Book and Movie Club: Ohio Books

 Here’s today’s book suggestion: 

I would like to recommend several books for family history seekers.  Some of these may be out-of-print but you should be able to find them at your library, or order them from  The Bounty Lands by William Donohue Ellis not only informs us on how the bounty land system worked after the Revolutionary War, but the process of Ohio becoming a territory and later a state.  To see how our American form of government worked on a smaller scale is quite an education.

The next recommendation is the series by Conrad Richter-The Trees, The Fields, and The Town.  This series is also about early Ohio.  It is told from the viewpoint of a teenage girl as she and her family settles in early Ohio after walking from Pennsylvania. After her mother dies, her father abandons the family and the girl takes on the protective roll.  We see her grow from a young girl to a young wife and mother, and finally as a grandmother who was very much part of the community that grows around the land her father claimed.  This was made into a television mini-series starring Elizabeth Montgomery.  It was called The Awakening Land.

After reading any of these books, one can understand why records weren’t always created as they had been in the colonies.

Beth Hanson
Williamsburg, VA

If you have a good book or movie that you’d like to suggest, please send it to  Thanks to Beth for her recommendations!


2006 NGS Conference Early Bird Deadline is Friday, April 21

NGS Conference, 07-10 June 2006, Chicago, IllinoisThe deadline is fast approaching and if you’re planning on attending, you can save yourself $35 by registering by Friday, April 21. Online registration is available to ensure that you make the deadline.

If you are planning on joining NGS to register at the early bird rate, be sure to use the above link, as your membership could be delayed if you join separately and cause you to miss out on the discount. Questions can be directed to

This year’s conference will gbe held 07-10 June 2006 at the Hyatt Regency-O’Hare. Still undecided?  Check out the conference brochure.  (Requires free Adobe Reader)

For those of you who are attending, please stop by the booth and say hello! 

See you there!

Photo Corner: 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

San Francisco Fire and Quake 1906Today’s photo comes to us from P.J. Fowler with the following message.

Today is the 100th anniversary of “The Great Quake,” known by our family as “The Great Fire.” I thought you might like a look at a family photo taken that very afternoon on the street in front of their house.  Notice the writing-it belongs to either Grandma or one of her sisters, or possibly Great-Grandma.

P.J. Fowler

For more on the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, see Kurt Laird’s article from the March 21 Ancestry Daily News, and George G. Morgan’s article from July 2004.

Here’s some more information from Patti on this photo:

The back of the photo is pretty messed up but what I can read says: Dew Drop Inn  April 18, 1906.  From our back door on Sacramento Street. Neighbors-Mr. + Mrs. Schwartzburg, and Belle.
That would be Belle Clark Collins, (Grandma’s sister) So, that means it’s the back door of Erasmus and Laura Clark’s house (Grandma’s parents)  The Clarks always did have a sense of humor :)
Patti Fowler Clark

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Australian National Bibliographic Database

The following was passed on to us from Larry Czarnik. Thanks to Larry and to Sandra Henderson of the National Library of Australia for graciously allowing us to reprint it.

For many years now librarians have been able to search the national database provided by the National Library of Australia, to discover which books are held by which library (to put it simply!). In late February a public version, accessible to all, was made available. A search screen for the new service can be found at:

The national database (the Australian National Bibliographic Database) lists over 40 million books, maps, pictures, microfilm, newspapers and more, in over 800 Australian libraries.   Continue reading

Photo Corner: Nathaniel Noll, 1837-1908

Natnaniel Noll, 1837-1908Today’s photograph is from James Sunkes, Kettering, Ohio, USA.  It is a picture of his great grandfather Nathaniel Noll, 1837-1908.  He’s looking for some help from you.

Nathaniel was born in Berks Co., Pennsylvania and died in Lafayette, Indiana.  The uniform is unknown.  Any ideas?
James Sunkes

Book and Movie Club: Books on Pioneer Life

Here’s today’s book club review. If you have a book or movie you’d like to add, send it to and we’ll post them with the title or subject in the headline. 

I would like to add two books I have found to be fascinating descriptions of pioneer life.  One is Pioneer Women: Voices From the Kansas Frontier, by Joanna L. Stratton, published in 1981.  The author used memoirs from pioneer women, collected by her grandmother in the 1920s, to describe life on the frontier in Kansas.  The photo of harnessed turkeys pulling a tiny wagon is worth the price of the book! 

The second book is Treasures in the Trunk: Quilts of the Oregon Trail, by Mary Bywater Cross.  While this is primarily a quilt book, it includes many photos and descriptions of and by women who travelled the Oregon Trail in the mid to late 1800s.  The story of a teenage bride walking the trail, stitching squares together as she walked, and dropping them into a found copper kettle, while her young husband toils as a teamster, tugs at your heartstrings.  The couple figured when they got to Oregon, they would have a kettle, a quilt and each other.

Even if you don’t have pioneer ancestors–mine didn’t leave New Jersey until the 1940s–these books will give you a vivid picture of westward migration and settlement from a women’s perspective.

Jo Johnson
Stilwell, Kansas

If you missed the first few book and movie reviews, you can find them by clicking on the Book and Movie Club link in the sidebar.

Weekly Planner: Share a Family History Find

Have you located a record that might interest another family member? Why not take a couple of minutes to make a copy and send it to them? By keeping the lines of communication open, you are staying connected with family members who may be able to help you out with your research down the road. And who knows, they may respond with an important memory that the record prompted. Try it!

Using In Search of History

Juliana's cat, Pearl Jamby Juliana Smith

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I’m thrilled with the way so many of you have embraced the new newsletter and 24/7 blog. I’m in awe of your generosity in sharing your experience and comments with others, and am learning much myself. Beyond the tips that have me chomping on the bit to get back to my own research, the comments I am receiving via email and on the blog are also helping me to better get to know you and your interests.

With the new Ancestry Weekly Journal, we began a section called The Year Was. . . To my delight, this has been one of the most well-received sections of the newsletter. I’ve had my husband, who some of you may recall is recovering from surgery, scouring the Internet looking for tidbits of history to include with each year. (I’ll make a genealogist out of him yet!) Using what he finds, I dive into more collections that I think will help give us a peek into the lives of our ancestors.

Another insight was in the response to last week’s Weekly Planner about writing a biographical sketch. I have so much fun looking for historical background, for both AWJ articles and for my own family history research, that I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the resources available at that I find helpful, both for the newsletter and for my own research. Continue reading