Thursday, September 19, 2013


Genealogy tip for today: WorldCat


Not every “source” is a source, per se`. Today we will talk about “WorldCat”. This is a database, or a collection of library catalogs from around the world. Thus it is called WorldCat, i.e. World wide catalog. It tells you of all the holdings in its database, and all the libraries that own each particular item. This database is right under our nose and so obvious that it is easily missed.

Recently, yours truly took advantage of this tool. I requested over 30 items from other libraries. Now, granted, a lot of libraries won’t loan ‘genealogical’ books, but surprisingly some will. But, you don’t necessarily have to have the book. In my recent venture we requested a copy of the index if such and such surname appeared in it, when they didn’t loan the actual book. We did get a lot of rejections, but 5 books were actually sent, one index was copied and sent. One book was small enough that the entire book was copied and sent. So the results are sometimes surprising.

When you can look at an index you can eliminate books rather quickly, if your person doesn’t appear in that book. On the other hand, if they do show up in the index but you can’t get that book, you still have other options. Write the library to see if there are folks, even genealogy volunteers who would copy certain pages in the book for you. Ask what the fee is. They may charge for the copies as well as the service. But it is still cheaper than a trip.

Sometimes a trip is the only answer, however. Keep track of books from a particular library that you don’t receive. Then when you can afford it, plan a trip where you could include a visit to that library and make your own copies. Worse case scenario may be they won’t let you photo copy a book – usually a very old and/or fragile one. If you run into this situation, be sure and take a laptop with you or similar device, where you can transcribe; or in the case of some cell phones, or ipads, take a picture of each page.

IPads sometimes give you clearer copies than a scan will. We recently had an out of town patron visit our library to look at our newspapers on microfilm. The particular issue was not a very good copy. So if we had printed it, it wouldn’t have turned out to well. She had an ipad with her and took a picture of the screen. Amazingly, the photo on the ipad looked better than the image on the microfilm screen.

There are all kinds of ‘tricks to the trade’ to get what you need. And your local library is not just a library with maybe a few holdings to local books; it is a gateway to all the libraries in the world that have holdings just waiting for you to access.


Prince Edward
1356 In a landmark battle of the Hundred Years' War, English Prince Edward defeats the French at Poitiers.

1544 Francis, the king of France, and Charles V of Austria sign a peace treaty in Crespy, France, ending a 20-year war.

1692 Giles Corey is pressed to death for standing mute and refusing to answer charges of witchcraft brought against him. He is the only person in America to have suffered this punishment.
Giles Corey

1777 American forces under Gen. Horatio Gates meet British troops led by Gen. John Burgoyne at Saratoga Springs, NY.

1783 The first hot-air balloon is sent aloft in Versailles, France with animal passengers including a sheep, rooster and a duck.

1788 Charles de Barentin becomes Lord Chancellor of France.

1841 The first railway to span a frontier is completed between Stousbourg and Basle, in Europe.

1863 In Georgia, the two-day Battle of Chickamauga begins as Union troops under George Thomas clash with Confederates under Nathan Bedford Forrest.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first nation to grant women the right to vote.

1900 President Loubet of France pardons Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus, twice court-martialed and wrongly convicted of spying for Germany.

1918 American troops of the Allied North Russia Expeditionary Force receive their baptism of fire near the town of Seltso against Soviet forces.

Juan Peron
1948 Moscow announces it will withdrawal soldiers from Korea by the end of the year.

1955  Argentina's President Juan Peron is overthrown by rebels.

1957 First underground nuclear test is takes place in Nevada.

1970 First Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Artis (originally called the Pilton Festival) held near Pilton, Somerset, England.

Glastonbury Festival
1973 Carl XVI Gustaf invested as King of Sweden, following the death of his grandfather King Gustaf VI Adolf.

1982 The first documented emoticons, :-) and :-(, posted on Carnegie Mellon University Bulletin Board System by Scott Fahlman.

