30 July 2009

Introducing GooBooGenI [Reference Shelf]

I am happy to announce the launch of GooBooGenI (pronounced Goo Boo Genie), the latest incarnation of the Google Books Genealogy Index I started eons ago on my masthead website, Rainy Day Research.

Now moved to its own domain, and using a MUCH friendlier backend system (Joomla!, for those curious), the index finally has some legs to grow on, and will be much much easier for me to maintain, organize and update. In addition, I've utilized the new embed feature from Google Books to embed titles right in their page, so users can do preliminary searches within books to see if titles are appropriate for their own use.

The site is a work in progress. It needs some beautifying, it needs a mite more content moved over from the original site, and it needs some additional features, but it is already a useable site, so I wanted to let researchers know about it.

Let me give you a tour!

Navigating the Site

The navigation options reside on the left-hand side of the site. You can drill down from general to specific categories from the Main Menu, or you can search on a keyword using the search field.

Note that books for localities outside of the United States will be added in the coming weeks.

Once you have arrived at a location-level page (in this case a state in the U.S.), all titles for that locality have been broken up into distinct categories. Each book resides on its own article page, thus the numbers to the right of each category tell you how many books are listed therein:

Note, too, that a breadcrumb trail appears at the top of the screen, so you can always find your way back to where you were!

Once inside of a state's categories, you will see the books listed by title. The year after each title is the date of publication:

The hit numbers tell you how many times each title has been viewed.

Another item to note is the "Display" option. The default number of titles displayed is 20. You can make this number higher or lower, depending on your preference and your internet connection speed.

You can also use the "Title Filter" to search for keywords within the category you are in. Remember that this only searches for your keyword within the titles of the books as listed on the pages here at GooBooGenI. Here's a shot of the category listing all titles, followed by a Title Filter search:

Title filter searches are run across all titles in a category, even if there are more than 20 titles, and the titles run across multiple pages.

You can also use the site's search field, which is present in the left-hand menu at all times (although sometimes fairly far down). (Note that there is currently a 20-character limit for searches.) Again, remember that this search is only being run on the titles of the books on GooBooGenI, not within the books themselves. The following screenshot shows a search being run, and the subsequent search results page:

Each title relevant to the search is listed, along with the category in which that title resides, and the date it was added to the database.

The Books

As mentioned above, I have taken advantage of the embed feature from Google Books to embed a searchable, browsable version of each book on its own page. Here's a screenshot of a Jones family genealogy:

Each page shows the title of the book, includes a rating option (more on this below), and the embed itself. As noted by the red arrow, the embed has some navigational features (albeit rudimentary ones), which allow you to increase or decrease the zoom, and flip backwards and forwards in the book. For titles on which it is available, a "Contents" button will appear to the left of the search field, which allows you to browse the table of contents for the book.

The real power of the embed, however, lies in its search functionality. Here's a search on the term "Wales" being run on the Jones genealogy we selected above:

Note that the search function tells you how many results were found within the book, allows you to page through the results, and shows the results in context on the page! This should prove a handy tool for genealogists looking for titles worthy of closer inspection.

In the Future

I hope that this brief overview of the new Google Books Genealogy Index proves to you that it has the potential to be alot more useful than its static HTML predecessor:

I am working on adding international titles, as well as updating each category.

I am researching ways in which I can allow submissions of titles not currently found in the index; enabling registered accounts to create personal libraries; adding comment capabilities to each book page to allow for discussions of each books' merits or drawbacks; and the ability for trusted registered users to add books to the index on their own! I'm hoping that in concert with the rating option currently available on each book's page, we will be able to begin some online conversations about the reliability and veracity of different titles.

As you can see, there is a lot to do, and many ways in which GooBooGeni can become even more useful to the genealogy community. If you have any comments at all about the site, good or bad, I would love to hear them. The index is only as useful as it is used, so I want this to be a resource that works for the most people possible. Please leave me a comment or find me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/JenniferJRegan) to let me know what you think.

29 July 2009

Where Y'At? [Personal]

Well, it's been MIGHTY quiet around RDGR lately, as I've been working on two big projects of late. The first will have its own announcement this weekend after I polish off a few last details.

The second, I am happy to announce, involves expanding my family tree! I am pregnant with our second child, due in late January. The first trimester was a fabulous whirlwind of nausea, exhaustion and lots of crackers and water. Thankfully, I'm moving past that stage, and am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel!

That means I can resume, for now, work on my other big project and start reposting to my beloved little blog! Thanks to everyone who has stuck around in the meantime!

28 July 2009

Tribune Tuesday: Nationality of Williams

Items of interest from today's edition of The Oakland Tribune, back in 1891.

Nationality of Williams

Italian residents say that John Williams, who was arrested on a charge of indecent actions with little girls, is not one of their nationality. They say that Williams is an Austrian.

From: The Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 28 July 1891, Page 1, Column 5

21 July 2009

Tribune Tuesday: A Wholesome Habitation

The Lowest Annual Rate of Mortality for Ten Years
The Fatal Diseases-Mortality Among Children Younger Than One Year of Age

Paul Schafer, Secretary of the Board of Health, is working hard on his annual report. It is a compilation of interesting statistics of the history of Oakland.

The total number of deaths for the year was 762, as compared with 806 in the preceding year; 431 of those who died were male persons and 331 were female. The largest percentage of deaths was among children under the age of 1 year of age, the total being 163. More deaths occurred in the First ward than in any other ward, the number accredited to that district being 177. The Fifth ward had the lowest number, the total being only 54.

The principal causes of death were as follows: Pneumonia, 65; Heart Disease, 56; Diphtheria, 16; Influenza, 15; Whooping Cough, 10; Cholera Infantum, 13; Cancer, 32.

There were 43 violent deaths, and of these, 10 were suicide and 10 from railroad disasters. Under the heading of homicide are 2 deaths. The greatest number of deaths occurred in the month of March, there being 80, and the least number (39) in the month of September.

The annual death rate figures 12.88 per 1000, the lowest in the past ten years.

There were 112 deaths from zymotic diseases.

There were 787 births, 304 being male, and 393 being female children. But it is a well known fact that many births occur and are never reported by physicians or midwives.

From: The Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 21 July 1891, Page 1, Column

14 July 2009

Tribune Tuesday: Jenkins Knocked Out

Items of interest from today's edition of The Oakland Tribune, back in 1891.


Last week a farmer named Jenkins, residing near Fruit Vale, hired a man to work for him who soon developed a great fondness for articles about the house that did not belong to him. So frequent became the thefts that Jenkins was compelled to discharge the man, who took his revenge by waylaying his former boss and badly beating him. Jenkins received some severe bruises from the man's fists and has been kept at home for several days in consequence.

From The Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 14 July 1891, Page 1, Column 3

07 July 2009

Tribune Tuesday: The Fourth at Orinda

Items of interest from today's edition of The Oakland Tribune, back in 1891.

The Fourth at Orinda

A merry celebration of the Fourth of July was held at Orinda Park. Many visitors were present and gathered under the shade of an old oak tree. A string band discoursed patriotic music, and refreshments were heartily enjoyed. The programme of the day was as follows:

Prayer, Rev. Mr. Townsend.

Reading Declaration of Independence, Mrs. Collins.

Song, "Star Spangled Banner"

Recitation, Miss Julia de Laveaga

Song, "Red White and Blue"

Recitation, Miss Hill

Recitation, little Georgie Sandow, costumed as Uncle Sam

Recitation, Miss Josie Minto, dressed as the Goddess of Liberty

Recitation, Master Vincent de Laveaga

Oration, Thomas Garrity, Esq.

Song, "America"

Races and other amusements for old and young wiled away the afternoon hours and in the evening a fine display of fireworks was made. General Wagner officiated as master of ceremonies.

From: The Oakland Daily Evening Tribune,
07 July 1891, Page 6, Column 3

30 June 2009

Tribune Tuesday: Drank Warm Water

Items of interest from today's edition of the The Oakland Tribune, in 1891.

The Berkeley Ice Supply Gave Out Yesterday

There was a great demand for ice yesterday at Berkeley and so great had been the demand on the two preceding days that the supply gave out about 10 A. M. yesterday and no more could be obtained until in the afternoon. During Saturday and Sunday the only ice dealer in town sold two tons of ice and yesterday the central telephone clerk was kept busy most of the time answering calls for ice.

From: The Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 30 June 1891, Page 5, Column 1

26 June 2009

Researching World War I

I had reason recently to do some research on an ancestor of my husband who died at St. Mihiel during WWI. Along the way I collected these links to online material regarding The Great War, and thought I would share!

* Great War Archive from Oxford University includes original documents, images and recollections submitted by individuals. You can also check out the archive's Flickr group for photoes, posters and more.

* BYU's World War I Document Archive includes personal memoirs and diaries.

* Site linking to various personal diaries posted online. The site is hideous, but the links work, so no fuss!

* Great War Photo Archive has over 3,000 photos covering different subjects, including weapons, high ranking individuals, and troop photos.

* Color Photos from WWI, mainly from the Western Front

* Aftermath, which focuses on the legacy and ramifications of WWI both on the personal and international level.

War Diaries
Not personal diaries, but unit diaries which detail actions of individual units during the war

* Canadian War Diaries from the Canada Library and Archives

* Surrey Regiment Diaries

23 June 2009

Tribune Tuesday: A Baby Left Alone

Items of interest from today's edition of the 1891 Oakland Tribune

A Baby Left Alone in a Buggy Comes to Grief

Yesterday afternoon a lady wheeling a baby in a carriage started out calling on friends on New Broadway. She left the buggy and its occupant outside on the sidewalk while she went in to see her friends. The buggy was on a slight decline and the jostling of the baby set the wheels moving with a result that the carriage and its occupant rapidly neared the edge of the sidewalk where a horse was tied. The buggy struck the curb at the edge of the sidewalk, and the vehicle tipped over, throwing its occupant out to the ground. This frightened the horse, who broke its moorings and ran away, nearly stepping on the helpless baby. A passenger on the street car jumped off and lifted the infant back into the buggy. The mother was informed and a lively scene ensued. The baby cried and the mother grew hysterical and in her endeavor to express her gratitude to her baby's rescuer, threw her arms about his neck. A tiny stream of blood was noticed flowing from a wound in the child's head, and this occasioned a fresh outburst of grief. A small gathering had assembled by this time, and a doctor was called. His services were not needed as a small scratch only was on the child's head.

From: The Oakland Tribune, 23 June 1891, Page 5, Column 3

18 June 2009

Google Books Updated

Google announced updates to some features of Google Books today.

The most interesting thing I see is the contextual "search within this book" results page, showing clips of pages where search terms appear. This should make evaluating search result relevancy a HECK of a lot easier than it was prior to this update.

Also interesting is the enhanced ability to embed books within a website or blog such as:

One simple copy and paste line allows you to embed a book! I think I see a major update coming to the Google Books Index to follow suit!

16 June 2009

Tribune Tuesday: The Yosemite Park

Items of interest from today's 1891 issue of The Oakland Tribune.

The Military Driving Out the Cattle-
An Old Prospector Lost in the Mountains-Deep Snow Still Lies on Glacier Point

WAWONA, Cal., June 16.- Lieutenant Davis and a party of ten men returned last night after a trip of ten days patrolling the newly made Yosemite National Park. They were ordered by Captain Wood to go through the northern part of the park in search of sheep and cattle which were said to be in that section. They went through the Little and Big Hetch Hetchy valley and as far north as the snow line would permit, but found no sheep in that section and but very few cattle. The owners of these were getting on to their own lands as rapidly as possible. The party found an old man who had gone into the mountains prospecting and had been lost. He was nearly famished for the want of food but recovered under proper treatment. The party returned by the way of Yosemite and Glacier Point, and found the snow on the point five feet in depth in many places.

From: The Oakland Tribune, 16 June 1891, Page 1, Column 4

09 June 2009

Tribune Tuesday: A Dangerous Bathing Place

Items of interest from today's 1891 Oakland Tribune.

A Dangerous Bathing Place in the Hills Near the Cable Road

The old quarry just below the bridge on the gravity loop on the Piedmont cableline, which for years has been filled with water, is again being used by the Oakland young hopefuls for a swimming pond. Every day as many as ten or twelve of these youngsters sport through the cold waters of the pond, and evidently enjoy themselves. As the cable cars pass by the s[?] visions of limbs rapidly disappearing in the water may be seen. This pond has a history. Formerly it was an active quarry and much stone was taken from it. One day, however, a man struck a spring and before his fellow workmen could get their tools out of the way the place filled up with water, hiding the cars on the tracks and all the implements used in working the quarry. Frequent accidents have happened here. Only recently a boy was drowned, and it was impossible to find his body until Professor Fleming in a diving suit discovered it under the wheels of a car at the bottom. The place is dangerous and hardly a summer passes by but some injury or fatality happens.

From: The Oakland Tribune, 09 June 1891, Page 8, Column 2

02 June 2009

Tribune Tuesday: Starving

Items of interest from today's edition of the The Oakland Tribune, in 1891.

An Old Man Adrift in the Bay

Floating About Almost in the Very Track of Ferry Steamers
Rescued by Oakland Men Just as the Tide Was Carrying Him Out Between the Heads to Sea

Deputy City Engineer Wison [sic] is one of the crack yachtsmen of the coast and passes nearly every Sunday coasting somewhere near the Heads. He is captain of the sloop yacht Pilgrim and for his trip on Sunday last secured the company of City Engineer Morgan and Mr. Miller. They left Oakland creek early in the morning and moved out through the Golden Gate, where, after tacking about they sailed for home again. It was getting dark as they came in, but it was light enough for them to see something dark floating in the water between Goat and Angel islands, and heading for it they found it to be an old hulk. It appeared to be abandoned, but on coming alongside they found an old, gray-haired man stretched inside suffering from some great prostration.

They revived him with spirits and when the old man was able he told them the story of how he came to be thus adrift. It was as follows:

"On Thursday last," he said, "I bought this hulk for $5 from a man in Oakland. It was lying at the foot of Grove street, and it was my intention to take it to San Francisco and room in it there, for rent is too high- more than I can pay. Getting an oar, therefore, I left Oakland creek with the tide at 12 midnight on Thursday and tried to row across the bay. The current was too strong, though, and I was gradually carried away and drifted on toward the gate. Morning came and I was out of the line of the ferry steamers, but I tried to attract their attention, failing, however, they doubtless thinking that I was a fisherman. So the day passed on without my being noticed and then night came still without relief. To make a long story short, I have been drifting about for three days without food and water and was feeling pretty nearly done for when you sighted and rescued me."

This ended the old man's narrative, and as he said he still desired to go back to San Francisco, the Pilgrim towed him and his old bulk there and moored him in Mission Bay. Then the Pilgrim set back for home and reached her headquarters at Oakland creek at 5 o'clock yesterday morning.

"The old man and his bulk were drifting out to sea," said Captaim Wilson to a Tribune man this morning "when we picked him up. The tide was running out fast too, and it would not have been long before he would have been through the Golden Gate."

From: The Oakland Tribune, 02 June 1891, Page 1, Column 7

26 May 2009

Tribune Tuesday: The Alta is Dead

This day in the Oakland Tribune, in 1891:

The Last Issue of the Pioneer San Francisco Journal

The Alta California, the pioneer journal of San Francisco, has ceased publication. The last number of the regular daily paper was issued this morning. Today all the employees were discharged, except H. G. Cohen, the manager, and H. Spear. A small sheet will be printed daily for one week to complete publication of legal advertisements now running in the paper.

The reason for the suspension is that the paper does not pay expenses and the owners are tired of running up a deficit.

From: The Oakland Tribune, 26 May 1891, Page 1, Column 7

25 May 2009

Memorial Day

Today we're grilling, playing Bocce in the backyard, and I'm thinking about the struggles we've been through that allow us to take time to enjoy our own homestead and relax with our families, feeling safe, full and secure.

Partly, I'm thinking of my grandfather, C. B. Jones, who was a fighter pilot in WWII, was awarded multiple medals for his service in the Pacific theatre, and served as commander of various fighter fleets during the war. He was a graduate of the USNA, class of 1926, and spent his career and his life in the Navy. He died when I was only ten, but I vaguely recall being bored by his tales of air combat missions, war politics and homestead frivolity.

Oddly enough, I'm also thinking of an ancestor of my husband's, Peter Toglio, who served with both the Confederate and Union sides during the Civil War. He served in the South in South Carolina, deserted, and went North. When he found there was no work, he took on an assumed name, and signed up with a NY unit.

For the latter, service was something he found himself in. For the former, service was something he sought. What's the difference between the two? Raising a son of my own now, I see the photos of the passing soldiers on the nightly news, and I wonder how their families get on, without them. They're all younger than I am, now, those men and women fighting so far away. I don't think I have the courage that they or their families do.

19 May 2009

Tribune Tuesday: Caused By Gin

A new series I am starting, sharing items of interest from this day's Oakland Tribune, back in 1891.


Mrs. Rousch Tells Why She Chased Her Sick Husband in Alameda

Mrs. Peter J. Rousch was examined before the Lunacy Commissioners this afternoon. It was asserted that she dragged her dying husband out of bed and threw him upon the floor and then pelted him with dishes and other articles. Mr. Rousch was compelled to leave home, and is now in a hospital in San Francisco. The lady stated that her husband is a drunkard, and while he was ill he drank some liquor and it made him insane. When she was out of the room he hurriedly dressed himself and ran out of the house and went to a saloon. She denied that she had pelted him and driven him from home. In explaining some of her own queer actions, she said that she had been in the habit of taking too much gin occassionally and that was the cause of her trouble. Judge Greene gave her some good advice and discharged her from custody.

From: The Oakland Tribune, Tuesday 19 May 1891, Page One, Column 5

17 May 2009

Alert: Family Bible on ebay with family pictures!

I was reading through some of my favorite blogs today, including the blog Forgotten Bookmarks, which chronicles the bookmarks found in old books by a person who works at a used bookstore.

They posted recently about an 1837 family bible that includes not only family vital information, but also had in it photos which may likely be of the family itself. You can check out the blog post here (I recommend the blog for book and history junkies who like that sort of random stuff). You can see the auction for it here. The bible is being sold with the photos itact.

If you see a snoot as a high-bidder, that's me. I don't know the family, but would hate to see this land in a private collection and not make its way back to the family. I'll happily yield the auction or sell for cost to the right family! Spread the word and maybe we can hook a descendant up with this treasure!!

Surnames seem to include: Tyson/Tison, Hall, Carty, Knight

13 May 2009

Confederate Veteran Magazine Online [Reference Shelf]

I was watching an episode of History Detectives on PBS the other night, and one of the episodes concerned some photographs taken during the Civil War. In the course of the investigation, the researcher consulted a volume of Confederate Veteran, which was a new resource for me.

Published 1893 to 1932, the magazine served as a roundup of news from Confederate Veterans organizations around the country. Sections of the magazine recounted stories from the war, and also offered information on the deaths of veterans as they occurred.

I decided to check online to see what was available, and found the following resources online. Here they are, as an addition to your online reference shelf!

