Libraries are an excellent source especially for books on a hometown, historical events or even biographies on individuals. Many such books were written during the time period or just after a specific ancestor lived in that town. Yet getting to the hometown library could be difficult.
Using Online Books, this site has thousands of books scanned and view-able on the Internet. By using a search box at the top of the page place a subject or keyword, such as a surname, hometown name, region, state, events, there are all types of possibilities that may be located right from your own home.
Placing ‘Maryland’ produced multiple selections ranging from biographies, history, geography, counties, etc. One especially interesting book was done by a Confederate soldier, Henry E. Shepherd, who was a prisoner during the American Civil War and he wrote of his experience at the Baltimore Union prison and of his time also at the Johnson’s Island prison in Ohio. The full text of the book along with any illustrations or photos are digitally available. His opening sentence was: I WAS captured at Gettysburg on the fifth day of July, 1863. A bullet had passed through my right knee during the fierce engagement on Culp’s Hill, July 3rd, and I fell into the hands of the Federal Army.” Can you image how great to locate this resource if you had such a relative?
This collection of one million books done by the University of Pennsylvania, has a brief summary of the book, its date and author; all to help narrow your search. You may have to review over many different books to see it anything is useable, but patience is always needed when you are doing family history.
Photo: Henry Elliot Shepherd from North Carolina, born 1844 and died 1929.< Return To Blog