January 3, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #1

Week 1: Go to your local public library branch. Make a note of the genealogy books in the collection that may help you gain research knowledge. Don’t forget to check the shelves in both the non-fiction section and the reference section. If you do not already have a library card, take the time to get one. If you have a genealogy blog, write about what you find in your library’s genealogy collection.

I spend a fair amount of free time at the Hackley Public Library’s Genealogy Department in Muskegon Michigan. My Library card is wore out! I have gone through the collection which is a good size, many times. I always find sometime new. Resources online include, Ancestry Library Edition, NewEnglandAncestors.org and Footnote subscriptions (the latter is a new find for me!).
Heritage Quest is one I can access from home through my library card.

There are so many books in the collection to mention the list would be long. In brief: Historical County books of Michigan as well as other states, atlases of local counties, directories, newspapers on microfilm etc. So instead of listing more, I will mention the last books I accessed.

I personally do not have much to search in the area of Muskegon for my personal research. However for a brief moment in time my grandfather took the family to Muskegon and he had a store there. I found him listed in the R.L.Polks Directory of Muskegon 1928 , as well as the store.
Cornell Leo D (Joyce) store mgr Great A & P Tea Co h1005 Maffet (MH) page 215
Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co gros.....1035 Peck (along with other locations) page 217

Ha! Now I know what the A&P stands for...yeah, I didn’t know. Furthermore, through Ancestry.com I found grandpa’s biological brother living in Muskegon during the 1920's. Relevance? Grandpa was adopted at age 1 and became a Cornell. His ‘brother’ Lorrin Rust, who was older remained with his mother with other older siblings. I want to find the Rust family...and I earlier joked when I said they could be right here in Ravenna, when they originated further up north. (Some folks with that name here)

I found at the library, a very informative book called The Scotch-Irish: A Social History
By James Graham Leyburn. The migration of the Scots from Scotland to Ireland and North America. A very good read.

I will be there again, I am sure to find a new book. I always do.


  1. Thank you for playing along with the challenge. You're so lucky to live close to a great genealogy library. The awesome Clayton Genealogy Library is 20 miles from my house. My local public library branch has about a half-shelf of genealogy books. It's teeny!

  2. I actually live right across the street from the local branch library and ITS TEENY too! About the same in genealogy related books. The museum is housed in the same building and that is what I partly resource for my other blog regarding local Ravenna history, along with the Hackley Library, 5 minutes from work.

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