Monday, December 17, 2012

An Early Christmas Gift


My great grandfather Stephen Sherwood got even with me the day after my "Carpuss" (see below) post made light of his spelling and grammar.    That post was to be my last for the year until I received an early Christmas present.

This  gift wasn't one I asked for or ever expected, and yet  a more timely or appreciated gift couldn't  have come my way.  I'm up to 1863 in the letters and The Articles of Agreement were written in 1867.  It was as if Stephen wanted The Articles  to tie into the letters that would be posted shortly.  Allow me to explain.

I entered the phrase "Stephen Sherwood mining" in google books (try it by clicking google books, put in the phrase Stephen Sherwood mining, and then go down the page) and a book I hadn't seen before was on the screen,  Articles of Agreement of the Sherwood Silver Mining Company of Nevada. This fifteen page booklet had twenty-three articles of agreement, and the names of the officers, directors, trustees, and attorney of the Sherwood Silver Mining Company. Twenty-four investors were mentioned. Names are worth  more than silver to a  genealogist, and this certainly is a treasure I will be mining for a long time.  These  individuals  had put trust in Stephen Sherwood and his company.  A quick search through google books of  the investors revealed  some were men of influence in Chicago. Carter H Harrison became the Mayor of Chicago.  Yes, there are names to be mined.

So I must say that in his case spelling and grammar didn't mean much in the scheme of things.  It didn't really matter how he spelled Corpus.  Carpuss was just fine.  Everybody knew what he meant.  Stephen would get the final word.  He could say:  "You don't have to be a good speller to have your own company."

The recipient of a gift should always give sincere thanks to the giver.  It isn't exactly clear who I should thank, but let me start with three.  Without the google books search engine which found the document, and I might add the digitizing technology which copied it,  this document would never have been found. The John Crerar Library  had stored the book for nearly 150 years, and last but not least, I should thank John Crerar,  who left 2.6 million in his estate as an endowment for a free public library.

www.flickr.com

The bibliographic information said the book was digitized on February 24, 2012.    It was as if

was gift wrapped and placed under the tree in February to find and open just before Christmas.

When we do family history, we all have something that somebody else needs.  This post would not be complete if I did not SHOW my thanks.  I've started by posting the book on my blog.  I already recognize names in the Articles of Agreement.  The name Walker  was in a letter I posted, and Coe will be in a future one.  The Articles of Agreement will help build more history around the names in The Sherwood Letters.  Perhaps, even some of their descendants will find their names here.

I'm grateful  I can keep this gift and give it away at the same time.  It's a gift that keeps on giving.  Family history can do that.  This blog has been an attempt to start the process.

Thanks for allowing me to show you what I got for Christmas.















33 comments:

  1. I can totally relate to that level of excitement over having found such a book, Grant. Yes, Google books is fantastic, and much thanks goes to them. But it's the awesome feeling of actually holding in your own hands a book or document that actually names or describes--or was actually written by--your own ancestor that is incomparable. Yes, that is one amazing Christmas gift!

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  2. Thank you for you comment. Somehow I had posted it before it was ready and so it has a lot of changes from when you read it. :-). I still don't know how to work the blog prompts. I set it on Sunday to post at 6: A.M. this morning (Monday) and it showed up in the blog prompts but didn't post. I later posted it by hand. Well it's there now. Merry Christmas To You!

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    1. Grant, sometimes the behind-the-scenes blogging works can be frustrating, as you've found. Glad you found the problem and were able to fix it right away!

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  3. Grant--thank you so much for this blog. I love each new entry!!! You are amazing!!!!

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    1. Margaret, Thank You for reading it. Writing it is an adventure because I never know for sure where it is going to take me.

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  4. That is truly a fantastic Christmas present! Enjoy all the new aspects of the hunt that it will provide for you.

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  5. Nice find! I love digital books. Merry Christmas!

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  6. I've been able to find so much information through Google books.

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  7. I hope I get such a good Christmas present! Talk about bad spelling -- one of my great-great uncles was the Justice of the Peace for his town. I thought that having such a position would indicate he had some education. However, I read the will he wrote for himself and it's a mess. Now I wonder if we can trust anything he affixed his name to.

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  8. If our ancestors were alive today, we could give them spell check. Merry Christmas.

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  9. Serendipity indeed! You've gotta love Google Books!

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  10. Interesting about Google book! I hope it can work for me too, I have a real brick wall and I will try to find him this way. Thank you for the tips!
    Happy New Year!

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  11. What a treasured gift, Grant . . . Google Books is amazing! Wonder what our ancestors would say about it all . . . I bet a huge thank you so that we have been able to glean family history info from them!

    Happy New Year to you and your family, Grant . . . glad your here.

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    1. Yes, our ancestors would be grateful for Google Books as well. We may feel that gratitude when our descendants are trying to find us. We might say Google Books is a gift that will keep on giving (or something else that will take it's place). This is a great community. Look forward to this New Year at Geneabloggers.

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  12. Grant, I'm so glad you mentioned this to me. How fortunate this book was scanned and popped up to be your Christmas gift. It must have been thrilling to see it. Happy New Year to you too.

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  13. I felt very fortunate especially since some of the letters I am transcribing on my gg grandfather might shed some more light on the book and visa versa. I'm still giddy about it. Can you tell. :-)

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  14. Grant, don't you just love gifts that just keeps on giving?! I know that I do and I am so glad that you found this wonderful treasure! I've enjoyed my visit at your blog today very much. You are a wonderful writer and genealogist too! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and connecting with me via Pinterest today. I promise that I won't be a stranger and visit you again. Take care, blessings to you and your family, and Happy New Year!

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  15. Liv, Thank you for visiting here. Yes, I enjoyed your Blog and also your Pinterest Boards. You even joined the new Blog I'm working on now. Thank You. I know it was an act of faith because I've just done one post and haven't featured it with Geneabloggers yet. :-) This is a great community of bloggers, and I'm grateful I got to connect with you on your Blog and Pinterest. Happy New Year!

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  16. Hi Grant, thank you for your comment on my blog. Your story is fascinating & hoping to sit & read it properly very soon.

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  17. What a great present to receive!! And in defense of your grandfather, no less a personage than a former President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, once is reported to have said, "It is a damn poor mind indeed which can't think of at least two ways to spell any word."

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  18. That's a great quote from Andrew Jackson.

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  19. Woot! You can't underestimate the power of google books. Sometimes those 'whim' searches are the most productive!

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  20. So true. That's not the first time google books has come through for me.

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  21. What a great gift! So glad you found it and are able to share your findings with others!

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  22. Dear Grant, Good Morning ! I thought I would let you know that I listed you in my nominations for the "Wonderful Team Member Readership Award", which you can get more information on by going to:

    http://www.genealogyworks2.blogspot.com/.

    Magda ( www.hungarianfamilyrecord.org)

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  23. What a great Christmas present! I love google books. It looks like you are doing great things with this blog. I love all the pictures.

    Lori Lyn Price
    BridgingThePast.com

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