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My roots are from New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, V
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I also have a blog called Seeing New England. Why not visit it, to get a feeling for the area.
Friday, January 29, 2010
I don't want to be fired because I didn't follow Amy's instructions exactly. However, there just isn't time or the need for me to get a genealogy book, just for the sake of this challenge. It is mid-winter which means snow, ice and cold in Massachusetts. In addition, I have been told processing inter-library loans (ILL) is a very expensive process to deal with; a lot of wrapping, packing and mailing is involved. Fortunately, they haven't begun to charge patrons, but it may be a reality some day, I heard $5 per request.
Our library belongs to the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium. along with quite a few other libraries (my guess is 30 towns). That means, if I want a book that isn't in my library but is in one of the other libraries, I can get it rather quickly if it isn't checked out, otherwise, I am on a waiting list. First, before I even think about ordering a book through ILL, I always check www.worldcat.org to see what libraries have it. Sometimes, you may determine it might not even be available to your library or it just isn't worth the time and effort, if the book is across the country.
In June of 2009, I did a guest blog for Cheryl Palmer Cutting Back on Spending, in which I discuss inter-library loans and Worldcat.
At my library, the inter-library loan requests are processed differently. The order request is sent to another library, where all the requests from the entire consortium are processed. In the past, I have ordered and received two books using this method. One book had to be used at the library under our librarian's eyes. The other I was able to check out.
The books I got were:
1. The Van den Berghs in America by Stockman, R. Grunwell & B. Grunwell, (Lynchburg, VA: Pub. Robert L. Grunwell, 1994) from the Jones Library, Lynchburg, VA and,
2. Molson, The Birth of a Business Empire by Hunter, Douglas, (Canada: Penguin Books, 2001) it came from Univ. of Maine.
Not all cemeteries are privately run, some are abandoned, some are run by the town, some by the government. Each has their own set of rules and what they share with the public. Many will freely provide all their records on your ancestor, others charge a steep fee (like Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC). Often you can find a volunteer to do some of the leg work for you. In the past, if I received something from them, I always wrote a thank-you and enclosed a small token of $10. Always pay them in some way, either dollars or stamps, because you never know if you will need their service again, and they will remember you. If their work is exceptional and they are employed, write a thank you letter, so it can go in the employee's human resources file (I did that once and even brought the administrative assistant a box of chocolates.)
The next time I need information; I will either call or email a request. Personally, I like calling best. Do it mid day, never just before closing. I'll explain exactly what I am looking for, get right to the point. Sometimes I'll have a check-list, so I don't forget to ask something. Often on the phone, I get a little nervous or side tracked, then the call isn't completed in full. I would still do that, especially if it is a Historical Society (those people can be so nice)
A great source for locating historical societies is the book, The Genealogist's Address Book by Elizabeth P. Bentley. The new 6th edition was published in 2009 and has 809 pages. I used to own a copy, and referred to it frequently, mine didn't even have email addresses, it was that old. A page snippet from the new book is below.
Sometimes a larger cemetery will have a pamphlet with a map inside. What a blessing, when I discovered my ancestor listed on the map! Locating him could not have been easier.