February 19, 2017

The Pros and Cons of Not Re-Shelving Genealogy Books in the Library

What’s The Alternative To Not Re-Shelving Genealogy Books?

Amy Johnson Crow shared an article this week in regard to the reason you should not re-shelve genealogy books in the library, and I would like to address the other side of the issue. The libraries don’t want you to re-shelve the books because it helps them keep track of which books are being used, which in turn equates to money for the library through showing that usage.

My experience with this was at the Burlington, Iowa library in their genealogical section. When we walked in there were bookshelves full of books, but some were missing from their places. There were very large tables strewn with books both open and closed. If we wanted to look a a book we either had to close the books on the table or see if it was in the bookshelf. Doing that was very time consuming and frustrating for us because we had a finite period of time to do our research since we were visiting from out of town. Our home was thousands of miles away and we couldn’t just pop back in another time.

The dilemma that I see in this situation is that while the librarians don’t want us to re-shelve books, they can’t always get in to the genealogy section several times a day to count and re-shelve so the patrons are left with the books on the tables and empty slots in the bookshelves. All of us want to be responsible patrons and make the librarian’s job easier, but surely there has to be a better way than having books in the way, or seemingly missing.

Have An Honor System For Showing Use Of Genealogy Books

As I see it, something has to give. Books need to be counted and re-shelved more often (by official volunteers)in order to make research easier, or have an honor system where when you choose a book you can make a note of it (you would anyway if you found information and wanted to cite it) and then be given the ability of re-shelving it to make it easier for other researchers to find it. Of course, you can cite that this method could be scammed by people just noting books to help the library financially, but I submit that it could very well go the other way and patrons could find it so much easier and actually are able to peruse more books and show the library that there in fact are more books being used than the library is aware of.

My thinking is that it would streamline the ability to find information more quickly, possibly create more honest income from the books being used, and keep the library section more neat and tables more accessible for those who might be looking at very large books. How frustrating it is to have to move books from one table to another just to be able to sit down and look at a book!

Some other articles you might find helpful:

A Dozen Genealogy Books I Own

A Wish List for Genealogists

Adapting Boy Scout Law To Your Genealogy

© Carol Wilkerson 2017

FREE Shipping when you order Flip-Pal today!

I have been using my FlipPal mobile scanner for my genealogical  business and personal use for about 5 years and even take it with me when I travel to visit family and friends. Many of you are wanting to scan and organize your vintage photos and other priceless keepsakes. If you’re visiting family, or they are visiting you during the holidays, now is the perfect time to scan photos and preserve your history. Sometimes, they are scattered in boxes and drawers, disorganized, aging, and unprotected from loss from water or fire. Photos that are difficult to remove from their picture frame, scrapbook or album. I recommend the Flip Pal mobile scanner – it’s a fun way to convert them into digital format.

Drop a hint to Santa about this special offer. Buy a FlipPal Holiday Value Pack. $154.97 ($25 off) and FREE SHIPPING. Sale ends December 22nd.

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Want to see how easy it is to open the package, set up the scanner and start scanning? Here’s a video you might enjoy.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Winnie Reddin Harrison Enumerated In Overton County TN Census of 1840 As Over 100 Years Old

Shaking Those Ancestry Leaves

I was checking ‘shaking leaves’ in Ancestry recently and it lead me to a new census record for 1840 showing my 4th Great Grandfather Elias Harrison (son of James). What was really special about this record was that it also included his mother Winnie Reddin Harrison (not by name mind you) as a member of the household who was age 100 or older! Winny/Winnie is my 5th Great Grandmother through my dad’s Pentecost line.  I do have the original 1840 census record image, but the one posted here in this article is easier to read.

On the Trail of James Harrison’s Revolutionary War Service

Originally, I had tried to go into the DAR through this Harrison line, but they rejected it because my cousins in Missouri who had been admitted to the DAR decades before didn’t provide adequate proof of James Harrison’s Revolutionary War service. So, that means that we later descendants have to dig a little deeper and find that proof. Finding this 1940 census record showing (presumably) Winnie Reddin in Elias Harrison’s household adds to the preponderance of evidence for her and presents one more link in the paper trail.

