Why are historical books important to your research? Because your family didn’t live in a vacuum, says Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Nancy Hendrickson.
I got a sneak peek today at her Historical Books on the Web webinar (taking place tomorrow, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. Eastern time). She says that clues you’ll find in books about the history of the places your ancestors lived include the big events that impacted their lives, what their everyday lives were like and, when you lose their trail, why or where they might’ve moved.
Some examples of local events you might learn about in historical books:
- 1848 to 1849 cholera epidemic, which killed 4,000 in New York City
- 1888 Children’s Blizzard in the Great Plains (so-called because many children were caught unaware in schoolhouses on what had been a relatively warm day)
- 1869 Indian Raids in Kansas
- Order No. 11 (a Union Army decree that forced the evacuation of rural areas in four western Missouri counties in 1863)
- Great Fire of 1846 in Nantucket
You can get started looking for historical books about your ancestral locales by Googling history of , visiting county pages at USGenWeb, searching library catalogs (WorldCat is a good site for doing this) and searching for period books at sites such as Internet Archive and Making of America.
Nancy will get into detail about what you can find in historical books, and where and how to find them, in tomorrow’s webinar, Historical Books on the Web: Millions of Tomes at Your Fingertips. You can register to attend at Family Tree Shop (you’ll receive our new Discover Your Roots guide with your registration)—and use the code HISTORY10 for 15 percent off with our Family History Month storewide sale.