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Last November I visited the Providence Public Library.  The building, a jewel of Providence, has undergone some renovations and the collections are growing.  Help is available for you to navigate the materials held in the collections.

The Providence Journal Rhode Island Room at the Providence Public Library. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

The beautiful Providence Journal Rhode Island Room at the Providence Public Library. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

Special Collections

I had a chance recently to meet Rhode Island Collection Librarian Kate Wells of the Providence Public Library. Kate showed me around the various Rhode Island collections.  The library is a great place to visit for some genealogical research.  I noticed the following:

  • The Providence Journal Rhode Island Room was recently restored with plenty of room for researchers to sit at the large oak tables, lighted by brass lamps.  It’s a beautiful room and contains a decent Rhode Island genealogy collection in the bookcases that line the walls.
  • The Rhode Island Index and the Providence Journal Card Index are card files, arranged by subject, that help you find important Rhode Island stories from the 1900’s.  My ordinary ancestors are not in there, but my more illustrious ones (ok, there are one or two) are.  Newspapers are available on microfilm.  Kate pointed out that although obituaries are usually not in the Rhode Island Index, they may be in the Providence Journal Card Index for the first half of the 20th century.
Catalog of the Rhode Island Collection

Catalog of the Rhode Island Collection.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

  • Manuscripts, Sanborn Maps, scrapbooks about Providence architecture, and some business materials, including some jewelry and textile periodicals are among the special collections.  Perhaps the most interesting to genealogists working remotely would be the new and growing digital image site as well as the older FLICKR set of Photograph and Image Collections.  I was also intrigued by the Fred A. Arnold Collection, donated at his death in 1924, since he was a major genealogist in the Pawtuxet Arnold line.
Kate recommended this book to me for my questions about Providence neighborhoods - Civic and Architectural Development of Providence by John Hutchins Cady. Although the book is too pricey in the used book market, I was able to order a reprint from Higginson Books, during their Christmas sale.

Kate recommended this book to me for my questions about Providence neighborhoods – Civic and Architectural Development of Providence by John Hutchins Cady. Although the book is too pricey in the used book market, I was able to order a reprint from Higginson Books, during their Christmas sale.

  • Ancestry.com and AmericanAncestors.org (NEHGS) are available in the building.  This would be a free opportunity to do a journal article search for your ancestors on the NEHGS website.  You can pull up the full articles through the search screen.

Kate and the other staff are happy to help researchers with their questions, and it’s advisable to consult them since not all the collections are on display.

A card from the Rhode Island Index.

A card from the Rhode Island Index.

Important recent developments

Kate told me that there is interest in finally getting the older issues of the Providence Journal online, something that is badly needed.  The Journal Company has chosen a vendor for the project and from what I understand, fundraising is the concern right now.  I’m glad that this is being seriously discussed.

The big news in Providence Public Library Special Collections is that the nearby Knight Library has generously donated the James N. Arnold Collection to the PPL.

Kate is the only person I’ve ever met who shares my curiosity about James Newell Arnold (1844-1927).  She repeated stories she had heard – through a lecture Providence archivist Paul Campbell has given from time to time, I think – about James Arnold’s poverty. Mr. Arnold’s zeal for collecting and organizing vital records and materials of historical and genealogical interest led him to publish and edit a magazine (“Narragansett Historical Register“) for nine years, publish the books of vital record abstracts still in use today, transcribe cemeteries, and amass a huge collection of ephemera, notes, records, and books. But none of this itinerant historical work was particularly lucrative.  It is said (this is the part I got from Kate) that he was so poor and ill-kempt that the librarians at the Rhode Island Historical Society looked down their noses at him; he resented their ill treatment and developed a passionate dislike for the society.  Thus, at death he willed his materials to the Knight Library in Providence.  He was such a hoarder that it was difficult to box and remove the mountains of paper from his home.  I have yet to find any picture of Mr. Arnold but from what I’ve read, I think he may have been disabled in some way, perhaps walked with a cane.

The James N. Arnold Collection was hard to access and use at the Knight Library, and expensive to catalog and maintain.  Recently an agreement was made with the Providence Public Library to take over the care and accessibility of the manuscript materials.  Kate said her first priority for cataloging was not any notes from the vital records, which have essentially been published, but the more obscure unpublished materials.  She hopes to make the first part of the materials available for use by researchers by, perhaps, this summer.

When I visited the PPL in November, the boxes had recently arrived and were sitting in storage.  Here are some pictures.

Boxes of materials in storage from the James N. Arnold Collection.

Boxes of materials in storage from the James N. Arnold Collection.

Yes, some materials were actually in their original 1920’s bakery boxes.

A pie box, used for storage of Arnold's papers.

A cake box, used for storage of Arnold’s papers.

When the materials start to become available to researchers, I will be most curious about any notes Arnold kept on the Pawtuxet Arnold family.  I am a little resentful that he never produced a book on them; I would like to see how far he got with the family.

I had a helpful and interesting visit with Kate Wells.  I encourage those with questions about their Rhode Island heritage to consider consulting the collections at the Providence Public Library.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2016/01/28/some-rhode-island-collections/

Narragansett Historical Register logo

My mother’s family doesn’t have all that many stories.  But we all know that mom is afraid of thunderstorms, and when we were growing up, no one was allowed around a window during a storm.  When I became old enough to realize that such fears often have deep roots, I asked mom about it.

Mom said that when she and her twin sister were young, her father’s uncle, Eugene Clapp, lived in the house.  Every time a thunderstorm rolled in, he regaled the little girls with the story of how his sister had been killed by lightning while standing in a window.  Every single time.  It instilled a lifelong fear. When I became a genealogist, I decided to find out more.

While I quickly found the name Lizzie Clapp, I wanted to know her story.

Uncle Gene in suit and hat, when he still lived in Cochituate, Mass., with other relatives including mom and her twin sister, two adorable toddlers.

Uncle Gene in suit and hat, when he still lived at his own house in Cochituate, Mass. (1934), with other relatives including mom and her twin sister being held in place by their mom, Edna.

The family of Lizzie Clapp

Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clapp was born December 6, 1857, in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the second child of Albert Charles and Louisa Ann (Rollins) Clapp.

Her father, Albert Charles Clapp, sometimes called A.C., was a descendant of early Dorchester settler Roger Clapp (see more about his family in generation seven on this Cow Hampshire blog post).   Around 1844, at the age of 15, the slight, red-haired boy went to sea on a Pacific whaler.  From Honolulu, he shipped out on the Tuscany, back to Boston and then on to New Orleans, living there for two years and eventually enlisting in Company D, Louisiana Mounted Volunteers, for service in the Mexican War.

He became ill with malaria and dysentery while the unit was making its way to Mexico City, and after six months’ service he was discharged at Vera Cruz, Mexico.  He then worked on coastal vessels out of Key West, where he applied for a Bounty Land Warrant for 160 acres, in 1849, based on his service, and although it seems to have been granted, it’s unclear what happened with that – many veterans sold their warrants.   A.C. returned to Dorchester in 1851 to work as a painter and paper hanger, moving to Gardiner, Maine, at some point and marrying Louisa in 1854.

Alna and the Sheepscot River, The New England Magazine NS v.24 p 523 March 1901

Alna and the Sheepscot River, The New England Magazine NS v.24 p 523 March 1901

Lizzie’s mother, Louisa Rollins, was the oldest daughter of Hiram and Susannah (Grant) Rollins of Alna, Maine.  A.C. and Louisa were married in Gardiner, Maine on December 16, 1854 and their first child was born there in 1856.  In 1858, Louisa’s father Hiram Rollins was killed in a circular saw accident while working at a steam-powered mill in Gardiner, leaving behind his wife and several younger children.  A.C. and Louisa moved to Massachusetts shortly before or after that event, where they lived out their lives.

During the Civil War, A.C. worked as a civilian nurse at the Mansion House Hospital, Alexandria, Virginia and also for a Quartermaster in Nashville, Tennessee.  Louisa lost her next closest brother, Amos Pillsbury Rollins, a substitute private in the New Hampshire 5th Infantry, who was severely wounded at Petersburg, Virginia late in the war, dying four days later.  By 1869, the family had moved from Dorchester to nearby Readville in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, where A.C. pursued a career as a painter and paper-hanger.

Mansion House Hospital, a Union Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, where A.C. Clapp served as a Civil War citizen nurse. Library of Congress digital file LC-DIG-ppmsca-33628.

Mansion House Hospital, a Union Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, where A.C. Clapp served as a Civil War citizen nurse. Library of Congress digital file LC-DIG-ppmsca-33628.

By the time they moved to Readville, all eight children had been born, and two daughters had died as toddlers:

  • Charles Frederick (b.1856)
  • Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” (b.1857)
  • Henrietta L. (b.1859)
  • Eugene Rollins (b.1860) (birth record says Rollins Eugene)
  • George Hiram (b.1862)
  • Fanny Eva, died very young (b.1863)
  • Annie Adelia, died very young (b.1864)
  • Conrad Nathaniel (b.1866)

Lizzie gets a job

After the war, there were new industries and opportunities in Boston. The 1870 census in Hyde Park shows that all the children were attending school, except for Conrad who was only four.  Since she was listed as a 13 year old student in the 1870 census, and started working about 2 years later, I would guess that Lizzie graduated from grammar school (grade 8) or possibly attended high school briefly.

2016-01-06 22_16_19-A first book in American history, with special ...

From A First Book in American History

Starting at about age 15, around 1872, Lizzie landed a job at the Western Union telegraph office in Readville.  Readville had a busy Boston & Providence Railroad station and the telegraph office was part of that.  According to newspaper reports, her cousin Lotta Garberson (? – not traceable) may also have been employed there, and by 1876, Lizzie’s younger sister Henrietta (“Etta”) Clapp also worked at the telegraph office.  The supervisor was Mr. E. P. Davis.

I find it surprising and impressive that Lizzie was employed in such a responsible job as early as 1872.  My other female relatives that worked in the 1870’s and 1880’s were usually packaging goods, tending customers, or working in factories.  But Lizzie’s job required her to memorize a code that few people knew, be literate with a wide vocabulary, and demonstrate very accurate spelling and grammar.  I don’t think it was unusual for a girl to do this job, but it was nonetheless commendable.

From A First Book in American History

From A First Book in American History

The day of her death

July, 1876 was a hot month in Boston.  On the sultry morning of July 11, according to later reports, Lizzie may have spoken of presentiments of an early death.  Just after noon time, a cooler breeze arrived and the staff at the telegraph office received word that heavy thunderstorms were approaching.  Following normal protocol, Mr. Davis ordered the staff to stop all telegraph activity as black clouds approached.  To be extra cautious, he disconnected the wires from the telegraph machine, and left them laying on the counter.  There was no ground wire.

Lizzie remained at her post through the growing storm, gazing out the nearby window, as torrential rain and dramatic thunder and lightning rolled in around 2 o’clock.

Neighbors a short distance away said later that you could see the bolt of lightning form a sort of fireball which ran down the telegraph wire heading towards the station.  After entering the building, almost instantly, the current jumped from the open wires to a gold necklace that Lizzie was wearing, a few melted pieces of which were later found scattered on the floor. A flash and a deafening boom – like a cannon – sent all the staff to the floor.

Reports vary on whether Lizzie’s collapse to the floor was preceded by a scream, but when the others gingerly lifted themselves up, they noticed that she was still and silent.  As they lifted her head, the only mark found on her lifeless body was a black spot on her neck, and later a similar spot was found lower on her chest.  The nearby windowsill showed a gash of splintered wood.  Lizzie had died instantly.

At the neighboring Caryville railroad station, a little girl died from a lightning strike and numerous other strikes and fires were reported in the area.  Clearly, it was an unusually bad storm.

Lizzie’s funeral

It’s impossible to say how the rest of her family heard about the death; one hopes Lizzie’s sister Etta was not sent home to carry the news. My grandfather’s Uncle Gene would have been 16 at the time, and clearly the horrific death always stayed with him, as I’m sure it did with Etta and the others.

By the next day many papers ran the story.  Lizzie was reportedly “an amiable lady and a competent operator” and “a beautiful and very interesting young lady of 18.”

First Congregational Church, Hyde Park, from Hyde Park Historical Record, vol. 4 (1903), p. 73.

First Congregational Church, Hyde Park, where the funeral was held, from Hyde Park Historical Record, vol. 4 (1903), p. 73.

Her funeral was held at the Congregational Church in Hyde Park the following Sunday afternoon, July 16.  It was widely attended by family, friends, and delegations of telegraph operators from the cities and towns along the line, and by members of local Good Templar lodges (a temperance organization, of which Lizzie was a member).  The cortege began at her parents’ home in Readville, headed by eight men from the local telegraph industry. Delegations of the Oakdale, Montana, and Damon lodges of the Good Templar, in full regalia, followed, then the hearse, and a long line of carriages containing relatives, former schoolmates, and friends.

The flower arrangements sent by these groups were valued at $600, said to be the most beautiful floral display ever witnessed in Hyde Park; a beautiful cross of roses, an anchor of roses, two floral pillows inscribed with her initials and “Rest”, a floral lyre, and many wreaths and bouquets.  They “evinced the universal love and respect in which she was held by all who knew her. … As [the minister] referred in eloquent terms to the good qualities and amiable character of the deceased, the audience were strongly affected … ” (Telegrapher, July 22, 1876, p. 180)

Lizzie was buried at the ancient Dorchester North Burial Ground, the resting place for many Dorchester Clapps going back to the 1600’s.  Possibly, A.C. Clapp’s father George Clapp was buried there in the 1860’s.  I don’t know yet whether she is near him.

An 1898 photo showing the ancient Dorchester North Burial Ground. From Boston Public Library File 07_10_000036.

An 1898 photo showing the ancient Dorchester North Burial Ground. From Boston Public Library File 07_10_000036.

Effect on the telegraph industry

Lizzie’s death was discussed in articles and letters printed in The Telegrapher and the Journal of the Telegraph over the next several months.  Theories abounded about the circumstances, though the absence of a ground wire seemed to have been the strongest theory, and writers urged their colleagues to adopt that measure in every telegraph office. One letter to the editor even suggested that immediate efforts should have been made to revive her – a sad afterthought, for sure.  It was mentioned that her proximity to windows and a draft may have been the problem, and that halting operations during storms was primarily meant to protect the equipment, and was not thought of as a means of protecting the telegraphers.

The warnings about the windows and the drafts sound a little crazy now.  But they go a long way to explain the family story about the danger of being near a window – perhaps the family was left with that belief.

Towards the end of 1876, a letter in The Telegrapher suggested a collection be taken for a burial monument for Lizzie.  I’m not sure if that was successful or not.

Lizzie’s family

Lizzie’s sister Etta married Horace Bussey in 1887.  Possibly, she had no children.  Although she predeceased her husband in 1896, a probate record for her inexplicably showed that she left her property to her mother.   At the very least, Etta’s life ended much too early.  She was buried with four of her siblings:  the two babies who died young, Lizzie, and Conrad, who had died of diphtheria at the age of 12, in 1878.

I found a listing of the grave marker for the five siblings.  I have not seen a picture, and so don’t know if this was the monument proposed by the telegraphers, or a more simple arrangement that would have been affordable to the family.

A transcription of Lizzie's grave which shows four of her siblings as well, at Dorchester North Burying Ground. from Annual Report of the Cemetery Department of the City of Boston for the Fiscal Year 1904-1905: Historical Sketch of the First Burying Ground in Dorchester, 1905, p. 95.

A transcription of Lizzie’s grave which shows four of her siblings as well, at Dorchester North Burying Ground. From Annual Report of the Cemetery Department of the City of Boston for the Fiscal Year 1904-1905: Historical Sketch of the First Burying Ground in Dorchester, 1905, p. 95.

Lizzie’s parents lived to old age at 5 Chesterfield Street, in Readville.  A.C. grew too lame to pursue painting, and ran a tiny shop on his property selling cigars, candy, milk and baked goods.  The family had a hen house on their property, which burned in 1880.  A.C. received a small pension for his Mexican War service beginning in 1887, and survived on limited means, but one senses from his obituary that he was popular in Readville and lived an interesting life, involved in many pursuits over the years, including service in the early Hyde Park Fire Department.  A.C. and Louisa celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1904 and when they died in 1907 and 1908, only three of their eight children – Charles, Eugene, and George – survived them.

Mom and Uncle Gene

Mom told me that her father, Miles Baldwin, was sent up to Cochituate, Mass. in the late 1930’s by Aunt Jennie to see about some trouble Uncle Gene, a childless widower, was having with a niece who was claiming ownership of his property.  The upshot was that the elderly Uncle Gene was installed in the Baldwin household as a permanent guest.  For my grandma, the best and most hardworking housewife ever, this was not welcome news, and Uncle Gene proved to be crotchety, a little rude, and something of a ladies’ man with the neighborhood widows and the cleaning woman, a specter that my grandparents found a bit horrifying.  The arrangement didn’t last forever and eventually Uncle Gene moved on.

When I started making genealogical discoveries, one of the first things mom wanted to know was how she was related to Uncle Gene.  She was relieved to hear that he was only married to her father’s aunt; he was not a blood relative.  Personally, I think I feel otherwise; the Clapps are a fascinating bunch.

In closing

Thunder rolls up, and lightning still strikes.  One hundred and forty years later, I could consciously decide to end the fear that can no longer help poor Lizzie, but I would fail. In families, our happy stories and sad losses mingle together so closely that we have no choice but to hold on to them all.

Sources

In addition to many vital and probate records of Massachusetts, the following sources were helpful for this article.

  • The Clapps
    • “A.C. Clapp, Veteran of Two Wars, Dead.”  Boston Herald, 14 Nov 1907 : 3.  GenealogyBank.com.  Web : http://genealogybank.com  : 2016
    • Albert C. Clapp (Private, Capt. Connolly’s Louisiana Mounted Volunteers, Mexican War), bounty land warrant file 63-753 (Act of 1847, 160 acres); Military Land Warrants and Related Papers; Record Group 49; Records of the Bureau of Land Management; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
    • Albert C. Clapp (Private, Co. D, Louisiana Mounted Volunteers, Mexican War), pension no. Survivor 5539, (Act of 29 Jan 1887);  Index to Mexican War Pension Applications, 1887-1926, NARA microfilm T317; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
    • Annual Report of the Cemetery Department of the City of Boston for the Fiscal Year 1904-1905 and a Historical Sketch of the First Burying Ground in Dorchester (Dorchester North Burying Ground).  Boston: Municipal Printing Office: 1905 (in particular p. 95).  Internet Archive.  Web : https://archive.org/details/annualreportofce190405bost  :  2016
    • Brown, Janice A.  “North Conway New Hampshire Actor and Producer: Gordon A. Clapp (1948-still living).” Cow Hampshire: New Hampshire’s History Blog, 13 March 2013. http://www.cowhampshireblog.com/2013/03/13/north-conway-new-hampshire-actor-and-producer-gordon-a-clapp-1948-still-living/  :  2016.
    • Clapp, Ebenezer.  Record of the Clapp Family in America.  Boston: David Clapp & Son, Publishers, 1876.  Internet Archive.  Web: https://archive.org/details/clappmemorialrec00clap  :  2016.
    • Clapp, Henry Lincoln.  Fifty Ancestors of Henry Lincoln Clapp Who Came to New England from 1620 to 1650.  Part 1.  Boston: Press of David Clapp & Son, 1902.  Internet Archive.  Web:  https://archive.org/details/fiftyancestorsof01inclap  : 2016
    • “Fire Record.”  Boston Journal, 25 Mar 1880: 2.  Image copy.  GenealogyBankhttp://www.genealogybank.com  :  2016.
  • Lizzie’s death and burial
    • “About the Courts.” Boston Daily Advertiser, 19 Mar. 1896: 10.  19th Century U.S. Newspapers. Web.   :  2016
    • “Are Telegraph Offices Dangerous in Thunderstorms?”  The Telegrapher, 15 Jul 1876: 184. Image copy. Internet Archivehttps://archive.org/details/telegrapher12nati  :  2016.
    • “Crimes and Criminals.” Boston Daily Advertiser, [July 18, 1876]:  n.p.  19th Century U.S. Newspapers. Web.  :  2016
    • “The Death By Lightning of Miss Lizzie Clapp”  The Telegrapher, 29 Jul 1876: 185. Image copy. Internet Archivehttps://archive.org/details/telegrapher12nati  :  2016.
    • “The Death By Lightning at the Readville Office”  The Telegrapher, 19 Aug 1876: 201. Image copy. Internet Archivehttps://archive.org/details/telegrapher12nati  :  2016.
    • “The Funeral of Miss Clapp.”  Journal of the Telegraph, 22 Jul 1876: 180. Image copy.  Hathitrusthttp://hdl.handle.net/2027/nyp.33433069069502 :  2016.
    • “How Telegraph Offices Should Be Protected from Lightning.”  The Telegrapher, 29 Jul 1876: 184. Image copy. Internet Archivehttps://archive.org/details/telegrapher12nati  :  2016.
    • Jepsen, Thomas C. My Sisters Telegraphic: Women in the Telegraph Office, 1846-1950.  Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000.  (in particular, p. 35)
    • “A Lady Telegraph Operator Killed by Lightning.” Boston Investigator, 19 July 1876: 19th Century U.S. Newspapers. Web.  :  2016
    • “The Lightning – Miss Clapp.”  Journal of the Telegraph, 24 Aug 1876: 245. Image copy. Hathitrusthttp://hdl.handle.net/2027/nyp.33433069069502 :  2016.
    • “Proposition for a Monument fto Miss Lizzie Clapp”  The Telegrapher, 4 Nov 1876: 267. Image copy. Internet Archivehttps://archive.org/details/telegrapher12nati  :  2016.
    • “The Storm.” Boston Daily Advertiser, 12 July 1876: n.p. 19th Century U.S. Newspapers. Web.  :  2016
    • “A Telegraph Operator Killed by Lightning.” Milwaukee Daily Sentinel [Milwaukee, Wisconsin], 18 July 1876: 2.  19th Century U.S. Newspapers. Web.   :  2016
    • “Telegraphic and Electrical Brevities.”  The Telegrapher, 15 Jul 1876: 173. Image copy. Internet Archivehttps://archive.org/details/telegrapher12nati  :  2016.
    • “The Weather”  National Aegis [Worcester, Massachusetts], 15 Jul 1876: 2. Image copy. GenealogyBankhttps://genealogybank.com:  2016.

 

2015-12-18 20_10_16-telegrapher12nati.pdf - Adobe Reader

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2016/01/21/death-of-lizzie-clapp/

After my recent post about buying a printed copy of a Google Book, several people had questions about digital books and how to use them.  So I thought I would review what I do with digital books.  I am an avid book collector and digital books are no exception.  I would recommend to anyone that if they find books online related to their family history, they try to save them to their own computer.

