You are working hard to gather facts, stories and information on your ancestors. You hope you might eventually put the photos, information and documents you have located into a book about your family over the decades. However, did you think maybe someone, another one or generations before you, may have already done that very process?
That is why it is essential to investigate what is held at the Bingham Young University Library in their Family History Archives in connection with FamilySearch databases. Numerous people over the years have donated their family history books, making them available for others to benefit from their research.
Going to the online site offers an easy search engine to see if there are any matches for what you are researching in their online collection. There will be histories of individual families, published pedigree charts, along with histories of hometowns. This collection is also coming from major libraries such as the Allen County Public Library, the Midwest Genealogy Center and the Houston Public Library.
The easiest method for searching is by inserting a surname. The search will pick up that surname if it listed with the subjects covered in a book. For example, out of the nearly 18,000 different volumes of material, the surname of ‘Jones’ is in 888 different volumes. With each listing the title of the book is given along with the person or institution that created the material. Then follows all the subjects in the book, which are mostly various surnames. Next is a general brief description and finally the source or library name where the book came from. By scanning through the various selections with dates and locations provided there is a good likelihood some family branches may be located.
When you insert a location, place it in the ‘Search All’ box to have listings for that town or county to appear. Go to the ‘Advance Search’ to place an exact name, phrase or location and search all the collections. Placing the phrase, ‘Jones Family’ in the surname box will help narrow down the possibilities.
Once you locate a book click on its title. A listing to the left has the chapter or table of contents or each page listed. Click on one and then the ‘Access This Item’ link at the top of the page to begin. All the pages are viewable using an Adobe Reader which is on most computers or the Reader can be downloaded free. They can be printed into hard copies for your files. Do a right-click with your mouse and you can also save as an image that page.
To assist the search of a participate book at the top of the page listings there is a special search box. Type in here a specific name or place; such as a person’s given name. The search will then bracket in red those pages where that name is located.
Remember, most of the material is the effort another person did in researching the family and there could be errors in dates, names or locations. Use what you find as a guide and check out the information yourself. This research will take some work and time, but the rewards could prove to be fantastic.