In addition, I was also able to use Fold3 to download the original documents and testimony of Turner Johnson substantiating the claim of Eli Harrison.

There is a two page transcription of Eli Harrison’s testimony in Overton County set at Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters

Revwarapps@Carolina.Rr.Com. (2016) Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Applications & Rosters. Retrieved November 03, 2016, from http://revwarapps.org/

©2016 Carol Wilkerson

Using Repositories In Your Genealogical Research

Escape From Hurricane Hugo 1989

Up Close and Personal with Hurricane Hugo

The Sea Islands, Amelia is the southernmost is...

The Sea Islands, Amelia is the southernmost island. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With hurricane Matthew making a beeline towards the east coast, it brings to mind our own brush with an imminent hurricane threat we had to deal with in September of 1989. We had arrived at our new home base of Amelia Island, Florida in October of 1988. It quickly became apparent that we were in for some different weather conditions than any of us had experienced before. Almost within a week in 1988 we were subjected to the brunt of a tropical storm which set us up for what would be some wild and sometimes worrisome hurricane seasons.

Back to September of 1989…Even after a short time living in Florida we were quickly educated to always keep a weather eye, especially in the fall. We were constantly updated about weather systems coming off the coast of Africa that had the potential to become major hurricanes that could make landfall. So, we had been tracking hurricane Hugo for quite some time when it finally got close enough that we were forced to make a decision to either stay on the island, or leave. We chose to leave. I do think our location to drive too might have been a bit of an overkill, but more on that later*.

For most of the last few days before Hugo made landfall, it was aimed almost directly at Amelia Island. It wasn’t until the day we left and through the night that it’s path was changed and pushed eastward by another weather front pushing east that moved Hugo’s track in that direction as well.

We were living in a rental house that September and all of our belongings we owned were there with us, courtesy of the US Navy who had shipped it cross country for us. That included a big heavy picnic table Jim had built. You know, when you have to evacuate you learn to set your priorities quite quickly. For us, that meant gathering up our important documents, pictures and the cat. It was never more apt a phrase that when you have to get away quickly “you can’t take it with you” applies so well.

When we drove to Florida from Washington in 1988 Jim had put together a small trailer and mounted a cargo container on top. We still had it when it came time to ‘get out of Dodge’ and proved to be a lifesaver so we could add containers, a cooler and tools to it. Inside the car (a Honda Accord) we had us and our cat, along with the cat box and her crate. How quickly we forget…I guess our son Greg rode with our friends in their vehicle.

From that last statement, you can see that we didn’t travel alone when leaving the island. We left town with our old Washington friends and previous next door neighbors, the Hesses. None of us had been in a hurricane before, or knew what to do when we had to leave the island. How far should we go, how far inland would the storm reach? How high could the storm surge be and how far in would it reach? I can tell you, I had visions of our house being swept away and the island being left barren! Hey, I’m a Washington state girl. You know…earthquakes, volcanoes and winter storms.

*Not knowing how far reaching the storm might be, we headed to Tallahassee. It might seem silly now, but because we didn’t get the alert to evacuate until about a day ahead of time most of the motels along the routes were already full. Instead of making tons of phone calls to try to find rooms for all of us close to the island, we just opted for Tallahassee and held our breaths that we would have homes to come back to the next day.

The weather was uncomfortably calm in Tallahassee and in our rooms we were glued to the TV’s hoping for any update about our little island. As I mentioned earlier, Hugo turned northeast and instead hit Charleston almost directly. Amelia Island had been mostly spared from the storm, but we had friends living on the outskirts of Charleston, South Carolina and the wife had stayed in their house with the kitties, while her Navy husband was on his ship that had made its escape from the base and put far enough out to sea to avoid the brunt of the storm. It was about a week later that I found out how our friends had fared in Charleston.

To be continued…

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