The books I am talking about no longer have a copyright, which often means they were published before 1923.  What you can do with the books varies from site to site, so let’s go through my favorite sources of digital books one by one.

Internet Archive

Internet Archive is my favorite site for finding books, because the pdf’s from there are usually OCR-searchable, meaning, once I open the pdf, I can use a search command to find a name or word in the text of the book (not a perfect search; it depends on the quality of the image and the type).

Recently, Internet archive has changed their screens.  I find the new interface a little confusing.

Click on the book to start your search.

I went to http://archive.org and chose “Advanced Search.”  I usually use the “Description” field and enter a few words or an exact term (in quotations).  In this case I entered simply Westerly Rhode Island.  Three results came up, however, if a lot of results came up, I could have limited the results further by clicking “texts” over on the side column, thereby getting rid of recordings, films, etc.   One of the results was a manuscript from a Newport Library of a “Diary of Samuel Ward.” I’ve never seen this before, but how nice to be able to look it over at home.  Yes, please.

Results of my Westerly Rhode Island search show an intriguing manuscript, "Diary of Samuel Ward."

Results of my Westerly Rhode Island search show an intriguing manuscript, “Diary of Samuel Ward.”

I clicked on the image, and on the screen that came up, I could page through the document just by clicking on it. For a printed book, the gray edge beside the pages allows you to easy click forward or backward in the book.  Of course I could also download it in several formats.  Downloading as a pdf is what most people would want to do.

The Diary of Samuel Ward on Internet Archive. The image can be clicked to page through it, or the download options at the bottom can be used to file it on your own computer.

The Diary of Samuel Ward on Internet Archive. The image can be clicked to page through it, or the download options at the bottom can be used to file it on your own computer.

Clicking PDF brings up an option to save it to my computer.  I file it properly – my folders are divided into places and family names – I choose the folder that best fits the material.

Clicking pdf brings up this screen which allows me to save the pdf to my computer.

Clicking pdf brings up this screen which allows me to save the pdf to my computer.

Google Books

I tend to arrive at Google books through a general google search, but it can be accessed directly at books.google.com.

The Google Books screen also reminds you that you can build a virtual library of books right in your Google account.

The Google Books screen also reminds you that you can build a virtual My Library of books right in your Google account.

I searched for Spaulding genealogy and clicked on the book The History of Hillsborough New Hampshire Vol 2: Biography and Genealogy.  Since Spaulding genealogy was my search term, instances of those words are bookmarked with tiny blue bands over on the side – clicking those, or clicking “previous” or “next” will let me jump from appearance to appearance.

The Google book History of Hillsborough shows an EBOOK - FREE button.

The Google book History of Hillsborough shows an EBOOK – FREE button.

Pulling up the History of Hillsborough, I notice there is an EBOOK-FREE button in red.  That means a free version is available for download.  Hovering over the EBOOK-FREE shows me the download pdf:

Mousing over the EBOOK-FREE button shows the Download PDF option - click "PDF" to download.

Mousing over the EBOOK-FREE button shows the Download PDF option – click “PDF.”

… clicking on the PDF will start a download.  Then I would save the pdf to the folder where I want to keep it.

HathiTrust Digital Library

HathiTrust.org has the most user-friendly search function.  However, in the end, full books can only be downloaded by those with a login for one of Hathitrust’s partner universities.

I searched the phrase “Marcy Ballou” in full text search.

HathiTrust search

The results were very interesting.

Search Results _ HathiTrust Digital Library

(1) Pulling up the “History of Woonsocket” I used the Search in this text box, and saw that Marcy appears on page 223:

Full View _ HathiTrust D

 

Notably, Marcy does not appear in the index to this book.  Looking at page 223, I can tell that the mention is for Marcy’s cousin, the other Marcy Ballou.  But still, I’d never seen it before.

(2) Next, I looked at a Limited (search-only) entry.

Rhode Island genealogical register. v.3-4 1980-1982

I own those copies of the Rhode Island Genealogical Register, but hadn’t noticed Marcy Ballou’s name in there before.  Turned out they both referred to other Marcy Ballous.  But in this case, HathiTrust served as a useful index.

(3) Looking at The Ballous in America, I tried to search within the book.  I searched for a variant – “Mercy Ballou”.  Unfortunately, on the copy that came up, searching was not possible.  I pulled up an alternate copy on HathiTrust and searching was possible (oddly, both versions were apparently from Google Books).

Once a page is found with information, the PAGE itself can be downloaded even without an account.  But the whole book cannot be downloaded, even though this book, from 1888, is not under copyright.  Note that the bottom corner also offers options for creating a link to a specific page or to the whole book.

Ballous_in_America

FamilySearch Books

One of the nicest features of FamilySearch.org is the BOOKS section, somewhat buried under the “Search” menu.

Books section of FamilySearch.org - I would use the search box on this page.

Books section of FamilySearch.org – I would use the search box on this page.

Searching on this page will show results from any of the libraries listed on the screen.  I searched for Lanphere genealogy.

The Lanphere genealogy search on FamilySearch BOOKS brought up 131 results. Some look new to me so I'll check them out.

The Lanphere genealogy search on FamilySearch BOOKS brought up 131 results. Some look new to me so I’ll check them out.

Clicking on one of the results will either bring up a message saying you can’t access it outside of the Family History Center OR if the book is available as a pdf it will start to download right away.  However, it’s not really showing you the exact spot where the match is.  You will have to find that on your own.  But FamilySearch books is my go-to when all else fails.  Even if it brings up a book I can’t view, at least I have a clue and I can try to see the book elsewhere, perhaps in person.  If I were trying to find a specific book I would check out worldcat.org to locate a paper copy in a library.

How to use and maintain your PDF book collection

I used to keep all books in their own set of folders on my computer.  Now, each family name or place folder has a “books” folder within it.

The most important thing to me when I use a pdf book is to save my own notes.  At the very least, I leave comments to mark each page where topics of interest appear in the book.

Opening up a book in Adobe Reader looks like this:

My pdf copy of Genealogical Records of the Descendants of John and Anthony Emery. John Emery is highlighted and has a sticky note.

My pdf copy of Genealogical Records of the Descendants of John and Anthony Emery. John Emery is highlighted and has a sticky note.

To “highlight” text in yellow, or to leave a note, I click “Comment” in the top corner to access the Sticky Note and Highlight Text functions.  The open screen looks like this, with all my highlighted text and sticky notes showing in a clickable column down the side. This way, the next time I open the book, I can go right to the places I want. You can see I have done this about a dozen times in the Emery book.

A list of highlighted text, and notes, along the side serve as bookmarks for locations within the book.

A list of highlighted text, and notes, along the side serve as bookmarks for locations within the book.

When you are ready to close the pdf, you must save it to keep your notes.  Sometimes, my computer insists that I rename it to save it.  I do that, then delete the older version to avoid confusion.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2016/01/04/how-to-build-digital-library/

 

Merry Christmas to all my readers.  I value all of you so much and this year I have met quite a few of you, here and there, at genealogy events.  That was so nice!  You all keep me going, and you are all moving Rhode Island genealogy forward.

Hope you enjoy this stroll through a Providence Christmas of 75 years ago as much as I did. Clicking on the pictures will expand them.

Providence, December, 1940

The Outlet Department Store on Weybosset Street, in the snow. This is my favorite picture.

The Outlet Department Store on Weybosset Street, in the snow. This is my favorite photo.  I remember the fancy “O” on each upper window.

Putting up the Christmas decorations.

Putting up the Christmas decorations (in December!).

The Shepherd's Clock on Westminster Street.

