Favorite Things: Books, and more Books

I’m sure you’re all familiar with what we genealogists go through to find our family history. I was putting together a blog about a Duggar-sized family in my family tree, then I realized that it was going to take me longer than this afternoon to finish. So maybe by Monday, I’ll have my facts and funny repertoire together enough to actually finish that post. Now I’m going to talk to you about another favorite thing of mine. It just happens to be books.

When I say books, I of course mean all books. I read just about anything you put in front of me and I’ll devour it in one sitting if my family would let me. It’s just one of those things I can’t live without. I happen to have a small collection of genealogy books that I’ve been meaning to sit down and go through one by one. Some I’ve looked at and read, but didn’t really utilize what I’d learned. That’s a crying shame too, because these books are pretty awesome.

This is one I’ve really got to finish reading. It was actually this book that inspired me to make the blog! The book tells you to sit down and decide what type of family history you are trying to write. Do you want a collection of pure facts? Were you suckered in by the enjoyable, but not so well documented Roots? In the book there are 7 different types of family history genres they tell you to think about. When I thought about what type I would be interested in writing, I decided on number 5. It’s basically a Family History Memoir. Just the word memoir made me think how conceded I’d gotten, just by deciding to write a book! Who am I to have a memoir? Well, why shouldn’t I have a memoir! Thinking back to all the conversations I’ve ever had with relatives or even acquaintances I realized something big. More than the actual stories I was telling, I mostly enjoyed just sharing the experience. I also find that when I discuss the fun hijinks my research pushes me into, the people I am telling enjoy the story that much more. So that’s my goal for life. To write my Family History Memoir. I don’t know anything else about it, except I want to call it something that is a play on my last name. How can you have a last name like Moore and not use it for fun?

Oh how I wish I had the gusto and unlimited time to actually become an Accredited Genealogist. Someday I might even see about going back to school for History or even Family History. BYU offers that. I know because I looked. It’s just a thought. This book really outlines the process you should take if you are even thinking about becoming a professional genealogist. I know nothing about the professional side of things but I’m sure reading and following the advice in this book can’t hurt.

This book I have spent many an hour reading and pouring over the pages of pictures. If you know me, you know I have an unhealthy obsession with Ireland. If only my dream Irishman would come and sweep me off my feet already! In a close second to my Irish obsession is a love of all things Scottish. This is actually another one of the ‘coincidences’ that I don’t believe in. All my life I’ve been obsessed with Ireland, Scotland, and Brooklyn. Even before I knew where any of them (yes even Brooklyn) were on a map. When I started researching my Dad’s family, I found many ties to all the things I’d always loved and obsessed over. It’s scary sometimes with those ‘coincidences’!

This book feeds that love I have for all things Scotland. What I love about this book is it gives information about the clans in relation to Scottish historical events. I don’t know about you, but I certainly want to know when my ancestor’s clans were involved in history.

I won’t deny I got all kinds of excited to see Menzies in the book. Of course they were in the book as they are a clan, but for some reason I was worried I’d open it and they wouldn’t be there. I didn’t get a good picture of it, but it shows you all the different tartans of a lot of the clans. I was aware that there were different kinds of tartans for different reasons (Dress, War, Regular). What I wasn’t aware of was how different these tartans could look! It’s quite an experience to really delve deep into something you thought you understood.

Ahh, here are the MacKinnons! The Love family were a sept (basically another branch of the family) of the Clan MacKinnon. If you think I found that out, you’d be wrong. I did verify it later, but I actually learned that little nugget of information from my Aunt Lori. She was sitting on a bench in her hometown and a random stranger came up and gave her a family history lesson! That’s how we roll guys. Love it or hate it, we randomly collect relatives.

Yes please? I’d really love to break down my brick wall. William H. Moore left Ireland for America in the late 1850’s. He was a young man at the time, only a teenager if I have his age right. One day I will bridge that gap to Ireland, and then I will find an Irishman to sweep me off my feet. Sorry, it’s a sickness. It really is.

All joking aside, this book is going to be very helpful. This chart is great to show you how your Irish ancestors can be identified from Census information. Gosh do I love the Census. Thanks to the 1900 census I was able to find out William H Moore immigrated in 1857. Then in the 1910 census I discovered he was Naturalized in 1859. I really should start looking for that Naturalization record somewhere. I’ve been hoping to find his death record for a birth date though. It’s just the thought of finding William Moore, from Ireland, in Brooklyn… It doesn’t even need to be said, in fact I can’t even think about it right now. I was lucky to find him in all those census records so far!

This book is going to be so much fun to explore. In fact, if you don’t see me for 5 months it’s because I’ve devoured the book and my Irishman finally swept me off my feet.

Believe it or not this book was a gift. From my sister no less. I’m really proud that she would know that brick walls, burned courthouses, and those blasted same names (William Moore, William Mays, I’m looking at you), was something I would be in desperate need of. Maybe I’d actually have solved all those problems if I’d open this book! Why do I do that to my books?

Now this is just mean. All this time, I could have had organized research! The truth is, I read this book immediately and thoroughly. However when I thought about applying some of these methods, well it wasn’t pretty. They are quite helpful and I’m sure they’d work… If I had a complete office setup and a million dollars to devote to nothing but file cabinets and printer ink. The thought of printing out all the records I have saved on my computer makes me break out in hives. Eventually I’ll do it though. It’s going to be wonderful.

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