Out of Mothballs

Union Pacific has announced that with the improving economy, they will bring their big locomotives out of mothballs to move new production from companies around the country to you.

Well, there is one old locomotive that can take credit for the home I live in and love–I believe the number was Old 22.  This huge locomotive spewed and sputtered sparks along the railroad right-of-way between Ogden and Salt Lake City Utah every afternoon or early evening.  You could hear the snap-crackle-and-pop coming down the tracks.

It shook the old farm house from rafters to cellar.  If you were lying on the floor watching television, you could feel the train long before you heard it.

One late afternoon, as Old 22 lumbered by, it set our whole farm a blaze–the milk barn was right next to the fence along the tracks.  And the dry grass went whoosh igniting the farm buildings, the old hay stacks, and our small cadre of pear trees.

Seems it was cheaper for Union Pacific to pay the fire claims along the track than to replace the old workhorse.  It was a glory of a locomotive.

What does Old 22 have to do with your genealogy?

Well, Jacquelyn Ladd Ricker has prepared a new edition of the Barbour Collection which is available on CD-ROM:  The Ricker Collection of Vital Records of Early Connecticut. It is based on the Barbour Collection to which Ricker has added births, marriages, and deaths for other Connecticut towns not included in Barbour.

And Ricker has added information from Bibles and church records from the Connecticut State Library in Hartford.  And added vitals from tombstone inscriptions originally published in The Connecticut Nutmegger, which she edited for several years.

The new Adobe Acrobat version CD is available from Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 3600 Copper Mill Road, Baltimore MD 21211-1953.  And now you, too, can have direct access to hundreds of thousands of vital records on your home computer at a reasonable price.

Why does it matter?

Connecticut  was a pass-through-on-the-way-to-some-place-else American colony.  A generation or two may be all your ancestor remained there.  Then into Vermont, or off to New York, or moving to Ohio, and finally into Indiana.

A workable strategy, especially if the census or military pensions state that father was born in Connecticut–you now have a finding aid at your fingertips.  Or, even if Connecticut is not mentioned, if you have the tradition that your family is from New England or, they settled in the west among New Englanders, check it out.

For generations professional genealogists have resisted this strategy in favor of plodding through the original sources along the migration trail to prove each pedigree link.   And I still recommend following the migration trail,  and search along the trail myself,  to collect the documents that cement the generations together.

Yet, beginners who know less, have plunged into these electronic genealogy research aids with amazing results.  And published them on Ancestry’s World Tree. And we all wonder where they got such a fantastic or magic genealogy bullet.

Knowing the possible origins ahead of time, and who the family may ultimately be connected to, shortens the your research considerably–because you can pick up collateral relationships along the migration trail as well!  The first time you search those records!  Sort of like having a GPS attached to your pedigree.

Try this strategy–you’ll find the cement more quickly.  Proving that old workhorses like the Barbour Collection and The Connecticut Nutmegger coming out of mothballs–as it were–harnesses your ancestors to you.  Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle  http://arleneeakle.com

PS  Stay tuned for more genealogy evidence that will amaze you.  My new laptop will purr when I travel.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply