The Importance of Genealogical Periodicals–

I have been re-reading my collections of periodicals–those I subscribed to and those I have purchased as back-runs at conferences and seminars. This is one of the most pleasant occupations for me in the “Year without Genealogy.” Somewhat due to new clients with surnames I have not run through the periodicals. Some periodicals I also purchased or acquired because of specific contents–articles and research abstracts/extracts that match names and genealogies of interest.

[Amazing how history and behavior repeats itself–1995-2015 issues are filled with evidence for your ancestors and mine.]

Let me use the February 2000 issue of the North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, edited by Raymond A. Winslow, Jr. and others. This is Volume XXVI No. 1. More than 120 pages of sources of interest to me. These volumes include indexes in each issue.

First, I checked the index for names of current interest;  then, I read the whole issue:

  1. Introductions and commentary by the editors
  2. 1755 (Orange County) and 1769 (Onslow County) tax lists
  3. Case study and comments on errors in the 1850 census–with corrections added
  4. Divorce and separation extracts, 1779 (Part 19)
  5. Reviews of printed books–mostly records and documents abstracted and indexed for research along with some family histories for North Carolina ancestors and families. The reviews are written by several genealogists with North Carolina interests.

Researching a run of the same periodical will educate you in the culture and the history of the county, and the genealogy of local families more quickly than studying any other sources. With this information, you can search probate and court records not included in abstract form, deeds and other land records, vital records and cemetery sources in context.

Give this research strategy a try. Many full runs of genealogy periodicals are now available online, some free, most with a subscription through the local genealogy society for that area. An ideal access in this “Year without Genealogy.” Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS This strategy also works well with the many notes you have already acquired through your own research of the past–another discovery I have made in the last few months. Break your losing streak!







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