October, 1-31 is Church Library Month to encourage churches to establish and maintain libraries for their members and their communities. Perhaps the largest church-operated library of interest to genealogists is the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
Known world-wide for the names this library supplies to the genealogy public, let’s just review two stats:
- New familysearch now contains over 1.5 billion names. This massive database is available only to LDS Church members at the present time, who have been given the charge to clean up the mistakes and eliminate the duplications before it is released to the public. Believe me, you will be glad that it has been cleaned up.
- http://www.beta.familysearch.org just received 300 million indexed names, many with images linked to each index entry. This is an awesome database, with names that benefit much of the world. No restrictions have been placed on these names, which come from original vital records.
The new book shelf, today, included 12 volumes on Loudoun County–which although I arrived at the Library to do something entirely different, I spent a chunk of time searching these volumes. Here is a tiny sampling of what was there:
- Early Church Records of Loudoun County, 1745-1830. 2 vols. Marty Hiatt, CG and Patricia B. Duncan. Published by Colonial Roots of Lewes DE, 2010. A review of the indexes of these two volumes demonstrates the Americanization of German surnames–Day/Deh; Darry/Derry; Davis/Dawis; Devis/Dewis with appropriate umlauts over the vowels or the ending “y.” Did you consider that your surname Day could be German? Or Davis?
- Colonial Catoctin: The Fairfax Family and the Freeholders of Piedmont Manor and Shannondale Manor–Loudoun County, Virginia, Land Records 1743-1820. Roberto Constantino. Published by Willow Bend Books 2006, an imprint of Heritage Books, Inc., 65 East Main, Westminster MD 21157. This volume is one of a series of 6 volumes by Constantino on the Fairfax holdings in Loudoun County or people associated with the Fairfax family. Surveys and land grants are summarized with maps and plats included. An interesting fact to me was the movement of William Fairfax from Massachusetts to Virginia in 1733 to manage manorial affairs for Thomas, Lord Fairfax. What if…William brought along with him other persons from Massachusetts? More study is needed before I can answer this question–for myself or for you.
Of all the shelves in the Family History Library, my favorite is the new bookshelf. And you already know that for every book that is added to the shelves, one of equal size has to be removed and sent into high-density. So browing the shelves is often a project fraught with dismay! Yet, the placement of books in proximity, often can open you eyes to something new about this work that you haven’t considered. So blessings in disguise? Your favorite Virginia genealogist, Arlene Eakle. http://arleneeakle.com