Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Internet Archive search reveals a fascinating book of life in the 1800's

While endlessly searching for Lam/Lanphear/phier/phere/fear (I think I covered most of the surname spelling variations!) resources on the Internet (yep, I know that I need to go offline too), I ran across the greeatest book about life in the 19th century that I've ever read.

It is Scenes, memories, and travels of eighty-two years : and short sketches of the Lanphear and Potter families (1900) by Ethan Lanphear (born in 1818 in RI), who grew up in Alfred, Allegany County, New York. He wrote an autobiography in almost 500 pages. He was very widely traveled in his lifetime, and wrote extremely well. I really value it for the description of travel in the Northeast before trains and other machines. I had an enjoyable 30 minutes browsing through this book, and saved it for further study. I found it on the Internet Archive (texts).

Unfortunately, Ethan Lanphear is not a direct-line ancestor of mine, but he's probably a very distant cousin!

What research goodies for your ancestors might be lurking on the Internet Archives?


Patti said...

I find references for good books in bibliographies and footnotes. I recently purchased a copy of _Keeping House: Women's Lives in Western Pennsylvania 1790-1850_ by Virginia Bartlett. I've only browsed through it so far, but it looks interesting. The author got her material from handwritten books of recipes and remedies, and reminisceses of settlers and travelers, family papers in archival collections, and newspapers, and "other contemporary publications." The book you found sounds great.

Earline Hines Bradt said...

I have been collecting genealogy and history books from Internet Archive for a couple of years. It is a great resource. A lot of the books that are on Ancestry can be found here.