHow
http://www.ehow.com/list_6299776_basic-computer-knowledge-questions.html
eHow covers a lot more topics than just computers. The above is a shortcut to a subsection to their computer section. It specifically covers basic questions about computers.

How To Solve the 10 Most Common Tech Support Problems Yourself
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2047667/how-to-solve-the-10-most-common-tech-support-problems-yourself.html
These suggestions are still good, solid tips. But check the url (web address) directly above. You will see that it is from PC World. Since this magazine no longer exists. The advice given here is good general advice. But the older this piece gets, the larger the chances that the recommended websites for the fixes may not work.

Top 10 Computer Repair Forums and Message Boards from Computer Technician (if you are feeling brave)
http://www.computertechnician.net/top-10-computer-repair-forums-and-messageboards
This is an interesting listing of forums. I just wish the piece were dated. The only date I see is the copyright date of the site at the bottom of the screen – 2014.

Top 10 Safe Computing Tips from MIT (if you are not feeling quite so brave)
https://ist.mit.edu/security/tips
MIT may sound a little scary to a neophyte. Don’t let it deter you. These are good, basic rules of the road and will help keep the information on your computer safe. Another entry that is not dated, however.

Windows Basics for All Topics (for Windows 7)
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-basics-all-topics#1TC=windows-7
Nicely set up by topic. When you pull up an article though, the print is on the small side. To make print larger on your computer screen, hold down the Ctrl key (usually on the lower left hand corner of your keyboard) and tap the + key (usually upper right). To make it smaller again, do the same only with the – key.

 

The next two sites are from the perspective of the person on the other side, the person who is trying to help you. Reading this may help you to figure out exactly what you need to ask and how you need to ask it.

How to Help Someone Who is Computer Illiterate with a Computer Issue
http://www.ehow.com/how_2165663_who-computer-illiterate-computer-issue.html

How to Help Someone Use a Computer from UCLA
http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/how-to-help.html

 

ONE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE

Technology for Genealogy Interest Group – Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/techgen
Some things are worth getting a Facebook Account for and this is one of them. Not only do you get a lot of tips, but you can ask a question. The answers come from people who have already had and solved the same problem you are having.
I do have a tip about using a site like this. I have never completely trusted social networking, so I have never used my name as a sign in. I chose something relevant instead. I decided on several monikers I would wanted to use and then tried to match it to a gmail account. If you decide on one screen name for everything, people are likely to get to know you and recognize you by that. It may take you some extra time. But it’s worth it.

vea/9 September 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  http://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy

115  Larger Question MarkWhen it comes to computers, I often feel like a cartoon character with a perpetual question mark over my head.  I just learned how to add a link to a pdf formatted document in WordPress. I needed to add a list resources for Spanish genealogy in my previous posting. I had never don this before and it took some hunting in WordPress to find the instructions.  I’ll say this for WordPress.  At least I found them.  And I understood the instructions when I got to them. Thank you anonymous WordPress writer.  You are worth your weight in gold.

Have you ever noticed how the answers to simple questions tend to get over complicated by many of the techie writers who create computer help pages.  I am really starting to understand the use of the words “dummies” and “idiots” in the titles of books about computers.  If people think you are a dummy or an idiot, at least in a particular subject, they may take the time to explain basic concepts to you.  They may even answer a simple question simply.

I get the feeling that most people who write computer user manuals or “help” pages think that their readers are as experienced as they are.  News flash.  If we are looking at a user manual or a help page, we aren’t.

Is it really too much to ask that a mouse comes with a slip of paper that says it’s plug and play.  That virus detection software includes instructions that tell one how to temporarily disable it so we can add our genealogy software without complications. Instructions that we can find easily. That we can understand if we actually do locate them. Is it possible to have the faq page begin simply and work it’s way up to complicated. I’m sure you can add numerous examples of your own.

I am lucky. I am a librarian.  I have research skills. I can check with colleagues to see if they have had any experience with my problem when I’m having trouble finding an answer myself. When you are dealing with computers you’re always learning something new, no matter who you are.  The rate of change is mind boggling. Even as a librarian, I have discovered a huge gap between having a computer in the library, with great tech backup, and one at home with no safety net.

This blog is obviously not about technical computer help. What I do hope is that it helps cut through some of the tall grass so that you find ancestors more easily or discover a book or website that helps solve a genealogical problem.  But when it comes to actually dealing with the technical side of computers, we’re all in this together. And if one of my readers is a computer techie, please remember — keep it simple for the rest of us.  That would be more deeply appreciated than you know.

vea/28 August 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  http://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy

 

 

New Free Library in the AutumnLet’s face it.  There are a lot of different resources out there that will help us track down elusive ancestors. It can be overwhelming.  It’s tricky enough dealing with American ancestors.  The problems multiply exponentially when you have to work your way back to one or more foreign countries. Over the years I have started putting together lists for patrons who need help, especially with foreign research. I create a list, store it, and add to it as I find more resources. If one person needs it, more will.