The Shepard’s Clock on Westminster Street. There is Beauty Shoppe Entrance sign at the top of the photo.  Except for the clock, most of this is unfamiliar to me.

Trolley cars near the Veterans Memorial Auditorium

Trolley cars in the snow near the Veterans Memorial Auditorium and what I believe used to be the unoccupied Masonic Hall.

Christmas trees being unloaded near Brown & Sharpe.

Christmas trees being unloaded near Brown & Sharpe.

I believe this is shoppers looking at a doll display in the window the the Outlet. Market Basket is across the street.

I believe this is shoppers looking at a doll display in the window of the Outlet. The Market Basket, a supermarket, is across the street.

The Veterans Memorial Auditorium, with the State House lawn to one side. the Industrial National Bank building is in the distance.

The Veterans Memorial Auditorium/Masonic Hall, with the State House lawn to one side. The Industrial National Bank building rises in the distance.

Santa and some toys, this was also an Outlet window.

Santa and some toys, this was a Shepards’ window (thanks Midge Frazel for spotting the sign). I love the woman with curlers in her hair.  You don’t see that much anymore.

R.I. Cycle Co., a view of people looking in the window.

R.I. Cycle Co., a view of people looking in the window.

A display window at Woolworths. This is my second favorite.

A display window at Woolworths with children’s books. This is my second favorite photo.

Rain/snow at a busy intersection, Providence

Rain/snow at a busy intersection, Providence

Gazing at a display for the Toy Department, 4th floor. Must be the Outlet.

Gazing at a display for the Toy Department, 4th floor. This doesn’t look like the other Outlet windows.  Could it be Shepards?

The post you are reading is located at: http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2015/12/22/merry-christmas-1940/

Photos by Jack Delano, U.S. Farm Security Administration. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection.

Thanks to Barbara Matthews, FASG, I got a tip this week on Facebook about how to print an out-of-copyright book from Google Books.  I have wanted to do this for a long time, and tried it myself in various ways (not easy to do).  But this time, it’s easy.

Barbara pointed out that the Harvard Book Store has a large book-printing machine out on the floor called Espresso.  If you are in the store in Harvard Square, you can order a book and it will be printed and bound within a few minutes, ready for you to purchase it.

But she also pointed out that for the rest of us who will not be wandering around Cambridge anytime soon, there is another way.

Find a Google Book

Go to http://books.google.com.  Find a book no longer under copyright (often, that means pre-1923).

Google Books

The book I searched for came up; a full online copy was there.  I opened it up and looked it over – it was a good copy, and clear.  The next step is to pull down the “Get this book in print” menu to find the “On Demand Books option.

Annals of Centerdale

Then you can see the various vendors, and prices, for printing the book.

On_Demand_Books

Cambridge, Mass. would be the closest location to me (although I could choose any of the vendors).  The price for the 228 page book is $10.40.  Clicking “Get It” takes you to a screen where you choose white or cream paper for your book, then takes you to the Harvard Book Store shopping cart, where you buy it like a normal purchase.  I chose the cheaper shipping option – for the three books I bought, shipping totaled $6.50.

Another way, if using the Harvard Book Store, is to go directly to their online catalog, which includes Google Books.

A few thoughts

  • I would like to also be able to print books from Internet Archive.  I think it may be possible, but it’s not clear how to do it.
  • I will update this post with a picture of my volumes when they arrive.  I’m not sure what Espresso uses for a cover.  [update:  picture:]
The Google Books printed with a white paper cover. Clearly, a back and white copy of the title page was, in each case, used as a cover.

The Google Books printed with a white paper cover. Clearly, a back and white copy of the title page was, in each case, used as a cover.  They’re cute!

  • Of course, genealogists also benefit from the reprints of Heritage Press, and the on-demand production of old books from Higginson Books (currently having a sale) and NEHGS.
  • Having a husband who doesn’t mind building bookcases may come in handy here.
Spinning bookcase made by my husband.

Spinning bookcase made by my husband.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2015/12/03/printing-a-book-from-google-books

 

 

State- and County-wide Genealogical Books and Resources

for Providence County, Rhode Island

Comprehensive overviews

Map of Providence County, 1936. From John Hutchins Cady, Rhode Island Boundaries 1636-1936 (Providence, Rhode Island Tercentenary Commission, 1936), p25.

Map of Providence County, 1936. From John Hutchins Cady, Rhode Island Boundaries 1636-1936 (Providence, Rhode Island Tercentenary Commission, 1936), p25.

Cemeteries

  • Sterling, John E. North Burial Ground, Providence, Rhode Island, Old Section 1700-1848. Greenville, Rhode Island: Rhode Island Genealogical Society, 2000.
  • Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Commission. Search Web Databases. Database. http://www.rihistoriccemeteries.org/ : 2015. [builds on more than a century of work by Rhode Islanders such as James N. Arnold and John Sterling to offer a compiled index to what were previously separate resources. Click on “details” for the entry to see further info and, sometimes, a picture.]
  • Rhode Island Historic Cemetery Commission. Map of Rhode Island Cemeteries: http://www.rihistoriccemeteries.org/cemmap.aspx [a very helpful map to many of the Rhode Island cemeteries – some are very tiny and away from the road. Clicking a location brings up the cemetery information.]

Census records

[In addition to the federal census 1790-1940, there are specific census collections for Rhode Island.]

  • Bamberg, Cherry Fletcher. “Early Rhode Island Censuses.Rhode Island Genealogical Society website. http://www.rigensoc.org/cpage.php?pt=32 : 2015.
  • Bartlett, John R., “arranged by.” Census of the Inhabitants of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 1774. 1858. Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1969. [Access on Ancestry.com at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3081 ]
  • Chamberlain, Mildred M. The Rhode Island 1777 Military Census. Baltimore: Clearfield, published under the direction of the R.I. Genealogical Society, 1985. [Access on Ancestry.com at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=49316 ]
  • Holbrook, Jay Mack. Rhode Island 1782 Census. Oxford, Mass.: Holbrook Research Institute, 1979.
  • MacGunnigle, Bruce C. Rhode Island Freemen, 1747-1755. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1982.
  • Rhode Island. “Rhode Island, State Censuses, 1865-1935.” Database with images. Ancestry.com. http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=4721 : 2015 [no 1895 state census available. Be sure to check out the 1865 census whenever possible; it is incredibly thorough. When searching by time period on Ancestry.com know that all years are indexed under “1935.” When looking at the 1905 cards, go to the NEXT card to see the back of each card – 1905 collects some important data including birth date.]
`905 census for Catherine (Young) Ross, my gg-grandmother. The only record of her birth date.

1905 R.I. census for Catherine (Young) Ross, my gg-grandmother – the only record of her birth date.

  • Rhode Island. “Rhode Island, State Censuses, 1885-1935. Database with images. Familysearch.org. http://www.familysearch.org : 2015 [note: no 1895 state census available].
  • Waterman, Katherine U., transcriber. “The Rhode Island Census of 1782.” New England Historic Genealogical Register, volumes 127 (1) (January 1973) through 129 (4) (October 1975). [this is preferred to the Bartlett book, above, as explained in Cherry Fletcher Bamberg’s article at the top of this section.]

