Friday, December 16, 2011

I.L.L. and L.O.C., Chautauqua, NY

My goodness, time has flown. It is December and Christmas is a little over a week away. I am getting a present for myself! I have an ancestor who was quite long lived and because of that he has an obituary! rah! rah!
I have been working in the time period of about 1790 to 1850 in New York State, It is quite difficult to get information from that time frame as there were no vital records kept by the state except for a few isolated areas. Newspapers were usually weekly or biweekly, but there are few places that have them and those that do, have them microfilmed and stored. If you are not in NY it is difficult to find them. I googled for him and found a lot of information in "The History of Chatauqua County, New York and its people" which fortunately is on-line. I read various items that pertained to him and there was a line that caught my eye. His death was in the Town of Carroll, but his obituary was in the Mayville Sentinel in 1843. Yay, a clue.

I googled for the "Mayville Sentinel", there were microfilm copies and the Library of Congress (LOC) had some issues in their possession. I dug a little deeper on-line and got a volume number, an issue number and a date. Looking good. I emailed the LOC, who replied that they did not have that issue, but the NY State Library in Albany did. They suggested I get an ILL (interlibrary loan). I tried to get the ILL, but due to budget cuts there was only one librarian who knew how and she wasn't there. : (  I left my name and number and went home to wait. 4 days later I got the call, if I could come in she would help me : )

I gathered my information and hopes and went to the library, I gave her the information including the fact that the LOC did not have that particular issue, but NYSL did, paid my $5 and left. 3 weeks later I received The Call, if I would come to the library I could pick up the packet of information they had for me, I was thrilled.
The first thing I did after I got the packet was, naturally, open it so I could see that obituary. There was a note attached, The information in the packet had been downloaded and printed through Ancestry as the LOC did not have that edition, well, neither does Ancestry, I had received my original information from their site. Now I had the same in printed form. $5 wasted.

The LOC has a nifty little site called ask a librarian -   I figured I had nothing to lose at this point so I outlined my information and sent it. I am now waiting for the obituary copy information to arrive at which time I will send the NYSL $10 for their work. It involved some effort on my part, but it is a heckuva lot cheaper than going to NY and I have an authentic source for my database. I will add it to my site for others who need that particular source. I won't know if it is a primary or a secondary source, but it is a source and I am satisfied. I just wish I could find something as solid on my William Wright, Daniel Miller and Thomas Graves. Back to the search.