Many people have a printed family history book in their home or discover their family names in a book at a genealogical library and set out to do research from this starting point.
What if you don’t have such a luxury? Are you out of luck? Were there no previous ancestors who crafted a family history to bless the lives of others?
Maybe, but maybe not. There is a place that you could find out. It’s generally not going to be quick or easy, but it’s worth investigating.
According to the website, Family Search Family History Books has 200,000+ digital periodicals from family histories or from genealogy societies and magazines. The digital books could be from the Family History Library (in Salt Lake) or nearly a dozen other partner societies.
I attempted to find the Geiszlers and the Zumsteins and came up short. Well, for the Geiszlers, they could be mentioned in a few articles, but nothing that really caught my eye. Same for the Zumsteins. There was a Zumstein history, but it’s from the 1600s, and I haven’t traced my lines back that far.
I did enter the terms Townsend and Ohio and came across an interesting entry.
Entry on the Family Search Family History Books website for Townsend + Ohio.
I didn’t know there was a Townsend Society! That’s pretty cool. I don’t know that I can connect with Richard Townsend, that settled in New York in 1640, but I like the idea of seeing who is on the “Ohio” line of Townsends. Perhaps a few clues point to my brick wall Townsend and his likely brothers that could explain their ‘missing’ parents.
So, whenever I’m in a Family History Library, I’ll have to add this to my To-Do List.
The FamilySearch Book Collection is not the only recordset that has my heart happy. Check out how I've found other free family history records on FamilySearch: