One resource you probably aren’t using enough.

My Tappen, ND Connection

By Don Taylor
There is one resource I know that I don’t use enough, WorldCat. Every time I do use it I am amazed at the wonderful information I can find out about my ancestors.

WorldCat is the world’s largest network of library content and services. It itemizes the collections of 72,000 libraries that participate in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) global cooperative.

Last Fall I was researching my maternal grandfather’s youth. His father, Arthur Durwood Brown, located with his parents and siblings from Saline Michigan to North Dakota in the early 1880s.  From there Arthur and his siblings disburses through the area.  Arthur settled near Robinson, ND. His brother, Clifford Gerome Brown, settled near Tappen, ND, about 25 miles away. My grandfather, Dick, was originally born Clifford, apparently named after his uncle Clifford.  I also had been in contact with a third cousin, whose great grandfather was Clifford.

 

Delilah Brown c. 1924
Zona Brown c. 1924
Ellwyn Brown c. 1924
Photos cropped from: Tappen, 1878-1966: eighty-eight years of progress.
Pages 388, 390, and 389 respectively
North Dakota became a state in 1889, so folks that settled there before 1889 are often thought of as pioneers. With that in mind, I wondered if there were any books regarding Tappen, ND.
A Google search of: Tappen AND “North Dakota” AND History yield over 365,000 returns. Way too much to even think about. I searched just Google Books and received over 3000 returns. Still, too many things to look at. Then I thought of WorldCat. A quick search on WorldCat for the keywords, “North Dakota” and “Tappen” in the title –Twenty-seven results.  Much more manageable. Several of the results were clearly not of interest to me, however, several other books clearly were potentially interesting.
One of the many nice things about using WorldCat is that it shows if the book you are looking for might be available locally.  That is really good.  Also, if not, it provides all of the information you will need to request the book through an interlibrary loan. Finally, WorldCat also provides citation information in 5 different formats.  (I use Chicago but many people I know use APA or Harvard.)
Clifford Gerome and Louella Lillian (Bean) Brown
Source: Tappen, 1878-1966: eighty-eight years of progress.
1966. [Place of publication not identified]: [publisher not
identified]. Page 237
I decided to order Tappen, 1878-1966: eighty-eight years of progress through interlibrary load.  Sure enough, a few weeks later it arrived.  With the Christmas season my focus directed elsewhere, I pursued the book, saw quite a few things that were of interest.  I didn’t have time to deal with it then, so I just jotted down the page number of pages that were of interest, then I photographed those pages with my iPad for further investigation.
The files languished for nearly six months, but I finally got back to them.  Very interesting filler information for Clifford Gerome Brown and his family. A photo of Clifford and his wife, Louella.  Photos of various classes during the 1924 school year showing most of Clifford and Louella’s children. All images that I never had before; there were photos of the schools and churches they attended.An amazing amount of background information.
The process I recommend is:

1. Search WorldCat.org using advanced Search

Under Keywords enter state and history, such as:  “North Dakota” History

Under Title enter the city/town/county of interest.

2. Select a book that is of interest.
3. Check/search Google Books and/or Google for the book.
4a. If available for free through Google books, review the book there.
4b. If available from a local library, review the book there.
4c. If not available electronically or locally, order through Interlibrary loan via you library.  Use the information from WorldCat to request the book.

Certainly WorldCat.org is a resource I don’t use often enough and it is one I should use more. I’ll bet you’re like me and should use it more, too.

———- DISCLAIMER ———-

 

Annie Deborah Long Hobbs (1846-1913) and WorldCat

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 28 – Annie
Deborah Long Hobbs (1846-1913)

When you have a family that lived in one area for a while,
it is extremely important to check the Historical Society of that place and see
if they published a book on the early or important residents of that place. Through
other research, I know that Annie Deborah Long and her husband James Ashley
Hobbs had lived in Martin County, North Carolina most of their lives.
World Cat (www.worldcat.org)
is one of the best on-line resources there is for finding books and a quick
search for “Martin County North Carolina Historical Society” yielded some
thousand results. Because I sorted the results by relevance, only the first ten
or twenty books are probably going to be of interest. I worked through the
books on the first page and found one of them was at my local county library
(while I was living in Georgia). I visited the library there and gleaned a ton
of information regarding many of the individuals that populated Martin County
during the time of my wife’s family was there. “Aunt Hazel” who was actually a
1st cousin of my wife’s father wrote several of the articles. In the book, she highlighted
family members who she actually knew. Cool. There was even a photo of my wife’s
here-to-unknown great uncle. My process for using WorldCat is really easy.
Created an account on World Cat if you don’t have one. It is free and
lets you organize all of your book requirements. Then create several folders
to help organize your books. I used:

“Search the Internet”
“Order via Interlibrary Loan”
“Visit the Library”

Then, use WorldCat.org to find which books might be relevant. If a title is of interest, select it. I generally give the
book a tag that relates to the surname I am researching and then move it to my
“Search the Internet” folder. 
Later, I go through my “Search the Internet” folder and
search for the book title. Sometime the book is available on-line. Sometimes,
an index for the book is available on line. The index can really help you know
if the book is one you want to see or not. I add notes regarding my searches
directly to the item in my folder. These notes may be either public or private.
You choose.
If the book is not available on the Internet and seems to be
one I still would like to see/read, I move the book to the “Order via
Interlibrary Loan” folder. I then use my local library’s inter-library loan
system to order the book. Again, I make a note when I ordered it. Some
libraries will let you order directly from World Cat after you have logged in
via their website or proxy. Others require you fill out a local form.  Interlibrary loan is great, I’ve been amazed at some of the books I’ve been able to read using it. 
Finally, if the book isn’t available via Inter-library loan (not circulating), I
move the information about the book and libraries it is at to my “Visit the Library”
folder. I then use Evernote to capture the information about the book and
libraries and put it into a folder “Library Visits”. What is cool about that is that if I visit say the New York Public
Library, the Library of Congress, or Allen County Public Library, I can just
search for that library in Evernote and it brings up a list of all the books at
that library that I am interested in and what I was looking for.

Bio – Annie Deborah Long Hobbs
(1846-1913)

Annie was born July 7th, 1846, the oldest
daughter of Samuel Aquilla Long and Martha Ann Bryan Long. In 1860, I’m sure
she was a typical 14 year-old of the day; she attended school[1] and
otherwise things were normal until the Civil War. Her older brother, Joe,
enlisted in 1862 and her father joined up in 1863. 

Stories about the war survived. In one story, related by
Sara Long Johnson, “The Yankee soldiers plundered the entire house, taking
every feather bed to the yard where they cut them open and had great fun
yelling, “it’s snowing, it’s snowing. They cut the feet off the chickens, geese,
and young pigs leaving them in great misery. As soon as they left the animals
were salvaged as much as possible.”[2]  I can only imagine the terror and fear that a
young 17 year-old Annie had as the Yankees plundered her home. 
In another story, also related by Sara Long Johnson, when
the war was over, Annie’s brother, Joe, was making the long trek home. After
receiving much hospitality from another Long family, they placed a gold piece
in his hand. He expressed his gratitude an told them that his sister [Ann
Debora Long] was to be married in a short time and he would give it to her for
a wedding present.[3]
And yes, shortly after the war, Annie Deborah Long married
James Ashley Hobbs on 16 May 1866. A respectable 15 months later, she gave
birth to her first child, a boy, Charles Leon Hobbs. She and James Ashley would
have nine children in total.

Martin County Courthouse abt 1885
Courtesy www.carolana.com
She kept house and maintained a close relationship with her
friends at the Primitive Baptist Church in Hamilton. In 1898, her husband was
elected to be Clerk of Court for Martin County and the family moved to
Williamston. In the new home she still kept house and maintained a close
relationship with her new friends at the Primitive Baptist Church in
Williamston.
According to Hazel Armstrong Valentine, “Debbie Hobbs
was a petite little woman whose life revolved around her home and family. She
was conservative by nature, frugal in her habits and very generous with her
friends.”[4]
Annie’s grandson, Frank Alton Armstrong, Jr., became the celebrated WW II Colonel that the movie 12 O’clock High was patterned after. Her granddaughter Hazel’s husband, Itimous T. Valentine, Sr., was a famous judge, eventually becoming an associate judge in the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Annie died on 17 May 1913 in Williamson, N.C.[5]
I am yet to
find where she is buried.
Further Actions:
Find where is Annie
buried?
Determine
the location of their homestead from tax rolls.
List of Greats
1.    Annie
Deborah Long
2.    
Samuel
Aquilla Long
3.    
John Long
4.    
Aquilla Long

[1] 1860 Census,
District 9, Martin, North Carolina; Roll: M653_905;
Page: 443; Image: 291; Family History Library
Film: 803905. Enumerated 26 Sep 1860; Accessed 8 Apr 2014. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1860usfedcenancestry&indiv=try&h=41411573.
[2] Hughes, S. J. N.,
& Martin County Historical Society (N.C.), Martin County Heritage
(Williamston, NC, Martin County Historical Society, 1980), Article # 579 – The
Samuel Long Family. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/7138421.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Hughes, S. J. N.,
& Martin County Historical Society (N.C.), Martin County Heritage
(Williamston, NC, Martin County Historical Society, 1980), Article # 418 –
James Ashley Hobbs. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/7138421.

