Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Holy Grail

I have been very busy with my genealogy projects. Busy working on family trees, researching records, attending workshops and meetings. Even organized a few field trips.  What I need is some uninterrupted time to spread all my paperwork on a big table, organize it, scan it, and try to make sense of it all. Instead I spent my evenings catching up on blog reading.  I have added several genealogy blogs into my mix. 

Recent postings at "A Family Tapestry" triggered an old memory. The story starts with a foggy memory from when I was maybe 10 or 12. Gramma was cleaning out her attic and putting "junk" out for trash pickup. Mom took me over and we picked up trash bags that missed the first round. Mom told me there was a book self published by twins that served in the civil war that was missing. We did not find the book. When the internet was invented and when I was working somewhere with good internet, I researched on line and found the possible existence of the book. I made notes and lost them over the years. 

Family Tapestry is looking for her own legendary booklet. She inspired me to go on line one night and search for the book. And found it. There is a copy in the "closed stacks" of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland and I have to write a request to see it, leave any belongings in a locker, wear gloves, etc. I was trying to figure out when I could make the trip. Meanwhile I was going to Rutherford B Hayes Presidential library this past weekend and wondered if they might have a copy that I did not find online. The librarian looked and they do not have a copy, however she did find a copy in the Ohio History Center in Columbus and another in a library that will not share their location.
I worked out who published the book. It was written and published by who I believe to be one of my great grandmother's cousins who served in the Civil War with his identical twin brother.
I then wondered if our Genealogy Society might have a copy in their research library that was not listed on the Hayes database. Our meeting was tonight and the program was a tour of the library. The last section we came to was shelves of self published materials. I asked if there was some kind of index and they said "not yet". Then they showed me a section of self published books from the civil war. I knew the book would be small as the description in Cleveland described it as a 30 page booklet.
I was scanning the shelves and spotted this book. I was staring at the shelves and one of the guides said we were allowed to remove books to look at them. I pulled it out from the shelf.
I placed it on the counter and could not believe my eyes. I was afraid to even open the book. This is the exact title, the exact author of the book I was not even sure existed. I was looking in the book and then asked if I would be able to photocopy it. Sure, they said, but the library will not re-open until Spring. I will need to come back in May. Meanwhile, they suggested, why not take some pictures with your phone. I was so stunned that this had not even occurred to me. Plus I was still in shock that I could even touch it. The book had several pictures. These were printed separately and affixed to the pages somehow. I did not want to handle the book too much as it was very fragile. I just am so excited to find this book .I wish I could share this news with my mom!

Miss Merry