Transcribed Public And Private Records


  This topic includes just about everything else that wonít fit neatly into the other categories. Iíll provide just a few examples of the types of records that may be found and utilized by the genealogist and historical researcher. Be aware, though, that this list is by no means comprehensive.

  Many people, down through the years, have kept personal diaries. When they pass away, the diaries are usually kept by their surviving loved ones. Although the diary of one person may not be of interest to others, some diarists became quite eloquent and simple records of family events might become as engrossing as a novelís drama. At times, the surviving relatives, to whom the diaries were willed, will donate the diaries to a local historical society.

  The keeping of scrapbooks was a popular pastime during and for years after the Victorian period (i.e. 1850s to 1920s). The scrapbook keeper would paste onto the blank pages of a bound volume any paper item he or she found of interest - poetry, news items, obituary articles from newspapers, etc. The scrapbook became a repository for ticket stubs to a favorite movie or social event such as a local dance or concert. Ribbons were given away at events such as "Homecoming Week" or a local agricultural fair. Pieces of ribbons from a funeral bouquet might be clipped and pasted in the scrapbook as a final memento of the deceased loved one. The ribbons were flat and could be easily pasted into the scrapbook. Pictures from wall calendars that the scrapbook keeper found interesting usually found their way into the pages of the scrapbook.

  Newspaper articles have been transcribed and accumulated into volumes. A good example is the book, Local History, which is comprised of a collection of stories by Milton V. Burgess, which originally were written for inclusion in the Morrisons Cove Herald.

  Some genealogists interview older residents of the local region (or write down their own memories) and publish the transcribed Ďreminiscencesí for the sake of local lore and legend. Vaughen E. Whisker of Bedford County published his Tales From The Allegheny Foothills in the 1980s. The set of ten paperback volumes are filled stories on a variety of subjects that pertain to daily life in Bedford County and Mr. Whiskerís own musings on the history of the county.

  Each of these types of transcribed public and private records must be evaluated on their own to determine their validity and accuracy. A general caution should be made that any transcription of another record is liable to bear a mistake or two.

Bedford County Pennsylvania Archives, Volumes 1-7
edited by James B. Whisker 1985 - 1994 (available from Closson Press)

Local History
by Milton V. Burgess, 1985

Pennsylvania In The Revolution
by William L. & Shirley G.M. Iscrupe, 1986, (Volume 1, Number 2 includes "Colonel William Thompsonís Battalion Of Riflemen 1775-1776"; Volume 1, Number 4 includes "Revolutionary Forts Of Blair County")

Somerset Past ~ The History And Genealogy Of Somerset County, Pennsylvania
by Southwest Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, 1982

Tales From The Allegheny Foothills
by Vaughn E. Whisker