1985 An earthquake kills thousands in Mexico City.

1985 Parents Music Resource Center formed by Tipper Gore (wife of then-Senator Al Gore) and other political wives to lobby for Parental Advisory stickers on music packaging.

1991  German hikers near the Austria-Italy border discover the naturally preserved mummy of a man from about 3,300 BC; Europe's oldest natural human mummy, he is dubbed Otzi the Iceman because his lower half was encased in ice.

2006 Military coup in Bangkok revokes Thailand's constitution and establishes martial law.



Birthdays today  

1894 Rachel Field, novelist and playwright who wrote All This and Heaven Too and And Now Tomorrow

1904 Bergen Evans, educator and author who wrote Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage.

1911 William Golding, novelist best known for Lord of the Flies

1915 Elizabeth Stern, Canadian pathologist who first published a case report linking a specific virus to a specific cancer

1926 Masatoshi Koshiba, Japanese physicist who jointly won the Nobel Prize in Physics (2002); his work focused on subatomic particles known as neutrinos.

1927 Helen Carter, singer, member of the pioneering all-female country group Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters

1928 Adam West, actor (Batman in campy Batman TV series)

1930 Bettye Lane, photographer noted for documenting major events of the feminist, civil rights and gay rights movements in the US.

1932 Mike Royko, journalist, syndicated columnist; won Pulitzer Prize for commentary (1972).

1933 David McCallum, actor, musician (The Man from U.N.C.L.E, NCIS TV series).

1934 Brian Epstein, music entrepreneur, manager of the The Beatles.

1940 Paul Williams, composer, singer, songwriter, director, actor ("Evergreen," "Rainy Days and Mondays").

1947 Tanith Lee, author, screenwriter; first woman to win British Fantasy best novel award (Death's Master, 1980).

1948 Jeremy Irons, actor; won Tony Award for Best Actor (The Real Thing, 1984) and Academy Award for Best Actor (Reversal of Fortune, 1990).

1949 Twiggy, model known for her thin build and androgynous look .

1949 Barry Sheck, co-founder of Innocence Project dedicated to using DNA testing to exonerate wrongly convicted people.

1950 Joan Lunden, journalist, author, co-host of ABC's Good Morning America for 17 years (1980–1997).

1964 Trisha Yearwood, Grammy and Country Music Association award-winning singer-songwriter ("How Do I Live"), actress (JAG TV series recurring role).

1974 Jimmy Fallon, actor, comedian, musician, TV host (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; currently scheduled to replace Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show in 2014).







(SHEV-ruhn, -ron)



noun: A pattern in the shape of a V or an inverted V.



From Old French chevron (rafter, from the resemblance of the pattern to the shape of two rafters on a roof), from Latin caper (goat). The goat connection is not clear. Earliest documented use: 1395.



"Tommy watched a flight of geese fly overhead in chevron formation."
Lis Wiehl; Waking Hours; Thomas Nelson; 2011.



There is no doubt that I have lots of words inside me; but at moments, like rush-hour traffic at the mouth of a tunnel, they jam. -John Updike, writer (1932-2009)




Today’s Recipe


1 cup of finely chopped onion
1 celery rib, chopped fine
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 carrot, chopped fine
1/2 cup of finely chopped scallions (can substitute onion)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 teaspoon salt (use 1 1/2 teaspoons if using Italian sausage)
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup ketchup
1 1/2 pounds of ground chuck
3/4 pound of spicy ground pork sausage or Italian sausage (a mix of sweet and hot if you are using links)
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 large eggs, beaten slightly
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves    


1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 In a large heavy skillet cook the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and scallions in butter, over medium heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Cover the skillet and stir occassionally until the carrots are tender, about 5 more minutes. Stir in salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/3 a cup of ketchup. Cook for 1 more minute.

3 In a large bowl, combine the meats, eggs, vegetables, bread crumbs, and parsley. Form into a loaf and put into a rectangular baking pan with 2-inch high sides. Cover the loaf with remaining ketchup.

4 Bake the meatloaf in the oven for 1 hour.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6, with plenty for leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches.



Now You Know!