Ruth's Genealogy

“I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” -Abraham Lincoln

This week we’re going to shine the spotlight on other historical books that benefit the genealogy field. Do you have a favorite book that falls in this category? What makes this book special to you? How can other genealogists benefit from its content?


Several years ago, when I first started looking into my family history, I was visiting my aunt and asking her about our ancestors. She went into an extra bedroom and brought about an old book, A Memorial and Biographical History of Johnson and Hill Counties, Texas, written in 1892. In this book were biographies of 2 of our ancestors: 2nd great-grandfather Miles Francis Stanley and 3rd great-grandfather Dr. Nathan Blunt Kennedy. And there was even mention of another 2nd great-grandfather, Isaac Turner. All this in just one book! For a rookie genealogist, this was thrilling!

I know, I’ve heard the criticism that county histories are often not that accurate, but in my case, I was able to verify the information presented for all three of these ancestors through other sources. Also, Miles Stanley and Dr. Kennedy were both still living in 1892 when this book was written, so I like to think that if there was any major “misinformation” to be found in their biographies, they would have had said something…

I have read through this entire book, and it gives a lot of detailed information about late 1800s Hill and Johnson Counties in Texas. Most of this data was obtained from those people actually living in this area during this time period, rather than from later researchers sifting through old newspapers and other documents from that time period. As such, I feel it is a valuable first-hand account of life in Texas at the turn of the 19th century.


52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your thoughts on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

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