Genealogical and Historical Reference
From Willow Bend Books.
Willow Bend Books Spring 2004 catalogue
By Michael Stillman
We recently received the Spring 2004 catalogue from Willow Bend Books. There are several thousand titles in this catalogue, so we imagine, even if this is a bit late for spring, that there are still a few left.
This is not a catalogue of old and rare books. Some undoubtedly meet those requirements, particularly "rare," but this is a catalogue for those interested in genealogy and local history, especially on the people who were a part. You won't find a lot about Abraham Lincoln in these books, but you just might find out something about your grandparents.
Willow Bend is located in Westminster, Maryland, so there is a particularly heavy concentration from the Mid-Atlantic region. However, there is no limitation, and you will find detailed and obscure material from all over the U.S. For example, were your ancestors ethnic Germans who emigrated from Russia and settled in Odessa, North Dakota? Where would you ever find out anything about their experiences? How about Steppes to Neu Odessa: Germans from Russia who Settled in Odessa Township, Dakota Territory 1872-1876. Item A2894HB. Priced at $17.
Everyone knows about the Titanic, but how many remember the U.S.S. Sultana? The sinking of the Sultana was the largest maritime disaster in U.S. history, with more lives being lost than were lost on the Titanic. The ship was already in poor condition when it was sent to pick up Union prisoners from Andersonville at the end of the Civil War. However, the soldiers, many in very poor health, were in a hurry to get home, so over 2,000 people were packed on a ship designed for 376 for the journey from Mississippi to Illinois. Most did not make it. An explosion ripped apart one of the boilers, which started a fire that quickly spread through the ship, causing the upper deck to collapse upon the lower. Many of those who did not die in the fire drowned in the water, as their poor physical condition made it difficult for them to swim. Despite the enormity of this tragedy, it has almost been forgotten. Perhaps some of this had to do with the nation’s mind being on other things. President Lincoln had been assassinated just twelve days earlier. The book is The Sultan Saga: The Titanic of the Mississippi by Rex T. Jackson. Item A4070HB. $18.
For those interested in the Salem Witch Trials, and who isn't fascinated by this little gruesome episode from our past, there's Witch Hunt: The Layman’s Guide to the Salem Witchcraft Trials by George Malcolm York. This is an account of the witch hunts from start to conclusion, and is based on contemporary reports and the personal records of descendants on both sides of this conflict. Item Y0565HB. $18.
Genealogical and Historical Reference
From Willow Bend Books.
For those looking to trace their ancestry, here are some samples of the types of obscure references you may find in this catalogue. Did you have a great-great-great grandparent who was an orphan in Delaware? Here are the Orphans' Court Proceedings of New Castle County, Delaware 1742-1761. Item A1924DV. $18. How about a bastard from Baltimore? There's Bastardy Cases in Baltimore County, Maryland 1673-1783. Item 0471HB. $19. A country bastard instead of a city one? There is Bastardy Cases in Harford County, Maryland, 1744-1844. Item 2847HB. $20. Or you can read about the divorces of Harford County in Harford County, Maryland, Divorce Cases, 1827-1912. Item 9832HB. $6.75.
Did Grandpa do life at the Auburn prison in New York? You can read about him in Deaths at Auburn Prison, Cayuga County, New York 1888-1937. This book provides records of all of the approximately 700 inmates to die at this prison between 1888 and 1937. There is something very sad about the thought of spending your final years behind bars. The author of this book is the ironically named Mark DeLawyer. These prisoners needed one of those. Item 1277HB. $20.50.
If Grandma eloped from her home in Pennsylvania, you may find her here. The book is Runaway Women – Elopements and Other Miscreant Deeds as Advertised in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 1728-1789. This is a collection of advertisements from deserted husbands, warning people not to extend credit to their runaway wives, many of whom had run off with other men and taken the children and property with them. Also included are notices from immigrants who had lost track of family members along the way. Item 5392CL. $10.95.
Here's a book you hope your grandfather isn't included in: Men I Have Met in Bed, by Lila Asher. The reason you hope he isn't in here is not the one you're thinking. This is an account by a U.S.O. artist who drew sketches of wounded soldiers to promote that organization's activities. Item A3143HB. $23.
A book for those interested in the Native American experience is The Role of Native Americans in Military Engagements by Karen Ackerman. This work covers interactions between Indians and settlers from the 17th through 19th centuries. It starts with contacts from 1609 and continues through a description of a Canadian Indian militia in 1885. At times, the Indians worked together with the Whites, at others they faced off in battle. Item H2360HB. $24.
We conclude with the History of the Lost State of Franklin, written by Samuel Cole Williams. Franklin was on the western side of the mountains in what was then part of North Carolina. North Carolina briefly ceded the territory to the federal government after the Revolution in an attempt to pay off its share of the war debt, but quickly seized it back. That didn't stop the settlers, under the leadership of John Sevier, a frontier Indian fighter, from setting up their own government. They named it after Benjamin Franklin. Franklin responded with proper thanks, but declined to become involved. Within a few years, the government fizzled, but Franklin would still become independent of North Carolina. Today it is eastern Tennessee, and Sevier would go on to be Tennessee's first governor. Item W2066HB. $31.50
If you are interested in the items in this catalogue and more genealogical works, you may find Willow Bend Books on the internet at www.willowbendbooks.com or you may reach them by phone at 410-876-6101.