Church Records

Court records

  • Fiske, Jane Fletcher. Gleanings from Newport Court Files 1659-1783. Boxford, Massachusetts: 1998.
  • Fiske, Jane Fletcher, transcriber. Rhode Island General Court of Trials 1671-1704. Boxford, Massachusetts, 1998.
  • Rappaport, Diane. New England Court Records. Burlington, Mass.: Quill Pen Press, 2006. [a guide to finding records in the New England states]

Early settlements

  • Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Study Project, including The Great Migration Begins (3 volumes) and The Great Migration (7 volumes). Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995-2011. [this is the most authoritative compiled source for the earliest New England settlers, arriving 1620-1640. Many original Rhode Island settlers first arrived in Massachusetts during those years. Try the master index: The Great Migration Directory to be sure you are seeing all entries.]
  • Austin, John Osborne. One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2009.
  • Austin, John Osborne. The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island; Comprising Three Generations of Settlers who Came Before 1690. With Additions and Corrections. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. [The most important book in early Rhode Island genealogy. Always use a version with the additions and corrections; there are some notable mistakes in the 1885 original which is available online.]
  • Bartlett, John Russell. Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England. Volumes 1 – 10. Reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1968. [contains many personal details including date of freeman status, military appointments, state purchases from residents, tensions between towns, roads, and criminal matters. Can be accessed online, see http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/records-of-the-colony-of-rhode-island/  ]
Title page from Records of the Colony of Rhode Island, volume 1.

Title page from Records of the Colony of Rhode Island, volume 1.

  • Bowen, Richard LeBaron. The Providence Oath of Allegiance and Its Signers 1651-2. Providence: Issued from the General Court of the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 1943.
  • Field, Edward. Tax Lists of the Town of Providence During the Administration of Sir Edmund Andros and His Council 1686-1689. Providence: Howard W. Preston, 1895.
  • Godfrey Memorial Library, comp. “American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI).” Database on-line. Ancestry.com. http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3599 Original data: Godfrey Memorial Library. American Genealogical-Biographical Index. Middletown, CT, USA: Godfrey Memorial Library. [A complied index to many of the holdings of the Godfrey Memorial Library (a genealogy library in Connecticut); an index of names. Also available at larger genealogy libraries in hard copy (over 200 volumes). Once a citation is found, Godfrey has a photocopy service where they will, for a fee, copy the particular item that was cited. Content includes the Genealogy Column of the Boston Transcript, which is likely to contain a reader query about an ancestor and, possibly, in a subsequent entry, an informed response from a genealogist.]
  • Rhode Island Land Evidences, Volume 1, 1648-1696. ABSTRACTS. Providence: 1921. [access online: https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE7738541 ]

History

  • Bayles, Richard Mather, ed. History of Providence County, Rhode Island. 2 volumes. New York, W. W. Preston, 1891. [access online at Hathitrust.org: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009580123 ]
  • Parker, J. Carlyle, compiler. Rhode Island Biographical and Genealogical Sketch Index.   Turlock, CA, Marietta Publishing Co., 1991. [a handy guide to various “mug books” published in the late 1800’s, useful if your ancestor was prominent during that period. ]

Immigration

  • Taylor, Maureen A. Rhode Island Passenger ListsPort of Providence 1798-1808; 1820-1872 Port of Bristol and Warren 1820-1871; Compiled from United States Custom House Papers.  Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1995.
  • Ancestry.com. “Rhode Island, Indexes to Naturalization Records, 1890-1992.” Database on-line. Ancestry.com. http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2897

Manuscript and archival collections

Military

  • Ancestry.com. “U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865”. Database on-line. Ancestry.com. http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1666
  • Chapin, Howard M. Rhode Island in the Colonial Wars: A List of Soldiers and Sailors in King George’s War 1740-1748 and A List of Rhode Island Soldiers and Sailors in the old French & Indian War 1755-1762. 1918 & 1920. Reprint, Genealogical Publishing Co, 2010. [access online: https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE3190801]
  • Cowell, Benjamin. Spirit of 76 in Rhode Island, or, Sketches of the Efforts of the Government and People in the War of the Revolution. 1850. Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1973. [Cowell assisted many veterans with their pension applications in Rhode Island in the decades leading up to the publication of the book.]
  • Peirce, Ebenezer W. Peirce’s Colonial Lists: Civil, Military and Professional Lists of Plymouth and Rhode Island Colonies, 1621-1700. Reprint, Baltimore: Clearfield, 2001.
  • Rhode Island Historical Society. Register of Seamen’s Protection Certificates from the Providence, Rhode Island Custom District 1796-1870. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1995.
  • Rhode Island in the American Revolution: A Source Guide for Genealogists and Historians by Eric G. Grundset for the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR Source Guides on the American Revolution Series No. 4), 2014.  [An excellent bibliography – not limited to military – also covers any materials from that era]
Rhode Island in the American Revolution, A Source Guide for Genealogists and Historians

Rhode Island in the American Revolution, A Source Guide for Genealogists and Historians

  • Smith, Joseph Jencks. Civil and Military List of Rhode Island. 1647-1800. Providence: Preston and Rounds, 1900. [See also New Index to the Civil and Military Lists of Rhode Island by Joseph Jencks Smith, 1907.]

Newspapers

[The most needed newspaper resource for Providence County would be an indexed, digital archive of The Providence Journal since 1829. This does not yet exist.]

Probate

Vital Records

  • Arnold, James N. Vital Records of Rhode Island, 1636-1850. Volumes 1 – 21. [for a guide to all volumes, and links, see http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/free-r-i-vital-records/  ]
  • Beaman, Alden G. Rhode Island Vital Records, New Series. Volumes 1 – 13. [Some coverage in Newport, Washington, and Kent Counties only. Vital records often gleaned from other types of records, like gravestones or probate. May be useful as an index to seek out the original record to make your own interpretation. ]
  • “Rhode Island Births and Christenings, 1600-1914. “ Abstracts. org. https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1675525 : 2015. [“compiled from a variety of sources” “not complete for any region.”]
  • “Rhode Island, Deaths and Burials, 1802-1950. “ Abstracts. org. https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1675536 : 2015. [“compiled from a variety of sources” “not complete for any region.”]
  • “Rhode Island, Marriages, 1724-1916.” Abstracts. org. https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1675538 : 2015. [“compiled from a variety of sources” “not complete for any region.”]
  • Torrey, Clarence Almon. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Volumes 1 – 3. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011.   [Torrey is essentially a bibliography of any mention of the married couple in various older sources. Consult the sources noted for specifics. Use the most recent edition of Torrey available to benefit from modern additions and corrections.]

Journals

The newly renamed Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center of the Rhode Island Historical Society, Hope Street, Providence.

The newly renamed Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center of the Rhode Island Historical Society, Hope Street, Providence.

[Additional note: Rhode Island families can be found in any of the major U.S. genealogy journals, or statewide journals. For instance, Vermont and New York State were common destinations for those who left Rhode Island around 1800. Try the journal search at the NEHGS AmericanAncestors.org site. ]

Local

Burrillville

  • Keach, Howard A. Burrillville: As It Was and Is. Providence: Knowles, Anthony & Co., printers, 1856.

Central Falls  

  • Haley, John Williams, Roscoe Morton Dexter, Mrs. Herbert Gould Beede. The lower Blackstone river valley; the story of Pawtucket, Central Falls, Lincoln, and Cumberland, Rhode Island; an historical narrative. Pawtucket, R.I.: E.L. Freeman Co., 1937.

Cranston

  • Clauson, J. Earl. Cranston: A Historical Sketch. Providence: T.S. Hammond, 1904.

Cumberland

  • Balfour, David W and Joyce Hindle Koutsogiane. Cumberland by the Blackstone: 250 Years of Heritage. Virginia Beach: The Donning Company: 1997.
  • Ray, Judith Jenckes. Founders and Patriots of the Town of Cumberland, Rhode Island.  Baltimore : Gateway Press, 1990. 
  • Rhode Island Historic Preservation Commission. Historical and Architectural Resources of Cumberland, Rhode Island. RIHPC: 1990.
  • Simpson, Robert. North Cumberland: A History.[Chelsea, Vt.] : [Acorn Press], [1975].
  • Sprague, Abigail A. (Field). “Abigail Sprague’s History of Cumberland.” Mss. 1023. The Rhode Island Historical Society Research Center, Providence, Rhode Island.

