Virginia Genealogists, Books, and Trees

A man in life should plant a tree and write a book to strive to dedicate, in memory for his descendants, his experience.  As a criterion of his labor, docile, ethic, love, and science.  Reminiscent.  Fred Jacob Gerstmeyer

This telling note was  the introduction to Oshkosh:  One Hundred Years a City, 1853-1953.   George Nevitt, Chairman of the Book Committee.  And I hope it speaks to you as it did to me.

The books I highlight in this blog are books that I read and use in the genealogies I compile for my clients.  They are not sent to me free for the review.  I find most of them in libraries that I research in.  And no matter the location of the library, I always check to see what they have on Virginia.  Amazing finds in places where I least expect a Virginia item to show up.

Or I purchase them from the author or publisher or in special bookstores I frequent while on research trips.  Or occasionally, at Genealogy Conferences, vendors have a new Virginia book that catches mt eye.  I look especially for family histories written by people no one has ever heard of.  Their first, and often, only book.  One in which they have put their whole heart.

Let me tell you about a couple of finds at the Kansas Genealogical Society Library–where I expected to find Virginia items.

  1. Colonial Virginians and their Maryland Relatives:  A Genealogy of the Tucker Family and also the Families of Allen, Blackstone, Chandler, Ford, Gerard, Harmor, Hume, Monroe, Skaggs, Smith, Stevesson, Stone, Sturman, Thompson, Ward, Yowell, and Others.  Dec 2007, by Norma Tucker.  Published by the Estate of Mrs. Sam Boese, Sr. (Barbara Kelsey) B-165 b 20 Sep 1942-d 5 Oct 2007. KGS Member, 1983-2007.  And the Kansas Genealogical Society.   Since I am interested in this Tucker family, I looked for the Sources used.  And found this wonderful description:

The origins of data reported in this work are shown in their entirety in the section SOURCES CITED, beginning on page 215.  Those are not referenced in footnotes, as footnotes have been used for additional data.  Therefore, abbreviated source references are shown throughout the work to enable the reader to determine which source provided each bit of information.  Usually the reference follows the data, but if the reference provided all of the children in a family, the reference will appear after the word “Issue” but before the list of children.  Most references throughout the work show, in parentheses and type smaller than that of the body of material, only the name under which the source is alphabetized in SOURCES CITED.  For example, (Crowe, Descendants from First Families of Virginia and Maryland.–Author, 1978.)

But authors for whom several books are cited are shown also with the date of that particular publication.  For example, (Crozier, 1958).  If data from several sources are woven into one sentence or paragraph or if the data are found in several sources, the reference will include all, thus:  (Crowe, Crozier, 1955; Dorman 1961).

Original records from the Virginia Historical Society and Archives of Virginia State Library, Richmond; from the Family History Library, Church of the Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City UT; and from the Bermuda National Archives, Hamilton, Bermuda have been used throughout this work.  Those are indicated by the abbreviation “O.R.” Westmoreland Co.  O.B. (Order Book), W.B. (Will Book), and D.B. (Deed Book).

Recall that I read the footnotes first–these footnotes include the full text of documents, comments on relationships between family members and others, speculations of the author, variants between documents, etc.  So I went looking for some description of the way the sources are cited. And found the above notes.

Norma Tucker has combined several citation methods in her book.  And she has documented each and every part of this genealogy so the reader knows exactly the source that gave the information.  There is no way we can fault her for her choice.  The sources are cited.  And attached to their data.  And her genealogy conclusions can be traced.

If only every genealogy were so meticulous.  Your favorite Virginia genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  Tracking hard-to-find-ancestors through family histories of other families from the same localities is a strategy that seems to have fallen out of vogue.  It does work…stay tuned.

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