Monday, January 12, 2009

Day 3 in SLC - the Family History Library

I was up bright eyed and bushy tailed on Saturday morning. After breakfast, checking email and blogs, I caught the TRAX trolley at 8:15 and was at the Family History Library by 8:30 a.m. That was really easy! The hotel is about a mile from the FHL.

They've changed the layout of the FHL since I was last there in 1997. There are many computer stations! And the locality books have been put on the 3rd floor, while the surnames are on the Main floor and the microfilms are on the second floor.

I worked on these items during my day at the FHL:

1) The divorce records for Worcester County MA from about 1834 to about 1850. They are included in the Supreme Judicial Court records for the county. I looked at two films for 1833-1845, and for 1845-1854. There were several interesting law suits for Newton on these films, but not for my Sophia and Thomas Newton. Oh well, another resource checked with negative results.

2) The early land record indexes for Oxford County, ME to see if there were deeds for my Thomas J. Newton. No luck here either - there were Newton deeds in Dixfield and Andover, but not Thomas. Drat.

3) I had a list of published books that I wanted to review but haven't been able to find on the shelves at my local libraries. These included:

* The World Book of Sever families by William Roger Gillem. This is a collection of family reports based on previously published books. It's pretty useless, but I needed to see it for myself.

* A Mills and Kendall Family History, by Helen Schatvet Ullmann. This book is well done - I copied pages to obtain finding aids for two generations of Kendalls in Massachusetts.

* Royal Families, Volume 1: Governor Thomas Dudley and Descendants Through five Generations, by Marston Watson. This book is excellent - I copied pages for my Dudley line families to obtain finding aids for those families.

* A Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Bolles of Wells, Maine, by George E. Williams. I don't know much about this immigrant, but I know his daughter Hannah married Caleb Beck. I copied some of the English ancestry and the family information about Thomas Bolles.

4) I went up to the US/Canada floor and browsed through many states and counties. Some highlights were:

* Colonial Families of New Jersey, Volume 1, Middlesex and Somerset Counties, by F. Edward Wright. This book had an extensive Martin genealogy that might be helpful to identify my Sarah Martin's parents.

* Many town history books for Rhode Island and Connecticut - South Kingstown, Charlestown, Foster, Killingly, Sterling, Voluntown and several others. I didn't copy anything although I found great cemetery maps for some of the towns.

* Cemetery records of Red Willow County, Nebraska by Robert T. Ray. This book showed that DJ Smith was buried in Memorial Park in McCook, Nebraska. Now I know where he is! There was also a marriage records book, and I found Matie Smith's marriage to George Chenery (Matie was Della (Smith) Carringer's sister).

* I checked several Kansas counties looking for cemetery or death records for Samuel and Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux. I didn't find them in cloud, Marshall or Pottawatomie Counties, but there may be more records for the counties.

* At the end of the day, I checked Andrew County, Missouri books of probate, death and cemetery records, and didn't find any Vaux entries. I checked, almost as an afterthought, for Smith in the Will Book, and was surprised to see the entry for Ranslow Smith, Devier J. Smith's father! I found his death date and place!

I went back to the hotel at this point, because I had to blog a bit and get ready for the TGN Saturday night dinner.

I'm going back to the FHL on Monday and will try to find the actual Ranslow Smith will on microfilm, plus some more records for my Newton, Knapp, Houx and other mysteries.

I saw several Facebook genealogy friends at the library - including Dick Eastman, Patti Hobbs, Bobbie King and Elissa Powell. I hear that there were many more there, but our paths didn't cross ore I didn't recognize them.

I spent about an hour on the computer system - the FHL has nearly all commercial databases available for free use. Users can print images to a printer or copy images to a flash drive. I also checked my email and Facebook, and some of the genealogy blogs. This blog, Genea-Musings is blocked on the FHL computer system for some reason - perhaps I used some naughty words in the past, I really don't know. Like Middlesex or Essex or Sussex.


Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Randy blocked by the FHL!? lol Sorry 'bout that. I'm glad you found good stuff and hope you found lots more today.

Bill West said...

Heck I must be blocked too, then!

Sounds like you had a great trip,