East Providence

  • Conforti, Joseph. Our Heritage: a history of East Providence. White Plains: Monarch, 1976.

Foster

  • Faig, Kenneth W, Charles C. Beaman, Casey B. Taylor. Early Historical Accounts of Foster, Rhode Island. Glenview, Ill.: Moshassuck Press, 1993.

Glocester

  • Fiske, Jane Fletcher, transcriber. Glocester 1778 Tax List: “A List of the Polls and Estates Real and Personal of the Proprietors and Inhabitants of the Town of Glocester in the State of Rhode Island.” Rhode Island Roots, volumes 19 (1993) through 20 (1994).
  • Perry, Elizabeth A. A Brief History of the Town of Glocester, Rhode Island. Providence: Providence Press Co, 1886.

Johnston

  • Nebiker, Walter, Russell Wright, and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission. Preliminary survey Report: Town of Johnston. Providence, R.I.: Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, 1976.

Lincoln

  • Greene, Welcome A. Historical Sketch of the Town of Lincoln, in the State of Rhode Island. Central Falls, R.I.: E.L. Freeman, 1876.

North Providence

  • Angell, Frank C. Annals of Centerdale In the town of North Providence, Rhode Island Its Past and Present. 1636-1909. By author, 1909.

North Smithfield

  • Nebiker, Walter E. The History of North Smithfield. North Smithfield Bicentennial Commission, 1976.
  • Rhode Island Historic Preservation Commission. Historical and Architectural Resources of North Smithfield, Rhode Island: A Preliminary Report. Providence: RIHPC, 1980.

Pawtucket

  • Historical Sketch of the Town of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, prepared by Rev. Massena Goodrich. Originally Pawtucket, R.I., 1876, reprinted Heritage Books, 2012.

Providence

  • Bamberg, Cherry Fletcher. 1776 Census of Providence, Rhode Island. New England Historic Genealogical Register, 159 (Jan 2005): 12-24 and (April 2005) 141-154.
  • Hopkins, Charles Wyman. Home Lots of the Early Settlers of the Providence Plantations. 1886, reprinted Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 2007.
  • Lemons, J. Stanley. Baptists in Early North America: Volume II, First Baptist Church in Providence. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 2013.
  • Mayhew, Linda L. “Gleanings from Rhode Island Town Records: Providence Town Council Records, 1770-1788.” Rhode Island Roots. Special Bonus Issue 2006 (April 2006).
  • Mayhew, Linda L. “Gleanings from Rhode Island Town Records: Providence Town Council Records, 1789-1801.” Rhode Island Roots. Special Bonus Issue 2007 (April 2007).
"Gleanings" - special issues of Rhode Island Roots.

“Gleanings” – special issues of Rhode Island Roots.

Scituate

  • Grandchamp, Robert. “With Their Usual Ardor”: Scituate, Rhode Island and the American Revolution. Westminster, Maryland: Heritage Press, 2006.
  • Mayhew, Linda L. “Gleanings from Rhode Island Town Records: Scituate Town Council Records, 1731-1786.” Rhode Island Roots. Special Bonus Issue 2011 (April 2011).

Smithfield

  • [Fiske, Jane Fletcher, transcriber?] Smithfield 1778 Tax List: “A List of the Polls and Estates Real and Personal of the Proprietors and Inhabitants of the Town of Smithfield in the State of Rhode Island.” Rhode Island Roots, volumes 21 (1995) through 23 (1997).
  • Sanborn, Melinde Lutz. “Smithfield, Rhode Island Death Records Culled from Probates.” New England Historic Genealogical Register 146 (October 1992): 343-351.
  • Steere, Thomas. History of the Town of Smithfield from its Organization, in 1730-1, to its Division, in 1871. Providence: E.L. Freeman, 1881.

Woonsocket

[Additional note: various city directories are also available on Ancestry.com: http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=8778 ]

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2015/11/25/providence-county-ri-research/

kitten-small2

I recently visited the Portsmouth Free Public Library in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.  Like most native Rhode Islanders I seldom “cross the bridge” to East Bay so this was the first time I had been there, and the first time I had been to the charming town of Portsmouth in a long time.

Portsmouth Free Public Library

Portsmouth Free Public Library

I was invited by Library Director Carolyn Magnus to give a talk to their genealogy group.  That was a lot of fun; what a nice group of people.  A woman afterwards told me a fascinating story about tracing her ancestors.  I think we all enjoyed the evening very much.

Entrance to Portsmouth Library

Entrance to Portsmouth Library

Carolyn had promised me a tour of the library and it was impressive.

Interior, Portsmouth Library

Interior, Portsmouth Library. The tall case holds a single donation of local history books.

The library is one of three libraries around the state that hold a part of the Rhode Island Genealogical Society’s collection (also Greenville, R.I., which I have visited, and West Warwick, R.I.).  Their holdings were arranged in one aisle of shelves towards the back of the library.  They do not circulate, but are available for use.

Be still my heart, the RIGS collection includes an original calfskin 1888 copy of Ballous in America. I've never seen one not in library binding.

Be still my heart, the RIGS collection includes an original 1888 calfskin copy of Ballous in America. I’ve never seen one not in library binding.

The library holds other special collections, including an extensive local history collection.

Portsmouth History collection

Portsmouth History collection.  I always try to spot unique and self-published materials in a collection like this.

There were a lot of East Bay-oriented materials in the local history section.  Also, the local historical Society has a little exhibit featured in a case.

Portsmouth History collection

Portsmouth History collection.  The topic was local school history.

Between the RIGS volumes and the local history, I recommend this site for researchers – the town is cute and might be worth a detour if you are ever in the area and have local roots nearby.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2015/11/12/portsmouth-free-public-library/

 

Choosing a gift for a genealogist can be puzzling.  Loved ones and, especially, relatives want to be supportive but don’t know how.  To those who search for that perfect idea, maybe one below will be right for your favorite genealogist.  This is an update and consolidation of all previous lists.

Electronic and computer gadgets

  • 1. Lifechat headphones for listening to webinars or group chats on the computer.  
  • 2. Cocoon Grid-It keeps small electronics together when traveling (also available on Amazon)
  • 3. WD My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable External Hard Drive  will help your genealogist keep data in storage in case of a computer problem.  This year, there are optional edge and cord combos to jazz it up.
  • 4. Eneloop rechargeable batteries by Panasonic, size AA, with a charger and case, would be good for a person who already has a Flip-Pal.  Try Amazon or other retailers.  I also like AA batteries that re-charge in any USB port.  These would be great in a computer mouse, for travelers, in case the mouse batteries died.
  • 5. USB flash drives.  8gb or 16gb should be fine.  Look for sales.  Combined with the lanyard, below, from Staples, this would make a terrific tech gift in the $10 range.
USB Drive lanyard would make a great gift, with an 8G flash drive to go with it - probably under $10 total.

USB Drive lanyard cord.  Flash drives sold separately.

Paper and stationery gifts

  • 6. A canvas or quilted bag, with zipper and inside pockets, for carrying notebooks, camera and supplies.
  • 7. Special markers for genealogists.
  • 8. Genealogists love being organized (even if, well, they’re not!)  Try the Brother Printer PT70BM Wireless Personal Handheld Labeler.
Brother Printer PT70BM Wireless Personal Handheld Labeler

Brother Printer PT70BM Wireless Personal Handheld Labeler

  • 9. Clip board. A clipboard, a pad, and a pencil can be brought into most archives, even if nothing else can, and a clipboard serves as a writing surface when at a microfilm machine or library.
  • 10. 97.8% of genealogists love office supplies.  OK I made that up.  But this little book of sticky Redi-Tag Divider notes was love at first sight.
Redi-Tag Divider Notes would be handy when working in books or notebooks.

Redi-Tag Divider Notes would be handy when working in books or notebooks.

About photos and archives

  • 12. Maybe a simple Canon Camera in the $100-$125 range.  In the end, cheaper than paying for photocopies.
  • 13. Camera digital SD memory cards.  And a little case to put them in, like this or this.  I really need these.  Just sayin.
  • 14. For the genealogist who serves as the family archivist (which is all genealogists), my friend Bernadine had a good experience with photo supplies from universityproducts.com, for instance, their archival storage boxes. When she phoned them, they were helpful.
  • 15. I like this Canoscan scanner for pictures and papers, but you might be able to find a cheaper one that you like.
  • 16. I like my Flip-Pal mobile scanner – it runs on batteries and records onto a memory card – no computer needed until you are ready to review and store the pictures. Many genealogists really covet these. A more sophisticated user would probably also like the Eye-Fi SD card to make the Flip-Pal pictures upload directly to a computer.
  • 17. Family Photo Detective by Maureen Taylor helps genealogists figure out those old family photos, and I also like Denise Levenick’s new guide, How to Archive Family Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally.
A versatile choice for any genealogist who collects old family photos

A versatile choice for any genealogist who collects old family photos

Books and magazines

Bookends from the Container Store

Bookends from the Container Store

  • 23. Genealogists enjoy reading Family Tree Magazine.  This is an especially good choice for beginners, and another recommendation for new to intermediate genealogists would be the book Family Tree Problem Solver by Marcia Hoffmann Rising.  For more experienced folks, Prologue Magazine is published quarterly by the U.S. National Archives and helps the genealogist explore federal records.
  • 24.  Higginson Books is having a sale through December 31, 2015.  This would be a good place to get a modern reprint of an old town history or family genealogy book.
  • 25. Again for experienced folks, a membership in the National Genealogical Society will include a subscription to the Quarterly.
  • 26. I always thought Ancestors of American Presidents, Second Ed, 2009, by Gary Boyd Roberts, was a really fun book.  I’m only related to boring Presidents, though.
  • 27. There are several series of folded laminated quick guides to various genealogical topics.  Check out these:  Portable Genealogist from NEHGS, Genealogy at a Glance at the Genealogical Publishing Company, and the single sheet KwikTips from PhotoTree.com.
Various quick guides are available.

Various quick guides are available.

Support genealogy small businesses

  • 31. I love the work of the Gravestone Girls.  I have a refrigerator magnet.
  • 32. Lookup the historical society for an area your genealogist is researching and see what they offer – maps are always good.  Also, the local genealogy societies usually offer publications or guides.  For instance, the Rhode Island Genealogical Society has many valuable books and cemetery guides at their online store.
  • 33. Research Mini Binder is adorable and would be good for a newer genealogist who is NOT completely computer-oriented.
Research Mini Binder for genealogy

Research Mini Binder for genealogy

  • 34. The idea of heritage cookbooks was sent to me by Wendy Grant Walter.  She recently purchased Great German Recipes and said: “in it are many dishes that I remember having as a kid that I assume my mom learned from her 1st generation German mom.”  At that same link many other cultures are covered, too. 
  • 35. Barb’s Branches has some attractive tree jewelry in an Etsy shop.  Among her interesting handmade “tree” pieces, she has the inspired idea of making jewelry from old silver spoons.  Amazing!
A pendant made from an antique silver spoon, by Barb's Branches.

A pendant made from an antique silver spoon, by Barb’s Branches.

  • 36. Every genealogist loves a beautifully executed family tree chart.  Two suggestions:
    • I have seen the work of Family Chartmasters and it is not only excellent, but each piece is tailored to the family’s preferences. Go to this link and scroll down to check out the samples.  If you have access to enough info, you could order one, if not, you could give a gift certificate and allow your genealogist to collaborate with Family Chartmasters on a wonderful end product.
    • i (chart) you makes beautiful custom ancestor charts; you send the data and they send you the file electronically, ready for you to have printed in the size you prefer.  This would have to be ordered by the genealogist, but a gift certificate (see the last few boxes on the main page) might be nice.  Thanks to Wendy Grant Walter for this idea.

Make your own gift

  • 37. Most genealogists have subscriptions, and would like magazine holders.  The pink print ones are from the Vera Bradley Outlet; the black ones are from Staples. It would be possible for a creative person to make some cute ones from boxes; there are plenty of instructions online (try Pinterest).
Magazine holders can be made out of boxes and covered with paper.

Magazine holders can be made out of boxes and covered with paper.

  • 38. Genealogists need – and lack – enough hours in the day for the endless organizing that they suddenly realize is necessary for family history.  Offer to visit for an afternoon “ScanFest” where everybody grabs a scanner or rigs up a photo station to hold a camera still, and captures those old family photos and papers digitally. Sort them first and then file in folders on the computer. And bring brownies. Thanks to genealogy’s own Miriam Robbins for the great ScanFest tradition.
Research bag, handmade.

Research bag, handmade.

  • 39. This is my “research bag” – I take it to libraries; it holds my notebook and camera and a few papers, flash drives, pencils, etc.  It’s lined brocade and filled with interior pockets on each side, and two long tape handles.  My mom didn’t make it, but she did buy it at a church fundraiser or something.  I have many bags; I use this one because it’s perfect.  For an experienced sewer this would not be that hard.

For Rhode Island genealogy

  • 40. Good news!  All 9 volumes of The Narragansett Historical Register (originally published in the 1880’s-1890’s) are back in print from Heritage Press.  Check them out!  vol.1  vol.2  vol.3  vol.4  vol.5  vol.6  vol.7  vol. 8  vol.9  How about one volume a year?

Narragansett Historical Register logo

  • 41. I heartily recommend the new book Rhode Island in the American Revolution: A Source Guide for Genealogists and Historians by Eric G. Grundset for the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR Source Guides on the American Revolution Series No. 4), 2014.  It is 200 pages of guidance on where to find Rhode Island records from the 1770’s and 1780’s, but it will not contain the records themselves – most of those are buried in archives and manuscripts.
Rhode Island in the American Revolution - A source Guide for Genealogists and Historians, by Eric G Grundset

Rhode Island in the American Revolution – A source Guide for Genealogists and Historians, by Eric G Grundset

  • 42. The most valuable book for those with ancestors in Rhode Island during the 1600’s is The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island by John O. Austin, published by Genealogical Publishing.  It maps the first three generations of many early Rhode Island families. You can sometimes find a cheaper used copy on eBay, but be sure to buy one with additions and corrections.
  • 43. The Rhode Island Historical Society has a bookstore at the John Brown House, and online, offering my favorite print of Providence ever, President Street by Joseph Partridge, 1822. I also love Market Square.  Only $15 each.
  • 44. New England Court Records by Diane Rappaport.
  • 45. The complete three volume New England Marriages Before 1700 by Clarence Almon Torrey would be quite a thrill for any serious early New England researcher.
  • 46. A gift membership in the Rhode Island Genealogical Society is a terrific gift for the serious Rhode Island genealogist.

Trying something new

  • 47. For those new to DNA testing, and looking for an easy way to try it out, I could recommend an Ancestry DNA test kit.  Your genealogist will use the kit to submit a sample (in fact, it will be important to the genealogist to choose WHO will be sampled) which will be analyzed, and the results, available online, will show links to other individuals.
  • 48. A better choice for the same money, for a genealogist who is more experienced, is the Family Tree DNA Family Finder test kit.  Family Tree DNA gives enough information to more accurately allow you to estimate, if the right people are tested, the common source of your matches.

Caution I brake for cemeteries

Just for fun

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