In the book Border Wars of Texas by James DeShields, there’s a chapter titled “Fall of Parker’s Fort—the Horrible Massacre. Fate of the Captives. A Thrilling Story.”
The thrilling story (although probably not so to the people who actually lived it!) is about an attack on Parker’s Fort by Comanche and Kiowa. During the attack, several people fled the fort and others were killed. “Hundreds of brazen throated savages shouted and screamed war-whoops, curses and taunts. The thud of blows delivered with war-clubs and tomahawks, and the sharp reports of firearms resounded. Blood and death were everywhere.” In the course of the story, a mention is made of my ancestors, Evan and David Faulkenberry. And, later in the book, during another run-in with Indians, is the tale of how both men were killed.
If you can find a book with stories about the early days of a place where your ancestor lived, it’s possible you can find mention of your ancestor in print. To date, I’ve found three: the Texas book, one about Indian raids in Lincoln County, Kan., and the other stories from Fisher’s River, NC.
An easy way to find local history books is to visit the Advanced Book Exchange at www.abebooks.com and do a keyword search, either for your surname (who knows, a book may have been written) or a locale where your ancestors lived. Also, visit the county pages of the USGenWeb at www.usgenweb.com and see if there’s a section for book look-up volunteers. For example, I’m a Jackson County, Mo., volunteer to do look-ups in the Lone Jack Cemetery book and the history of Jackson County book.
You can also visit your Family History Center (or search the online catalog at www.familysearch.org) to see if any county history books have been microfilmed. If not, you can request a photocopy of index pages from the book itself.
If you have a favorite source for books that might mention ancestors, e-mail me at [email protected].
Other sources for local history books:
Search for local history or surname history books.
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