Don’t Forget Books – Sanford & Parsons in Wells county, North Dakota

Don’t Forget Books

When researching ancestors, particularly ones that settled a particular location early in that location’s history don’t forget to look for key books regarding the location.  
I’ve tried using Google Books first and OCLC’s WorldCat second, but, have found that WorldCat provides fewer false positives in the searches.  
First, I do a search on OCLC’s World Cat. As an example, I searched for: {“Wells County” “North Dakota”}  which yielded 257 potential candidate books. In this particular search the first two entries, Atlas of Wells County, and Soil Survey: Wells County weren’t of interest to me at this time.  The third entry certainly piqued my interest, The history of Wells County, North Dakota, and its pioneers : with a sketch of North Dakota history and the oregin [sic] of the place names.
I then highlight the title, copy the name and switch windows to books.google.com.  Generally, the book is listed on the first page of the google books search. I look at the book there, in particular look to see if an ebook is available.  I’m looking for the beautiful “  EBOOK – FREE  ” block.  If it is there, fantastic. In the search box below the book’s title I enter my desired search criteria, (typically a surname) and look to see if the book has anything I am looking for.  
If it is not there, I prefer to see the book myself and not rely upon others to do a lookup for me; so, at this I switch back to WorldCat and get the information I need to order the book/material via interlibrary loan.
Generally, in a couple weeks the book is at my local library where I can closely review the material for information pertinent to my research.  
In the case of The History of Wells County, North Dakota, and it pioneers… I received the book in a few weeks and reviewed it closely.  there was a nice seven paragraph biography of A. C. Sanford (Almond Sanford). The biography mentions his mother and father (my 3rd great-grandparents), a brother, and sister settled the area with him, at the same time.  Almond’s sister married William Wright. William Wright is covered in another biography in the book.  I also learned that A.C. had three cousins, Webster, Winfield, and Chas. E., who also settled the area at the same time. Elsewhere in the book, I learned that his uncle, Charles A. Sanford, was a major donor to the University at Jamestown, ND. So much so that a hall was named for him. (Sanford Hall). 
I was able to glean 11 source citations and a few dozen facts regarding the Sanfords and the Parsons that settled Wells County, North Dakota in the early 1880s from the book including this regarding my 3rd Great grandfather William Sanford: 

“Wm. Sanford and his sons, A. C. and George P. Sanford, located on Section 6 in northwestern Sykeston township in 1883.  Wm. Sanford was the father of Mrs. Wm. Wright of Cathay, and a brother of C. A. Sanford of Courtney, donor of Sanford Dormitory at Jamestown College.”
I am certain I will find more information in the three books I still have on request regarding Wells County, N.D., via interlibrary loan.  Hopefully, I will learn exactly how Webster, Winfield, and Charles E are related.

Interlibrary Loan and Edward McAllister

I know I mentioned it before, but I’ve got to mention it again, Interlibrary loan is one of your best friends. I wrote last January about the Georgia Virtual Vault and Edward Lamb McAllister
I still had many questions regarding Edward’s murder.  Could newspaper articles provide answers to the questions I’ve been looking for?
One of my favorite places to look for books, or anything is WorldCat. WorldCat is a huge network of library content. It will tell you the availability of all kinds of things at thousands of libraries. So, I wanted to see where I might find the newspapers I was looking.
It took some poking around WorldCat to find a Savannah newspaper from 1925 available.  World Cat showed The Savannah Press had issues from 1891 to 1931 available at two libraries.  Zooming in, I found it available at University of Georgia, only about 1-1/2 hour drive so certainly a possible road trip. (The holding at University of Rochester (NY) was a bit far for a visit.)  Looking more closely at their holdings, they appeared to have both a paper and microform versions and the microform has multiple copies. One more click and I see their status as “Not Checked Out.” I took that as code that they allow the film to be checked out and will allow interlibrary loan.  
Logging into my county library, I selected their interlibrary loan option, which opened their link to WorldCat. I found the same selection, Savannah Press, and ordered it.
Savannah Press
Jan 14, 1925, Pg 14
A few weeks later I receive a call from my county library, the microfilm has arrived.  Going through unindexed newspapers on microfilm is a brutal process. This one was like I expected.  The nice thing about having the film local is I didn’t have to review it all in one sitting.  I could take my time and review the material over several visits if I so desired. Nice. 
Anyway, the view was about 1/12 of the page, so it was necessary to make three sweeps across each page, top, middle bottom, looking for relevant articles. I read, the papers slowly looking for key words in headlines and the first paragraph of most articles. Luckily, I could skip over the Society pages, and the entertainment pages.
I found nine articles during the two weeks following his murder. Lots of detail about Edward’s life, a photo of Edward, a photo of the man arrested for the murder and a photo of that man’s wife. Could she be the woman he was “bedding,” as mentioned in the family oral history? There was even a photo of the grizzly murder weapon. 
What a treasure trove of information. Having the film available via interlibrary loan save me several hours driving time, parking hassles, (It is usually a hassle parking at a University.) and the frustration of using unfamiliar equipment. Yes, Interlibrary is one of my best friends.