When I start a resource list, I pull together materials that I think will help a patron without overwhelming them.    I always build off books we have here in the library. I can often request a purchase for a book we don’t have it if it is still in print.  If not, I refer to holdings at other librarys. These books are usually within our (Minuteman) network, but not always.  I can usually find at least one “how to” book that covers a specific country. I then use articles and Internet sources as supplements.

Genealogy Books -- vertical picutreBut once in a great while I can not find one book that zeros in on a  specific country.  Two examples of this are Spain and France.   I have found no book entirely devoted to either country.  Hispanic and French Canadian research, yes.  But both involve research on this side of the Atlantic. I recently completed a list for Spain where I had to branch out beyond my usual resources.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to explain various types of resources and where to find them.  I’m hoping this will  help you with your own research.  You may even decide you want to make up a  list for yourself or to help someone else.

Remember, if you are doing a research list, it can be short or long. It can be exhaustive or cursory. You can cover several categories or just one type of item like books or blogs. You create it to meet your needs. I would never attempt to create a list that was exhaustive unless it was for a large number of people interested in various aspects of one topic. An  exhaustive list for just one person tends to be overwhelming and discouraging. It is fine to create a short list of particulars for yourself that also includes just general suggestions of where to go next. You could have a list of specific books that also includes “Check Cyndi’s List next” with a link.

DSC03522  Collecting Family HistoryIf you do decide to create a list for yourself, I have one word of warning. Once you start looking for website suggestions, you will be tempted to explore a particularly enticing blog or website.  Trust the voice of experience. (I make the mistakes first, then try to warn you away from doing the same thing.) It is best to finish up the areas you are trying to cover and then go back and explore.  Otherwise your list may never get finished and you will miss items that may be of more use to you than the one you are exploring.  You may want to delete the list of resources that do not work out for you.  If it’s a list just for my own use, I have started copying and pasting the not so useful items to the bottom of the list under a heading like “Not Useful.” That way I don’t waste my time by rediscovering the same websites over time.

O.K., so where’s the list of resources?   Here is your access if you want to see the list for Spain: RESOURCES FOR RESEARCHING SPANISH ANCESTORS.  You should be able to click on this and take a look.  If you know of any resources that I have missed, please let me know so that I can update my list.

Since this blog is already quite long, I have decided to make a separate blog entry for each type of resource you may want to use in your list. I’ve actually “cheated” a bit by finished all the postings and then adding each one in reverse order. All you have to do is read down.  It is the first time I’ve tried this.  Hope it helps.

vea/7 August 2014/updated with list on 26 August 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  http://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy

 

 

Genealogy Books - special collections -- horizontal pictureBooks always come first with me. When I am starting a new topic or discovering a weakness in my research methods, there is nothing like following an explanation in a book. They tend to start simple and explain things step-by-step, rather than hurling you into the middle of things unprepared.  I first look for what is available locally, both here at Newton and then within the network. Anyone with a computer should be able to check any library’s online catalog.  You could do a keyword search, just putting in the name of the country and the word genealogy.  Besides books devoted only to that country, this would also bring up books that had just a section or a chapter on the topic. An example is The Family Search Guidebook to Europe by Allison Dolan which has sections on both France and Spain. If you get too many hits, you can limit your search to  subject. Change your selection from “Keyword” to “Subject.” Next type the name of the country or topic, then the word  “genealogy” followed by the word “handbooks.”  The word handbooks will tell you that it’s a “how to” book.

9. Use online catalogs and Interlibrary loan.What if your local libraries have nothing you can use. If a local or network search doesn’t work, you might want to check the Library of Congress catalog (http://www.loc.gov) or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (https://familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlc).  (The Family History Library will even let you know what books you can access directly online.)  Once you find a title that interests you, you can always go into  the mother of all catalogs known as World Cat. Going to its web address of  http://www.worldcat.org will show you if a copy of the book of interest exists in a library closer to home. You can then put the books on your  list, noting where they are located. If you are keeping your list online, you can add a live link.  When you want the book, you can request it through your local library’s Inter Library Loan system.  Just give yourself plenty of lead time.

Internet Archive sign at the BPLTwo other sources for older, out-of-copyright books are the Internet Archive and Google Books. Internet Archive actually has an entire section devoted to genealogy.  Go to https://archive.org/details/genealogy and take a look. To find out more about how to use Google Books, click on http://www.google.com/googlebooks/about.  Thomas Kemp of GenealogyBank has done an article on using both Internet Archive and GoogleBooks  that you can read by clicking HERE .  I always check out Internet Archive first. I find it easier to find books there.

vea/7 August 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog:  http://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide:  http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy

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