Friday, March 28, 2014

Now Where Did I Get That Name? I Got Lucky! Mocavo Helped

I know that I found some record in the distant past that had the middle name of my second great-grandfather, Henry Arnold White (1824-1885) of Killingly, Connecticut.  I did not create a source citation years ago when I found it.  Now I need a source citation.

I reviewed all of the papers in my White surname book.  I reviewed all of the records I have for Henry A. White in hopes that there was a mention of his middle name.  Nope.  Frustrated, I did a search on and  No luck.  The only records I found were my own family trees.  A Google Books search and a Google Web search didn't find much beyond my own blog posts.

Now I was really frustrated, so I gave up.

I went onto and started working with their new search tools.  I entered some of my names, and after awhile thought "it won't hurt to try Henry White here too."  So I entered First name = henry, Last name = white, and Keyword = killingly, as shown below:

There were 72 results.  I quickly looked at the page snippet images that are 10 to a page, and there on number 68 of 72 was the prize:

The paragraph in Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts, with a history of Worcester society of antiquity (Volume 4) by Ellery Bicknell Crane, in a sketch for William Henry Buck, starts:

"Mr. Buck married, January 12, 1868, Ellen Frances White, daughter of Henry Arnold and Amy Frances (Oatley) White, of East Killingly, Connecticut..."

I may have found that book several years ago online when I was searching for information on William Henry Buck.  Or found it in a library.

There is a book on Google Books with William Henry Buck mentioned - and I found it when I searched for [william henry buck killingly].  The match was at the top of the list.  When I searched for ["william henry buck" killingly] the match was not found, because the names were not consecutive words.

Then I realized that what is on Google Books is Volume 1 of the work by Crane.  The sketch is for Edgar Eugene Buck, who was a brother of William Henry Buck!  The parents of Ellen White are not mentioned.  Perhaps Volume 4 is not on Google Books?

With a search string of [henry arnold white killingly], a match was not found on the first ten screens when I searched Google Books.  The words weren't exactly in that order but they were in one sentence of one paragraph.  A search of Google Books using the first 8 words of the title reveals that only Volume 1 is available and out of copyright, and there are two other books with the same title that are recent reprints for Volumes 1 and 3.

A search for this volume on reveals that there is a San Diego area college library which holds all volumes, but I've never been there.  The Family History Library in Salt Lake City also has it, among 70 others.

But there it was on Mocavo.  Hooray!!  Now I have a source citation for the name Henry Arnold White for my second great-grandfather, not to mention for the family of William Henry Buck.

I downloaded the page from the book, and crafted a source citation for the record:

Ellery Bicknell Crane, Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of Worcester county, Massachusetts, with a history of Worcester society of antiquity (New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1907), Volume 4, page 388, William Henry Buck sketch; digital images, Mocavo ( : accessed 28 March 2014).

There are several lessons here:

1)  Google Books doesn't have every out of copyright book in its library.

2)  Sometimes searches for a word string in quote marks doesn't pay off.

3)  Persistence pays off big time.

4)  You have to broaden the search when you can't find results in the biggest and most used online genealogy databases.

5)  It really helps to be lucky!  In this case, I have a Mocavo gold subscription, and was persistent enough to find the needle in the haystack.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Disclosure:  I have a complimentary Mocavo Gold account, which I really appreciate.  I am ecstatic that I was able to find this record using Mocavo, because it looks like it is not otherwise on the Internet.


Dana Leeds said...

Once again this makes me want to check out Mocavo. Guess I'll head on over!

Shannon L said...

I'm still debating a gold membership at Mocavo but recent finds there suggest its worth it. With respect to your find, and other sources, those books are also easily and freely available on That's become a go to source for me in recent years for historical and genealogical books. That may have been where you saw it in the past. Thanks for another post with Mocavo though. It's nice to see a good alternate with some unique references.

Michigan Girl said...

I haven't yet given Mocavo a look Randy, but now I will. While I'm here let me ask if you know a way to download a page from a book found on Google books? I used to be able to do this and it seems that's not an option any more. I've been using screen shits to capture info.
Thanks, as always,