Sunday, January 3, 2010

Using the library!

Elisabeth Rusch Sommer &
her granddaughter Julia K. Sommer
ca. 1880's
Elisabeth Rusch Sommer is my GG Great Grandmother. She was born in 1816 in Germany and died here in Chicago on December 30, 1899. Last year, through an internet connection, I was blessed in discovering a distant cousin who provided me with the above picture.
Well, it's a New Year, so it's about time I wrote about my continuing research on my Sommer/Rusch ancestors. I devoted almost all of 2009 to researching just these two families. I am happy to say I found quite a number of great connections and of course, with those connections come even more questions.
Amy Coffin from the We Tree blog came up with weekly blog ideas for all 52 weeks of 2010! Thank you Amy. Week one suggests using the library for your research. Great suggestion, for I work at both an Academic library and a Public library. Both of which can provide great resources for searching your family history.
I live in a pretty small community on the very south side of Chicago. My public library is small and unfortunately you wouldn't find too much information on genealogy on the shelves. However, thanks to an Inter-library Loan program I can request almost any book from any library in the United States. I request a lot of books too. I love using WorldCat and finding many many books on not only specific locations, topics, but also surnames! One of the books I am currently reading is the fourth edition of "In Search of Your German Ancestors" by Angus Baxter. I like this book so much I most likely will order it from Many public libraries will have the library edition of on their public computers. Who wouldn't love using for their research? Although my public library doesn't subscribe to, there are a number of larger libraries in the area that do subscribe to this great database. I can use their electronic databases when I visit their library.
At Governors State University library you will find the Chicago Tribune on microfilm going back to 1885! What a great resource for death notices and obituaries!
Another great resource I use at least once a month is the Chicago Heights Family History Center. I have requested many reels of microfilm from their library for my German family research. Thanks to those many reels of microfilm and many more hours reading them, I have discovered a lot of information on my Rusch and Sommer ancestors from Neckargemund, Germany. I am slowly connecting the dots, crossing the t's and dotting the i's!
Thank you Amy for suggesting people use their public libraries! They may also want to look at the local universities and Family History Centers too for discovering more information on their family history!

1 comment:

Alice said...

Thanks Taylor, and hope the addition of OAIster content and other helpful-for-genealogy resources will aid your research process for many more happy discoveries!

The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!