comes to books, the usual and customary reference work on the subject is
P. William Filby's A
Bibliography of American County Histories. (1985), 1987.
Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. ISBN 0806311266. From
the publisher: "This comprehensive work provides a
state-by-state listing of all county histories of any significance. For
each is given information concerning the title, author, place and date
of publication, as well as details of editions, reprints, and indexes.
In all, it covers 5,000 county histories published to date."
In the past readers have questioned my recommendation of this book
published in 1985/1987 for the most recent information on county
histories. Quite simply, most researchers can accomplish their 20th
century ancestral quest using family and vital records sources. We need
help with pre-1900 research. Many significant county histories
were printed in the crucial post-Civil War time period of
1890-1910. For this we are grateful that Mr. Filby's book
spotlights the authors and titles of those books most likely to
illuminate pre-1900 county and state development.
Locating a copy of these now antique publications mentioned in
Filby's bibliography is a challenge. You'll use online card
catalogs in attempts to borrow them through inter-library loan.
However, genealogy libraries usually maintain their genealogy books,
particularly the rare old titles in a reference section -- meaning you
can only view them in person. Don't despair! Thankfully, Heritage Books
is slowly but surely scanning for viewing on CD or in book format many
of these older county histories.
CASE STUDY: During various research trips to Pennsylvania, I have
had to struggle to photocopy some of the pages of History
of Chester County, Pennsylvania, with Genealogical and Biographical
Sketches - J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope. Its a huge
publication, perhaps 14" x 17" inches and a good 4 inches
thick. The first time I poured through it, I found clues for
early PA (1600s) ancestors on a few of my lines. After confirming
these clues using original wills on microfilm, I then discovered more
surnames and towns in Chester County to search. So I've had to
wait one or two years each time until I get to Pennsylvania to look up
the new names and localities in this book. We simply don't have
the title in our southwest Florida libraries. Now that Heritage
Books has reprinted the out-of-copyright book, I'm able to have my own
copy. Of course the pages are smaller, the text is smaller, but I just
updated my bi-focal prescription, so I am in business!
From Heritage Book's description: "History of Chester
County, Pennsylvania, with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches
- J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope. Officially created by William Penn
on November 25, 1682, along with Philadelphia and Bucks County,
Chester County was one of the first established counties in the
Pennsylvania Province. The first section of the book is a general
history of the county dealing with such topics as: religion,
education, agriculture, masons, mills, banks, judges, county
officials, lawyers, doctors, etc. The second section of the book
provides over three hundred pages of brief genealogical and
biographical sketches of county residents. (1881) reprint, 782 pp., 2
vols., 8.5x11, illus., map, append., index, paper."
Genealogy book sales & publishing companies include:
in particular Eugene Aubrey Statton's Plymouth Colony:
Its History & People, 1620-1691 for a definitive review of extant records and
a discussion of the lifestyle and belief system of the
P O Box 367
Milledgeville, GA 31061
912-452-4020, Fax 912-452-6380
See such offerings as Wm. A. McClendon's Recollections of
War Times. 15th Alabama, CSA,1905 and Laurence M. Hauptman's
A Seneca Indian in the Union Army: The Civil War Letters of
Sergeant Isaac Newton Parker, 132nd NY State Volunteer
Their Handy Book for Genealogists is a
must. They also have Cradled in Sweden
and other books to assist Scandinavian researchers.
of Family History Societies
Unit 15, Chesham Industrial Centre
BURY, Lancs BL9 6EN, England
Phone from UK 0161 797 3843. Fax 0161 797 3846
Phone from elsewhere +44 161 797 3843. Fax +44 161 797 3846
These revered genealogy societies have published small
booklets to give you the
scoop on localities in the United Kingdom.
& Clearfield Publishing
1001 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
800-296-6687, Fax - 800-599-9561
Undoubtedly the largest publishers of genealogy and history
books in the United States. See such diverse offerings as
John Greenleaf Whittier's Legends of New England (originally
published 1835), John P. MacLean's An Historical Account of
the Settlements of Scotch Highlanders in America Prior to the
Peace of 1783 (originally published 1900), and Albert
Bernhardt Faust's The German Element in the United States
(with Special Reference to Its Political, Moral, Social, and
Educational Influence.) originally published in 1927.
5735A Telegraph Road
Alexandria, VA 22303
Fax - 703-960-0087
Includes J.G.M. Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee (1853)
and L.W. Rigsby's Historic Georgia Families (1925-1928),
1540E Pointer Ridge Place
Bowie MD 20716
Fax - 800-276-1760 or 301-390-7153
This is the company with the early Chester County,
Pennsylvania history book mentioned earlier in this
article. See also The Centennial of the Settlement of
Upper Canada by the United Empire Loyalists, 1784-1884
(originally published in 1885) and Lorenzo Sabine's Biographical
Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution, with an
Historical Essay (1885.)
148 Washington Street
PO Box 778
Salem MA 01970
978-745-7170, fax - 978-745-8025
Of particular note: OVERLAND STAGE TO CALIFORNIA: Personal
Reminiscences & Authentic History of the Great Overland
Stage Line & Pony Express from the Missouri River to the
Pacific Ocean, by Frank A. Root & William E. Connelley.
(1901), Chronicles of the Cape Fear River, 1660-1916, by James
Sprunt (1916), and such titles as the History of Leeds &
Grenville, Ontario, from 1749 to 1879, with Illustrations
& Biographical Sketches of some of its Prominent Men &
Pioneers, by Thad W.H. Leavitt (1879).
P.O. Box 250 Rockport, ME 04856
207-236-6565, fax - 207-236-6713
You'll love them for publications on 17-19th century New
England and German ancestors such as The Correspondence of Heinrich Melchior Vol. 2- 1747-1752,
THE DIARY OF MATTHEW PATTEN of Bedford, New Hampshire 1754-1788.
(1903), and THE DANSBURY DIARIES: Moravian Travel Diaries
of Rev Swen Roseen and others 1748-1755 in the area of Dansbury,
now Stroudsburg, Pa.
Historical Press , Inc.
PO Box 1267
375 West Broad Street
Greenville, SC 29602-1267
864- 233-2346, fax - 864-233-2349
65 E. Main Street
Westminister, MD 21157-5036
also: Cyndi's List - Books: http://www.cyndislist.com/books.htm
also: Cyndi's List - Libraries, Archives & Museums: http://www.cyndislist.com/libes.htm
Happy family tree climbing!
Your friend in genealogy