* Confederate Veteran, full view, on Google Books. Only three years are available at this time, (1916, 1920, and 1922), although there is an 1895 edition under the full name of "The Confederate Veteran Magazine".

* Transcriptions of the 1909 editions of Confederate Veteran Magazine, hosted at GenNet. Each issue is presented in a separate PDF file.

* State and regiment index, presented by the St. Louis Public Library. Offers volume and issue references for articles re: different regiments.

* Library of Virginia Confederate Veteran index. Full names-index to all years of the publication.

06 May 2009

Survivor Accounts of the Lusitania [Tidbits]

Tomorrow is the 84th anniversary of the sinking of The Lusitania, so why not read some eye-witness and survivor accounts over at Internet Archive?

01 May 2009

A Capital Idea! [Quick Tips]

I was sitting at my computer in my home in California the other day, ruing my lack of digital access to a certain year-span of Charleston, South Carolina newspapers. I had been making good progress researching a particular family of Charleston (we'll call it family "A"), but realized that my goal of searching on family members in newspapers was impeded by the gap in digital coverage. Frustrated, I decided to shift gears and pick up on some research on a different family (family B) living 155 miles away in the state's capital, Columbia.

As I was poking around in a very robust archive of Columbia papers, which included the year-span I was ruing just moments before, I decided to give in to a whim and searched on the surname of family A in the Columbia paper archive.

Imagine my surprise when the search yielded five results from 1908, all pertaining to an ancestor who had been arrested and tried for embezzlement during his work with a railroad company! Needless to say, I hadn't heard about this mini-scandal from family members, so the articles took me completely by surprise. As the ancestor was eventually acquitted of all charges, it was probably a case of "best left to forget", which the family tried to do, and moved on accordingly.

Days later, when doing a search in a newspaper archive for Augusta, Georgia, I tried the same family A surname, and found another article on the arrest and trial, this time with more details than even the Columbia papers offered. The embarrassment for the family was obvious--I could almost hear them moaning, "how many papers are they going to print this in?!?" The re-occurrence of the articles has led me to plan on making a thorough search in national-scope databases for occurrences of this ancestor's name in this time period. It's something I had never thought to do before, but armed with this new knowledge, I am excited to see what tidbits and details other articles may mention. At the very least it will keep me busy until the day I have access to those Charleston papers... either in-person or via the internet.

So what's the lesson here? Obviously, not everyone we're researching "makes the paper" in other states (for better or worse), but who's to say that they didn't? Papers in a state capital often include items of interest from all over the state- so there's a perfect place to start on searches when you don't have access to the papers in the town or time that you need. Think outside of the geographic box when performing your digital newspaper searches; you may just find something of intrigue and import which you never even thought would be there!

17 April 2009

City Directories on Internet Archive [Reference Shelf]

Periodically, I like to compile lists of available online resources for this blog, mostly because the web is a mess, and I love to organize information. I also actually refer to lists I have compiled myself, so it makes my own research a little more handy.

Today I am presenting a list of digitized city directories as available on Internet Archive. I limited this list to directories that give general directory to citizens of the locales-I have not included directories that were limited to businesses or business men; nor have I included professional directories like medical directories, etc. I'll save those for another post. Note that some of these books were uploaded to Internet Archive from the Google Books scans.

Researchers in Indiana and North Carolina are particularly lucky here, as the ACPL and UNC contributed a vast number of directories. There are smatterings from other states, both rural and urban.

As always, you can check my Google Books Index for ongoing cataloging of genealogy-oriented books from Google Books.

* 1881

Los Angeles:
* 1915

* 1914-1915

* 1868
* 1921

San Francisco:
* 1908
* 1915
* 1920
* 1921


* 1871 (Includes regions of Idaho, Nevada, etc.)

* 1799
* 1896
* 1897
* 1898
* 1899

New Haven:
* 1840
* 1842
* 1899

* 1867-1868

* 1859-1860

* 1844
* 1855
* 1856
* 1863-1864
* Blue Book, 1883-1884

* 1854

* 1908-1909

* 1909

* 1878-1879
* 1883-1884
* 1890
* 1893
* 1895-1896
* 1898
* 1900
* 1902-1903
* 1904
* 1906
* 1908
* 1910
* 1912
* 1914
* <1916
* 1918
* 1919-1920
* 1921
* 1922
* 1925
* 1927
* 1935
* 1936
* 1937
* 1940

* 1915-1916

Allen County:
* 1906

Bartholomew County:
* 1903-1904

Fort Wayne:
* 1860
* 1864-1865
* 1867
* 1868-1869
* 1870-1871
* 1874-1875
* 1875-1876
* 1876-1877
* 1877
* 1878
* 1882-1883
* 1883-1884
* 1885-1886
* 1888
* 1898
* 1901
* 1902
* 1903
* 1906
* 1907
* 1910 Parts I and II
* 1911
* 1912
* 1915 parts I and II
* 1916
* 1917
* 1918
* 1919

* 1895

* 1855
* 1857
* 1858
* 1865-1866
* 1867
* 1870
* 1875
* 1877
* 1889
* 1890
* 1891
* 1894
* 1899
* 1901
* 1902
* 1904
* 1906
* 1911
* 1912
* 1916
* 1918
* 1919
* 1921
* 1922

* 1910

* 1909-1910
* 1920, Parts I and II

Michigan City:
* 1893-1894
* 1909-1910

* 1857

South Bend:
* 1921

* 1893

Whitley County:
* 1897

* 1916

* 1912

* 1858

* 1789, Volume I, Volume II, Volume III, A-K, L-Z
* 1916 Parts I and II
* 1956, Volume I, Volume II
* 1957, Volume I, Volume II
* 1958, Volume I, Volume II
* 1960, Volume I, Volume II
* 1961, Volume I, Volume II
* 1962, Volume I, Volume II
* 1963, Volume I, Volume II
* 1964 Volume I, Volume II
* 1965
* 1966
* 1967, Volume I, Volume II
* 1968, Volume I, Volume II
* 1969, Volume I, Volume II
* 1970, VOlume I, Volume II
* 1971, Volume I, Volume II
* 1972, Volume I, Volume II
* 1973, Volume I, Volume II
* 1974-1975, Volume I, Volume II

* 1834
* 1845
* 1851
* 1853
* 1861

* 1907

* 1857

Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County:
* 1916

* 1845
* 1846

* 1915

Union City:
* 1909

Minneapolis/St. Paul:
* 1885

* 1876-1877

Jefferson City:
* 1900

Carson City, Reno and Washoe County:
* 1921

Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City, American City:
* 1864

* See also: Colorado

New Jersey
* 1838-1839
* 1851-1852

New Brunswick:
* 1909-1910

New York
* 1869

* 1912

* 1832

* 1837, Volume I, Volume II
* 1839
* 1853
* 1907
* 1914

* Social Registers, 1887 Volume I, Volume III, Volume IV, Volume V, Volume VI, Volume VII, Volume VIII

* 1913

* 1862-1863
* 1864

* 1883

North Carolina (Note that these city directories have been organized by category and keyword on Internet Archive, therefore I have linked to the aggregate pages for these cities, and listed below the years available as of this posting).

