Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stumbling Books...Part 2

  • If I have searched for an online publications (digital book, article, etc.) and haven't located the information for which I am looking; what's next?  Answer: Search the online catalogs of libraries, for their holdings.  Think university libraries, private libraries, regional libraries, periodical libraries, etc.  Look into library acquisitions and "collections".  Do the WorldCAT thing.

  • If I take a research trip to Utah to visit the Family History Library, what do I do first and what choices do I make for maximizing my time? Answer: This answer is multi-faceted.  
    • Before you ever leave home, and this goes for any repository that you are visiting, you want to become familiar with the holdings of that institution.  Much information is available online. 
    • People are your best resource for some things.  At the FHL in SLC, there are "guides", classes, etc., for free.  Know which lectures/classes are being given the week that you are there.  Ask for a guide/volunteer/Family History Missionary, especially if you need translation help or research guidance.  Again, before you leave home, research the way the library is set up, when it's open, etc.
    • Head for the book shelves, which are located, last I checked, in a separate building across the street.  You know already what is there because you've looked at the catalog.  Look for the things you need that are not available elsewhere, such as books and family histories that are under copyright.  
    • Finally, check out this "TipList" for visiting the Library.  
      Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah

  • If I visit a local or regional library, how do I locate a book that will be helpful to me in building my family tree?  Answer: Again, most, if not all libraries have an online catalog.  Categories you might check for family history:

Here are some suggestions:

Most, if not all of the physical repositories that we might visit, employ a reference librarian (also called by other names--"adult librarian", etc.).  This person is put there to serve your needs.  If after consulting an online catalog, you cannot locate the source you are looking for, be sure to ask for help.  Get a map of the arrangement utilized in this particular library.  It is possible, and probable that that what you need may not be in the reference section, may not be catalogued according to the Dewey Decimal system.  If you do decide to ask the librarian for help, be as specific as you can in what you are needing.  Be polite and gracious, patient and appreciative.  For more info, Google "Ask a Librarian" and the state in which you are researching.

When looking for books online, please don't forget to search Google Books. 
Here is an example of what I found:  My search parameters were Loftin genealogy "North Carolina"; I clicked on the first "hit", North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register.  There were twelve references in this digitized publication and I looked at every one.  What I saw was land transactions, lots of land transactions.  Still, I find names, dates, and places of direct lineal ancestry!  Better yet, I found the same for people who may have been related to Leonard Loftin, who may have been in his "cluster"; I recognize some of those surnames as some of those that I already, with which I am familiar.

If you can't find your ancestors in the 1700's and back further, you will have to search old books, online or in person!

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