A genealogy parable…”Patient gathering of flecks of gold has brought me great wealth.”

A genealogy parable–

A Boston merchant sold all his possessions to outfit for the gold fields.  He had been told that the rivers were filled with great gold nuggets.  So he spent days on end panning for wealth, but all he acquired was a large pile of rocks.  Broke and discouraged, he sat on the ground and wept.

Along came a grizzly old prospector who stopped to see what was wrong.  “Son,” he said, “You just have to know where to look.  Patient gathering of flecks of gold has brought me great wealth.”

Among the flecks of gold received by my Genealogy Library Center, Inc. are many collections of genealogy that would have been thrown away because the material didn’t match collection policies of research libraries.  Or the children had no room to care for the documents.  Or those who cleaned out the home of a deceased genealogist did not know what to do with all the stuff.

Saturday, UPS delivered six boxes of British parish register extracts made by Bertram Tuft Norman, a British genealogist.  I opened Box #2 because it was on top of the pile.

These are the original extracts from those parish registers from which the International Genealogical Index (IGI) entries were made. Now those online entries are available at http://familysearch.org

Here’s the story—the original extracts sent to Salt Lake City  were copied in pencil on notebook pages by Mr. Norman many years ago from the English parish registers.  These entries were re-extracted onto cards.  Then the cards were typed into the computer file.  So you get the entries 3-times removed from the parish registers.

The parish register entries were usually noted on scrap paper (or equivalent of the time) when the event occurred—or may be written down later from memory by the parish vicar who officiated at the event or his parish clerk.  Later they were copied  neatly into the book which the church kept for that purpose.  This puts the IGI entries 5-times removed from the event itself.  Is it any wonder that you have errors?

The Genealogy Library Center, Inc. is grateful to house these valuable extracts which are 3 times closer to the original event—for they would have been thrown away eventually by Brigham Young University Library Family History Center.

Besides, these entries come from parishes which are close to my own ancestral home in England and may even include my ancestors among the pieces of paper.

A genealogy parable–now you know where to look for handwritten  parish register entries which may fill in gaps for registers that did not survive enemy bombing and acts of enemy sabotage during World War II.  Or include registers that were never microfilmed nor printed.  Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle   http://arleneeakle.com 

PS  These is a photograph of my Genealogy Library Center, Inc. on my home page. Located on main street in Tremonton UT (out of the high-rent districts in Utah) where you may view for yourself these extracts.


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