* 1887, 1890, 1896-97, 1899-00, 1900-01, 1909, 1910, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1922

* 1920-21

* 1875-76, 1905-06, 1907, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1920

* 1908, 1913-14, 1916-17, 1920-21, 1922-23

* 1887, 1923

Elizabeth City:
* 1923-1924

* 1915-1916

* 1910-11, 1913-14, 1918-19, 1921-22, 1923-24

* 1916-17

* 1916-17

* 1915, 1921-22

* 1920-21

High Point:
* 1908, 1910-11, 1913, 1919, 1921-22, 1923-24

* 1923-24

* 1916-17

* 1916-17

* 1922

New Bern:
* 1916-17, 1920-21

* 1883, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1896-97, 1899-00, 1901, 1921

(See Spencer)

* 1907-08, 1913-14, 1915-16, 1917, 1919-20, 1922-23

* 1916-17, 1922-23

* 1916

* 1865-66, 1871, 1877-78,1889, 1922

* 1908, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1921, 1922, 1926, 1927

* 1861

* 1859-1860

Mount Vernon:
* 1876-1877

* 1867
* 1877

* 1900

* 1956
* 1957
* 1959
* 1962

* 1919

South Carolina
* 1851
* 1852

* 1865

Salt Lake City:
* 1879-1880
* 1883-1884
* 1892-1893
* 1909

West Virginia
* 1907

14 April 2009

When RDGR Got Its Groove Back [Personal]

Well, take one part family houseguests, one part husband's birthday, three parts massive party that left the house in entirely too much disarray, blend gently with one tummy bug shared by toddler with parents, and you have a recipe for a neglected blog!

At any rate, I am actually wearing real clothes today, as opposed to pajamas, so I'm expecting good things out of both myself and my time this beautiful Tuesday! I have a number of posts backlogged, both here and on GYR of Contra Costa, including a report on my recent visit to Alhambra Cemetery in Martinez, and a number of resource spotlights focused on Internet Archive. Here's to a (hopefully) productive day!

23 March 2009

Genealogy and History Channels on YouTube [Reference Shelf]

ResourceShelf pointed out the European Library YouTube channel in a recent post. I was reminded that YouTube is actually a very lush source of information for genealogists... something I forget when I'm turning to YouTube for quick Elmo videos and the latest music. I was amazed at how much there was of interest!

Here are some interesting channels I have found, all with appeal for genealogists:

* Roots Television- Of course!

* The European Library- Includes links to videos highlighting libraries of member countries.

* UK National Archives Channel

* Spelman College- Haven't uploaded a video in a while, but the videos on their Oral History project are great.

* New York Public Library

* History Channel

* Southern California Genealogical Society

* Reno County Genealogy Society

* Family Tree Magazine

* Teapot Genealogy

* Genealogy Guy

* Allen County Public Library

* Genealogy Gems

* Genealogy Scrounge

* Family History Expos

* Elyse's Genealogy Videos

* Travel Film Archive

20 March 2009

Spring Has Sprung [Reference Shelf]

Since we moved into our new rental home a few months ago, my husband and I have been busy clearing out the large backyard of ivy and other plant-creep. The home and garden were clearly loved, but in the past ten years the owners of the home started to grow elderly, and just couldn't keep up with the garden tasks the way that they had over the fifty years they lived here. It's a work in progress:

It's been a sweaty and often muddy job, but the backyard is starting to get into shape for a summer vegetable bed. Watching the buds emerge from the stark greys and blacks of the fruit trees, watching a small bird build a lint and leaf nest outside of my office window... these moments of spring have been very close and poignant to me this year, perhaps because I am watching it all with a very inspired and wide-eyed toddler in tow.

It got me thinking about the relationships our ancestors had to land. As we trace out relations back through the years, moving out from the urban landscapes in which many of us live, through the neatly gridded suburbs, to the orchards, ranches and farms which sprawl through our family histories like expansive landscapes, you have to wonder what legacies of a relationship with spring, growth, land and earth we have inherited over the generations. You have to wonder, as well, what lessons and values we have lost.

I poked around and found some interesting links to online historical vignettes and information about all sorts of ways we have interacted with The Great Mother Earth over the generations. Hope you enjoy and are inspired by some of them the way I have been. Happy Spring to everyone.


* The American Gardening Museumincludes a small but very nice online exhibition of New England gardening from the 1920's through the 1940's.

* Wessels Living History Farm of Nebraska has a great website covering Midwest farming techniques and history from the 1920's through the 1960's. The site includes some Quicktime video interviews and oral histories with Nebraskan farmers.

* The LOC has some great materials online documenting how we turn to the land in dire times, like the War Gardening and Home Storage of Vegetables manual published in 1919.

* Growing a Nation, from the USDA and Utah State University, offers tons of information about historical farming, including a great Flash program about the history of American agriculture, and a very informative timeline of American agriculture throughout the decades.

* Harvest of Freedom from Cornell University outlines the history of kitchen gardens in America, and includes close-up images of historic seed catalogs and gardening guides.

18 March 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesdays: Sweet, Sweet Family History

My husband's Great-Great Grandfather, John Richard McIntosh, the famous confectioner of Columbia, South Carolina. Date unknown.

16 March 2009

What's in Your Wallet? [Reference Shelf]

I had a great time at the monthly California Genealogical Society meeting last week, seeing and meeting quite a few of my Geneablogger and Facebook genealogist friends. The presentation and talk by Frances Dinkelspiel on her book Towers of Gold was an unparalleled trip back in time to the California of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

A great tip came from Ms. Dinkelspiel when she touched on her use of resources through the eight years she spent researching for the book. She mentioned the use she made of electronic resources available through local libraries like The San Francisco Public Library.

A lightbulb went off over my head... no longer living in San Francisco, I hadn't thought of checking the SF library website for what's available electronically. Having lived in the Bay Area for ten years now, and having moved alot, I have library cards and active accounts in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and Contra Costa!

A quick drive through the library sites for those libraries yielded me some great treasures which I don't have access to otherwise: The San Francisco Chronicle from 1865-1922, Sanborn Maps California, HeritageQuest, and all sorts of other resources I've been laboring without for years!

So the tip is: Check out the electronic resources available from your local library; you may be pleasantly surprised!

And the question is: What library cards are in your wallet?

15 March 2009

Bring Back the Sixties! [Tidbits]

Alexander Street Press recently launched a new online database and archival repository, "The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives", and is offering a free trial through the end of March. From the website:

The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives 1960–1974 brings the 1960s alive through diaries, letters, autobiographies and other memoirs, written and oral histories, manifestos, government documents, memorabilia, and scholarly commentary. With 150,000 pages of material at completion, this searchable collection is the definitive electronic resource for students and scholars researching this important period in American history, culture, and politics. The database currently has over 34,000 pages.

I didn't live through the sixties, (dating myself here), but of course it was an important decade and I've grown up in the wake of the cultural quakes that took place then. And who doesn't love primary documents???

To login, perform a search and, when prompted for login information:

userid: bringback
password: thesixties

[Via ResourceShelf]

13 March 2009

Finding Useful PDFs Online [Site Review]

PDFse.com offers a Google-powered search devoted exclusively to PDF files and ebooks. An extremely simple and stripped-down interface allows users to locate PDFs by search or by browsing a tag-cloud of previous searches.

A meander through items in the genealogy and genealogy-resources tag-cloud included varied things like an LOC-authored guide to local history and genealogy publishers, a USGS guide to using Geological Survey maps and resources in Genealogy, and familysearch.org's file on Jewish Genealogy Research.

If you're looking for PDFs with instructional or overview information, PDFse seems to be perfect. Various tests searching for actual PDFs of books didn't fair quite so well... books known to be present online did not show up despite using varied search parameters. Best to stick to archive.org and googlebooks for actual books, but for all else PDF-wise, give PDFse a try.

11 March 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesdays: More Visualizing with Maps

Using Google Maps to trace the westward migration of eight children from a single family. Notice the cluster points in New York, Illinois, the Plains, then California. Children lived ca. 1830's to ca. 1920's, offspring of Robert May and Ann Rowe of England.

View Larger Map

09 March 2009

More Scholarly Resources Online [Tidbits]

More resources for free online scholarly journals of interest to genealogists:

* The History Cooperative includes links to journals like "The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography" and "Journal of American Ethnic History"

* Jurn.org is a search-engine specifically searching online e-journals with "free or substantially free" content. Seems to search Historycooperative.org and Thefreelibrary.com, as well as many individual journal sites.

* Questia in a paid-subscription site that does offer some free access to journals and books

06 March 2009

Fantastic Scholastic (Resources Online) [Site Review]

I recently came upon The Free Library in a Google search and spent some time, with interest, on the site. Despite some serious pitfalls, there is some great information on the site for genealogists willing to do some digging. That is, if you can get past the *cough* aesthetic struggles *coughcough* of the site, and can handle its untoward and awkward navigation.

The site does provide a keyword, title, author and subject search, which functions fairly well. You can also browse journal titles by subject, via the homepage. Once you have located a title you are interested in, you can subscribe to an RSS feed for that title and be notified when new content is added.

Some titles of notable interest to genealogists:

* The Journal of Southern History

* The Loyalist Gazette (Revolutionary War)

* Afro-Americans in New York Life and History

* Journal of Social History

Mostly of the historical ilk, but then all genealogists are historians, if all historians are not genealogists!

27 February 2009

Taking Gmail to Task [Lessons]

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I use my Gmail account as a customized, searchable archive for the many Rootsweb mailing lists to which I subscribe. While perusing these emails, I often find myself meandering through different lists, picking up tidbits of information I want to follow up on. I may jot down the name of a book I want to check out, the name of a web site I want to visit, or the name and email of a potential contact that I want to email later on. Often I jot these items down on a small piece of paper on my desk, which promptly ends up in the recycling thanks to my own foggy tidying, or the burgeoning green habits of my toddler.

I was searching for a method to organize the madness in this case, and a December post in Lifehacker gave me the answer to my problems! Easy to install, easy to use, and very VERY handy for managing tasks associated with, or originating in, your Gmail, the Gmail Task feature from Gmail Labs is a godsend for organizational freaks like me.

A warning though: the task feature, like all Labs stuff, is not promised to be entirely stable. Use of this feature is for those who don't mind spending some time out on the electronic frontier, away from the comforts of things like absolute dependability and guaranteed stability. Be wary and stay away, or be bold and grab the future! [And, as always, if a feature screws up your gmail or locks you out, you can always go to http://mail.google.com/mail/?labs=0, and the nightmare will be washed away.]

Dare to proceed? Then let's go!

Getting Started

Truly simple. Log in to your Gmail account and click on "Settings" in the upper-right hand corner. This will take you to (Tada!) your Settings page. Once there, click on the "Labs" link along the top of the Settings panel:

As the page says, the Labs section features a slew of experimental and beta features for Gmail. With the caveat mentioned above, scroll down to the "Tasks" feature, and click the "Enable" button:

Once enabled, if you return to your Gmail inbox, you'll see a "Tasks" link underneath your Contacts link, in the right-hand sidebar:

Clicking this link will open your tasks pane:

The task list is very simple click-and-type format, with the ability to do one level of indented nesting. I use this feature to create a "READ" list for emails that I want to return to when I have more time (I find this to be more useful than merely "starring" a message, which I use for very important messages I want to save.)

To add a message directly to your Task list, use the "More Actions" pulldown menu at the top of the email pane, and select "Add to Tasks":

Once added to the tasks list, you can edit the title by clicking on it, and move/indent the task by using the "Actions" menu at the bottom of the tasks pane.

Hope you find the tasks feature helpful!

25 February 2009

Primary Sources Again [Tidbit]

The LOC has a page up that allows you to view primary source materials by state. Very helpful for when you get lost in the matrix that is any government website!

[Via ResourceShelf]

24 February 2009

Primary Schooling [Tidbits]

If you're interested in what your ancestors were forced to study in school, you may be interested in the 19th Century Schoolbook Collection hosted by the University of Pittsburgh.

What child isn't immediately captivated by such works as "Analytical fourth reader : containing practical directions for reading, a thorough method of thought-analysis, a critical phonic analysis of English words, and a large number of new and valuable selections in reading"?

23 February 2009

Reading Women [Tidbit]

Middle Tennessee University hosts Discovering American Women's History, which contains links to digitized primary source and transcription collections around the web. You can browse by subject or time period, and all collections provide insight into various facets of women's lives throughout American history.

Cool random collections include:

* Fraktur Art

* Salem Witch Trial Documentary Archive

* The Historic American Cookbook Collection

20 February 2009

Best Map Resources [Roundup]

I've been map-centric in my research lately. Cartogeeking, really. Here are the sites that have really sucked me in of late:

* Panoramic Maps Collection from the LOC.

* Cultural Landscapes, also from the LOC. Waterway, resource and topographical maps, even some illustrated atlases!

* Rumsey Map Collection

* Perry Castaneda Map Collection


* Historic California Topographical Maps

* Bay Area Historical Topo Maps

18 February 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesdays: Mapping the Migrations

An experiment in visualizing the movement of ancestral surnames through GG-Grandparents. Some locations approximated. End points are mostly grandmothers. Makes me feel very English!

View Larger Map

17 February 2009

A Moving Experience [Personal]

Well, the housing crisis really came home for our family when we found out our former landlord was losing his house to foreclosure. I had been happy that as renters, our stake in the current mess would be limited to matters of home economics, and not to our place of residence. Unfortunately, that turned out to not be the case, and a rather impromptu and unplanned move soon followed.

We're getting settled in now, and as often happens, I see a lot of possibility and happiness in our new home and neighborhood. It was just an expensive and exhausting adventure to get us here! Follow the chaos of boxes, boxes, boxes with the recent (much-needed) waterlogging of our area (paired with an outdoorsy toddler) and things have been a mite rough. I'm glad to say, though, that my files are unpacked, the number of boxes are dwindling, and things are getting back on course. I hope to be posting regularly again by the end of the week. Thanks everyone for your patience!

22 January 2009

Google Reader for Beginners [Tidbits]

I missed this when it first came out, (I was in the depths of the post-holiday haze), and thought maybe you might have too:

Google put out a nice tutorial video on Getting Started with Google Reader, perfect for anyone looking to get in on RSS-feeds and readers without knowing where to start:

21 January 2009

Internet Archive Check-In [Reference Shelf]

Have you checked in at Internet Archive recently?

If not, you should check out the recent submissions from the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center to see if any volumes of interest to you have been added recently. You can subscribe to the RSS feed for submissions from ACPLG, and have automatic updates on volumes added to the digital library!

20 January 2009

Up Close with the Lincoln Bible [Random]

The Library of Congress has some great photos of the Bible that Obama used for his swearing in today. The tome, of course, was used by Lincoln for his swearing in 148 years ago.

16 January 2009

Food for Thought [Random]

I have just finished up reading Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, which explores the divergence in the rise of dominant social forces across continents. In other words, how come Europe came to dominate across the globe, instead of being dominated by someone like the Aztecs or the Australian aborigines?

Anyways, it was a fascinating book, and well worth a read. But in the epilogue, Diamond had a great sentence which really struck me as pertinent to anyone doing research, especially genealogists:

"Naturally, a host of issues...remain unresolved. At present, we can put forward some partial answers plus a research agenda for the future, rather than a fully developed theory."

And this from someone who wrote a 450 page book on the subject! It occurs to me that all genealogy is really a process in motion, and never quite put to rest. The fumbles, I think, come when we fail to engage in the ongoing development of our research, constantly pushing ahead with a "future agenda for research". Granted the complexity of history and the nuance of every single human life, we're writing and researching essentials that are not easily, if ever, captured.

It seems a great lens to approach each research subject, when we ask "who was this person, and what was their life like?" What is our partial answer? What is our agenda for further research? At what point do we call our theory "the story" and what steps do we take to document it?

14 January 2009

Wordless Wednesdays: Crafting with the Ancestors

My great-grandmother Ame Burgess (Jones) [center front] with a smattering of her female relatives, all (it appears) working on socks:

13 January 2009

Gravestone Memory [Random]

If you're bored or have a cold (like me), you might enjoy a quick game of Flickr Memory. Type in a tag (I used "headstone") and the game will find photos from flickr tagged as such, and you're off on a game of memory!

If you're particularly enamored of one or more of the photos you see, you can view them on flickr for more information.


[Via How About Orange]

12 January 2009

Dream Research Resources [Random]

I've been engaged in smatterings of random research on relatives lately, as I attempt to organize and tame my research files. I realized that often we are blessed with a great resource in one research location--great newspaper coverage, fabulous online records, that sort of thing--that we wish we had for EVERY location we're researching.

I thought I would share with you some of my absolute FAVORITE online resources for research, whether because of their usability, potential, or content. Each resource is particular to a certain geographic area, but each gives us an idea of what is possible when it comes to the future of online research. Only in my dreams would a single place I am researching have all of these kinds of resources online!

Newspaper Resource:

Pennsylvania Civil War Newspapers. Impressively searchable (wildcard, phrase and exemption searching) as well as an easy interface. I wish Ancestry could get something this usable working on their newspaper collection.

Vital Records Indices:

Louisiana Secretary of State. All death records that can be ordered are found on this index. No more shots in the dark when ordering a record! As a runner up I would vote for the Illinois State Archives and their myriad databases, although I find their site a little more confusing to navigate; I suppose that could be because they are presenting so much more information on so many more people from so many more places!

Vital Records Online:

South Carolina Death Records, 1821-1955, from Ancestry. I may be biased in this, since my husband has roots in South Carolina on both his mother's and father's sides, therefore I do a lot of research there. I do find this database (along with the Delayed State Births and Charleston Births database) to be very very useful to me as they provide images of the original certificates! This saves me about $15 per record I would have had to order from the state (and their turn around time was in the MONTHS)! Well worth the cost of the Ancestry membership just right there. I imagine that as data storage costs continue to drop, and broadband access increases, we'll see more and more primary documents going up on the web, as opposed to the index focus of previous years.

Various online indexes and transcriptions:

sfgenealogy.com. Hands down one of the best. A mind-boggling assortment of information bound to help anyone researching in the Bay Area. I have found reference to many people that I've researched in the Bay Area. That's pretty impressive.

For this category, I also really like the Illinois Genealogy Trails sites. The Genealogy Trails sites started in Illinois in 2000, and they recently started expanding to cover the entire United States. They don't say it directly, but I get the feeling they're trying to take another crack at what GenWeb has tried to do, but has failed in some regards: provide updated, data-heavy sites that are user-friendly and contain pertinent information. I would imagine as Genealogy Trails expands it will have the same "hit or miss" character to the individual county sites (some better than others, as is the case with GenWeb), but for right now their emphasis on DATA DATA DATA seems to be working.


Cheers to the Milwaukee Archdiocese for their Catholic Cemeteries Burial Records database. While some other diocesan records are incongruously protected from the light of day (*COUGHCOUGH ORLEANS PARISH I'M TALKING ABOUT YOU COUGHCOUGH*), the Milwaukee Archdiocese seems to understand that genealogical research connects people to their Catholic heritage. Seems like a no-brainer, but, well. As a Catholic myself I can admit that the Catholic church can stymie all reason sometimes.

Overseas Research:

The Jewish Records Indexing-Poland project. Talk about a dream online resource for overseas research! Unfortunately, the project was axed by the Polish government a few years ago, which saddens me greatly.

These are just some of the resources that come to mind when I think of sites that I visit again and again. What are some of your favorites?

09 January 2009

Getting Into Google Books II [Lessons]

On Monday we covered how to set up a personalized Google Books library, done with the aim of getting us to take better advantage of this digitized resource.

Today, I want to cover using the iGoogle Google Books gadget as a portal to your personalized library. If you use iGoogle as your homepage (or even if you don't) the gadget provides a handy access point for your library that is never more than a few clicks away. Let's get started.

Getting the Gadget

To get the gadget, you should be logged into your Google Account and have an iGoogle page setup. (If you don't have an iGoogle page already, you can check out my post on how to get one. The look of iGoogle pages has changed since that post, but the basics are the same). You can get the Google Books gadget here.

Once installed the gadget will look something like this (assuming you have added enough books to your library to generate recommended reads):

The Bigger The Better

Clicking on the maximize button (the little window shade in the top right corner of the gadget) will expand your gadget to full-size, taking up the full real estate of your iGoogle page, like this:

A fine, expansive palette upon which your genealogy-research masterpiece can be wrought.

Benefits and Drawbacks

First, the benefits. With the increased real estate of the gadget, you can now access your personalized library (and other books within Google Books) from within the gadget.... meaning you don't have to go to the Google Books site in order to search or browse books (the embedded API of the book is cut off a little in the pic below, but you get the idea):

Note that you can search within any given book (using the search field noted by the arrow, above) within the context of the gadget. You're deep into Google Books functionality at this point, but still on your own iGoogle page:

You can also browse all books within your library from the gadget, and preview suggested titles that are generated by Google Books' algorithms.

Unfortunately, there are some aspects where the Google Books gadget falls a little short, at least for now. Remember all those neat tags we attributed to our books in our last lesson? Well, for now, those tags are non-existent within the world of the iGoogle gadget. Add that absence to the hopeless cover view of the gadget, and your personalized library can get VERY difficult to browse once you have hundreds of titles accumulated.

On top of that, you cannot (within the gadget) refine a search to range only within the contents of your library; this is an option that is available on the Google Books site. This means that any "Search Books" term search you run through the gadget will default to searching the entire Google Books library... useless if you are trying to find something you have already placed within your own library, or if you are fishing for a term within a specific set of books you have in your library.

Despite those two problems (which I imagine will be remedied in future gadget releases), the iGoogle Google Books gadget is a great way to incorporate the world of digitized books into your research rotation. This way you can stuff your bookshelves full and still have room for more!

07 January 2009

Wordless Wednesdays: New Year's Start

One of many messy file cabinet drawers:

The "one person, one folder" method. We'll see how I like it:

I found a helper (aka "kinderhinderer")! File under "Love"!:

05 January 2009

Getting Into Google Books I [Lessons]

I know that even if you haven't been using Google Books with regularity up until now, you've made it your New Year's Resolution to be better about it. I know this, not because of my Carnac-like pyschic skills, but because I know you know how useful Google Books is for every researcher.

If you haven't delved into Google Books, this lesson should be enough to get you into the mix. In it, we'll initiate your library, then quickly learn how to add and organize the books you find of use in Google Books.

In the next post, coming this Friday (January 9th), I'll discuss using the iGoogle Google Books Gadget and what it can do for you. First things first... let's build our library!

Setting up Your Library

In order to get started, you'll need to obtain a Google ID and log in to your account. To get started, go to Google Books.

The first thing we'll need to do is add some books to your library to get you started. [If you already have books added to your library, you can skip this section and move on to the next one below.] We'll add two books of general interest for the purposes of completing this lesson.

Run the following search: "Genealogy: A Journal of American Ancestry". You should see the following at the top of your results:

Add these two books to your library using the "Add to my library" links as shown above. When you click on the first link, you'll see a box with information about the privacy settings on your library, and you'll be prompted to enter a nickname. Click "Save", then "Add" to the following prompt to save the book to your library. You will not have to repeat this process with any other books you add to your library.

After adding the second book to your library, click on the "My Library" link in the upper-right hand corner navigation to go to your library homepage.

Organizing Your Library

On your "My Library" page, you'll see the books you've added to your library. The page isn't pretty, and, to be honest, still isn't as functional as it could be, but with the recent addition of the labeling feature we are about to use, it has become EXPONENTIALLY better in terms of usability.

Here's my current example library:

What we're most interested in is the "Add labels" link beneath the books you have added to your library. Using this link, we can begin labeling and organizing the books in our libraries to make them easier to browse and use.

You can use whatever system you feel most comfortable with, and whatever system you feel will allow you to find what you're looking for in the most efficient manner. In my personal library, I've chosen to use state, county, and city names for many books. For more general books, I label them with terms such as "memoirs", "railroads" "guides" and "directories", along with a geographic term that narrows down their areas of concern.

Here's a shot of my example library with my labels in place:

Notice that the labels we've added are visible in green underneath each book, and that they are listed in alphabetical order along the left side of the page. The labels in this left-hand section serve as a keyword navigation for your library; clicking on a certain label (such as "journals") will bring up all books you have labeled with that term. Parenthetical numbers show how many books have had each label applied to them.

Get Busy

That's the very easy basics on building your Google Books library. For Friday, go ahead and spend some time on the Google Books site and add to your library books that you feel would be of use to you in your research. If you need some ideas, you can use the Google Books Index on my website, which lists full-view books of genealogical interest.

In Friday's post, we'll talk about maximizing the use of your library via the Google Books Gadget on your iGoogle page.