Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Assembling a
Targeted Research Bibliography

While I was regretting, on this family visit, not bringing the book I had found at SLIG—the Tenmile Country book which contained so much information on my mother-in-law's Gordon ancestry—it occurred to me to look online and see if anyone had digitized it. I knew there was only a slim chance that I'd see that Leckey book online, as it wasn't old enough to have lapsed into the public domain, but I searched for it, anyhow.

And found another book on the Tenmile Country.

As luck would have it, there weren't any mentions of my mother-in-law's family in that tome, so no chance for me to share with interested parties. However, in the process, I discovered a few other books. There was one on Greene County, Pennsylvania, where my mother-in-law's Rinehart ancestors once lived. Then, too, I was able to find a "mug book" for next-door Washington County, Pennsylvania. And yet another volume tantalizingly specific to the Genealogical and Personal History of the Upper Monongahela Valley, West Virginia.

All these books contain background information on the region—one that meanders along with its namesake river through the two different states of West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania. Even better, they include mentions of specific families, including a good number which married into my mother-in-law's lines.

Rather than re-invent the wheel, each time I want to research ancestors from this region surrounding the Monongahela River, how much easier it would be for me in the long run to keep a listing of all the digitized books in my own personalized "card" catalog. After all, if we heed admonitions of bloggers like James Tanner, we'll put to practice the realization that so many of the world's books are already digitized—we just need to know how to find the volumes we're seeking. Case in point being this very example of my mother-in-law's roots in the Monongahela Valley region, an example making me wonder just how many books I can find on that very topic which will yield me information on her own direct lines.

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