Thursday, June 6, 2019

2019 #52Ancestors: Week 5 - "At The Library"

Week 5's prompt was another one that I struggled with. Although I love going to the state archives' library to research, I rarely get the chance to do so due to a very demanding work schedule. As a result I don't really have any stories about big genealogical revelations that happened "at the library."

So instead of writing about a find that occurred at a brick-and-mortar library, this post will focus on how I found an amazing first-person anecdote about my 4th-great-grandparents, Joseph Moore and Hannah Cady Moore of Pocahontas County, WV. This treasure was found in a vast virtual library that is available to everyone and is an incredibly valuable resource to genealogists: Google Books.

If you have never used Google Books in your genealogy research, now is the time to start. Google books has over one million books in its database that are in the public domain, and can be viewed in their entirety online or downloaded (you can also save them to "My Library" via Google Play: Books). Millions of other titles feature a preview or a "snippet view," which is a very limited preview. 

The best part of Google Books is that the vast majority of titles in its database are fully searchable, even if the title only has preview or snippet view available. When using this feature I usually search the names of two ancestors together (usually a husband and wife), then review the results from there. If you are lucky, as I was in the case of Joseph Moore and Hannah Cady Moore, you may find your ancestors in a book that is available in full text. 

If you find them in a book that is only available in preview or snippet view, don't be disappointed: it's still a win! Google Books has a link on each book's profile that reads "Get this book in print." This link will show you several websites where you can purchase the book, or find the book in a library near you. 

Front Cover of Historical Sketches...
by William Thomas Price
My Google Books search for the term "Joseph Moore and Hannah Cady" turned up a wonderful book called Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County, West Virginia by William Thomas Price, published in 1901. The book contains an entry five pages in length of memories that the author had of Joseph and Hannah, which was surprisingly detailed (albeit with a few small inaccuracies). He tells us who Joseph's parents were, names his brothers and sisters, and even describes where his parents' home was and where their graves are located. He goes on to name each of Joseph and Hannah's children, names spouses for some of them, and tells where each of them ended up settling down.

The above information in and of itself is more than so many people have for their 4th-great-grandparents, but the entry doesn't stop there. Price tells us that Joseph Moore was a soldier in the War of 1812, and that he met Hannah Cady, whose family was from Vermont, while he was in the army. He tells us that "Joseph Moore, Esquire" was at one time a high sheriff and justice of the peace, and that he was frequently consulted regarding legal matters and documents. He tells us that Joseph and Hannah were both school teachers, and that they loved to study and work with their students. And finally Price tells us a couple of personal stories about Joseph, which really showcase what a colorful personality that he had. 

One paragraph in particular stood out to me as the saying of someone who had some strong and controversial opinions. Joseph is quoted as saying, "Now you must excuse me, William, when I say to you that in my private opinion there can not be much in the Christian religion if it puts its most earnest and zealous professors to wearing out the knees of their pants in religious services in the fall and winter, and then lets them turn over and wear out the rest of their breeches backsliding during the spring and summer. Somehow, William, it does not prove out to suit my notion of what religion should be." 

In the previous paragraph Joseph was quoted as saying that "There are people who think I am an infidel, because I sometimes make remarks they do not agree with." I can certainly see how he might have ruffled some feathers in his day! 

If not for Google Books, I would probably have never found this amazing wealth of information about my 4th-great-grandparents. It is a fantastic tool for every genealogist to have in their arsenal. Many thanks to all of the fine people who spend so many hours scanning and indexing, so that we can have this amazing resource available to us!

~ ~ ~

My line of descent from Joseph Moore is as follows:

Joseph Moore (1795 - after 1860)
4th great-grandfather

Josiah B. Moore (1825 - 1911)
Son of Joseph Moore

John Harmon Moore (1888 - 1957)
Son of Josiah B. Moore

Madaline Eva Moore (1923 - 2017)
Daughter of John Harmon Moore

Phyllis Carolyn Hunt (1943 - )
Daughter of Madaline Eva Moore

Lora Marlene Quinn (1961 - )
Daughter of Phyllis Carolyn Hunt

Allison Quinn Kessinger
You are the daughter of Lora Marlene Quinn

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