Monday, July 30, 2012

There IS a Book With My Family In It!!

Awhile back I gave a presentation to EWGS with the title, "Is There A Book With My Family In It??" Patricia Bayonne-Johnson replied:

"Yes, there is a book with my family's name in it! I thought about your presentation on that topic as I was reading The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925 by Herbert G. Gutman. A tip in a cousin's email stated that there were excerpts about our family in Gutman's book. I purchased a used copy in Berkeley in 2002 but didn't know then that my family was included. Reading the book now, and remembering your presentation, I browsed the table of contents and the index for the book and VIOLA! there they were. In this book I found the names of my second and third great-grandparents and their children living on Wakefield Plantation in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, owned by Lewis Stirling. The account also had the year of their births and a few death dates. On the birth register I found the day, month and year of the birth of my great-grandmother! So yes, there was a book with my family's name in it and I'm sure glad there was."

With Pat's indulgence here, I think the principle to be learned is that you won't know until you won't know what XXX record or YYY book might contain to answer your family history questions until you go looking. Was she reading The History of the Bayonne Family? No, she was reading what I would call a background book. The more you know, the more you understand, the more you'll learn about your family.

Thanks, Pat, for sharing.

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