Thursday, April 12, 2007

'Tis a mystery...Cornelia Bresee

After an exhausting day at the San Diego Wild Animal Park (see pictures here and here), and being fairly frazzled with a mind devoid of anything genealogical right now, I decided to post about my search for Cornelia Bresee in traditional genealogy resources.

I am completely puzzled right now.

I checked the LDS Family History Library Catalog several weeks ago, looking for books or manuscripts about the Bresee (and variants Brazee, Brazie, Brisee, Brusee, etc) family. I found a book that I think will be very helpful - a 3 volume work called "The Bresee family of Livingston Manor, Columbia County, New York" by Revo Morrey, published in 1945. I checked for the film number (0,897,238 Items 2-4), and printed off a copy of the citation so I could order it at the FHC. I ordered it on 29 March, but it hasn't come in yet.

Today, I went looking for this citation again in the FHLC and couldn't find it. I looked under "Bresee" Brazee" "Brazie" etc in the Surname search, and found only "The Bresee's their name and story" by Wilmer Edgar Bresee, 4 leaves, no date, on FHL microfilm 0,897,238, Item 1 (the same film number!).

So how did I find the Morrey work in the FHLC? I honestly can't say. And why can't I find it again? 'Twas a mystery...

I thought maybe I had found it by searching in the Columbia County NY Place records in the FHLC - but it is not there. I tried the Place records for Livingston, Columbia County, NY, but it is not listed there either. I searched again for a number of the County towns like Copkae, Kinderhook, Linlithgo, Claverack, etc. where some records of the Bresee's are in the church records (according to the LDS IGI), but did not find the specific title there either. So I can't answer my first question!

The answer to my second question is that it was indexed as Subject "Bresse" not "Bresee." Just a mistake, I think! Luckily, I had printed off the record from wherever I had found it weeks ago!

I hate to give up on something like this. I went back to the opening screen for the FHLC and instead of picking "Place" or "Surname," I picked "Keyword" and put in "Bresee." Bingo - it was listed along with the other titles that were in the surname listing for "Bresee." I picked "Title" and put in "Bresee." Bingo again - it found the two specific entries with "Bresee" in the title.

When I put "Bresse" in the "Subject" search, it found no entries, although the printout I have clearly says "Bresse." I wonder why?

So I've learned something - to broaden my searches using the Keyword and Title searches in the FHLC, and that the FHLC indexing of surnames is imperfect! Those are useful thoughts to remember!

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