Making Connections: November 2008

By Readers respond to Family Tree Magazine. Premium

Library Lovin’

The New Albany-Floyd County Public Library is indeed worthy of mention in “Top Shelves” (July 2008). Bright, well-organized and with extensive holdings, the library is a gold mine. But the best aspect is the enthusiastic and helpful librarians who patiently assist newbie researchers and rejoice with them when they find the information they seek. We certainly appreciate all they have to offer.

Anne B. Wagner
Portsmouth, RI

Editor’s note: Naturally, we couldn’t cover every great library in our July 2008 article — as stated therein, we selected our Libby recipients from libraries that completed our questionnaire. But we hope you’ll toot your favorite library’s horn by adding it to the “Best libraries for genealogy” thread in our Back Fence Forum <>.

Mac Attack

I’m somewhat disappointed in the Mac software review article (“Apple Picking,” July 2008). I’d been looking forward to it since the “Software Test Kitchen” PC software reviews in the January 2008 issue. Although the editors’ reviews are of equal quality, I greatly missed the personal reviews by actual genealogists. I felt that having comments from users about their favorite and least favorite aspects of each program was the best part of that article.

I understand that fewer genealogists use Macs, but we are here. If you put out feelers, you would have found folks willing to give reviews of the software.

Valerie Craft
via e-mail

Researcher Beware

Thank you for the Branching Out article “Fair Play” (July 2008). I have a rather lax attitude toward others using my research. I do research to keep the memory of our ancestors alive and am happy to share it.

I’ve been angered by the way some genealogists have used my work, however. The worst responded to a post I made on a Web site, saying he thought we shared a common ancestor but wanted more information to confirm before he shared his data. I sent the requested information with source material. I received an e-mail confirming we had the same ancestor, but he was a “professional genealogist” and I had to pay him for his research. Not only did he claim my research as his own, but he sold it to others and tried to sell me what he had stolen from others.

Alan Lopez
Anaheim, Calif.

DeNoble Pursuit

Reading “Desperately Seeking Surnames” (May 2008) and the sidebar “False Advertising” inspired me to share my successful experience using a surname book to track down ancestors.

In 1995, a cousin mailed me a book about the DeNoble family published by Halberts of Ohio. Because I was researching my grandmother Genevieve DeNoble, I was intrigued. The book included more than 60 DeNoble names and addresses, and I mailed a letter to each one explaining what I was looking for.

About 25 people replied, telling me how they were related to the DeNoble family. Of these, about 20 people pointed me toward a cousin in De Pere, Wis., who had collected more than 110 years of DeNoble family history. She had obituaries, family bibles, family diaries, newspaper clippings and pictures from as early as 1890. When she learned that I was putting together a DeNoble DVD, she sent me a box of pictures and obituaries to include. I scanned all of the material and sent it back to her along with four copies of the DeNoble DVD.

Gus Marsh
Huntington Beach, Calif.

Stormy Histories

I was born 23 years after the Tri-State Tornado (“The Weather Report,” May 2008) in Murphysboro, Ill., where I attended the Longfellow School until sixth grade. Every day, I passed the bronze plaque memorializing the 17 children who lost their lives there. When I started to trace my family 10 years ago, I discovered my great-grandmother, great-uncle and great-aunt died in that tornado. They lived in the village of Gorham, Ill., which was completely destroyed.

When I first saw the lot my father purchased to build on, the set of steps and sidewalk that led to nothing seemed strange. I later learned they were part of a house that was swept away in March 1925 along with those 234 townspeople. Thank you for the fine article. I will never forget Jane, Reuben and Ollie Mae Crain, and the others who perished in that deadly tornado.

Randy Crain
Paducah, Ky.

I was very disappointed “The Weather Report” didn’t include the Johnstown, Pa., flood of 1889. More than 2,200 people died, including almost 400 children, when the South Fork dam broke after a storm. As a lifelong resident of Johnstown and a freelance genealogist who performs research in Cambria County, I receive many inquiries from folks who had ties to this tragedy.

Dianne D. O’Shea
Johnstown, Pa.

From the November 2008 Family Tree Magazine