Research & ResourcesMar 25th, 2009 | By Leonard Legends & Legacies | Category: How-To
When it comes to family history, I’m a firm believer in good ol’ fashioned legwork. I’ve done my time behind the microfilm and microfiche readers, gotten my hands dirty in some musty old archives, scratched around in boxes and boxes of old photos and documents. But I won’t look a gift Web site in the mouth.
Do you get that reference? Do you know what it means to look a gift horse in the mouth? There’s a Web site for that… called The Phrase Finder. It can come in handy when you’re trying to decipher a 19th century letter.
My point is this, a LOT of the information I ordered from Family History Centers and libraries ten years ago is available at the click of a mouse today. I openly encourage new researchers to use them, with the caveat that Web sites are finite and may NOT last forever. It all depends on who’s paying for it, maintaining it, and supporting it. Whenever possible, please take note of the original source and where it might be found in physical form.
That said, here are a few sites I visit on a regular basis. Keep in mind some of them are very Leonard-specific, but rest assured there are similar sites for virtually any family name.
- Ancestry.com – THE mother of all genealogy/family history Web sites. Requires membership for the best info, but you can search for free. US Census reports, birth, death, marriage records, new databases added monthly.
- Genealogy in Washington County, PA. – Lots of history, including searchable volumes of Crumrine, Beers, and Bell histories.
- Genealogical Society of SW Pennsylvania – Citizens Library, Washington, PA.
- Uniontown Public Library, Pennsylvania Room – This is the repository for Jennie Leonard Hutchinson’s manuscript and many, many notes. While they’re still not available online, the library staff will be happy to look ‘em up.
- History of Washington County, PA.. – Boyd Crumrine, 1882. Fully searchable text from the University of Pittsburgh.
- History of Fayette County, PA. – Franklin Ellis 1882. Same source, also searchable.
- Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, PA. – by John W Jordan, James Hadden, 1912. A more recent history, references to Plum Run Church & others.
- Cornerstone Genealogical Society – The place to go for all things Greene County, PA.
- Leonard Descendants – One of Jane Peppler’s family trees. Descendants of Solomon Leonard.
- Burt Descendants – Another of Jane Peppler’s family trees, showing the relationships between the Leonard and Burt families.
- Leonard Family Forum – The place to go to browse/ask random questions about the Leonard family. Be patient. I’ve had answers come back four years later!
- Family History Archives – digitized family history books from Brigham Young University, in conjunction with the LDS. Includes three volumes on the Iron Leonards.
- The Old Pike: A History of the National Road – Thomas Searight, 1894. History of the area, mentions Edmund Leonard owning an old tavern.
- History of Bridgewater – Nahum Mitchell, 1840. Awesome book about the history of Bridgewater, MA., where Solomon Leonard was a founder. Lots of Solomon references.
- Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of new England – James Savage, 1860. Mostly just reference that Solomon, Isaac, Benjamin and others existed. Read carefully, the paragraphs are broken in odd places. Savage had a few of the Taunton & Bridgewater lines crossed up.
- Genealogical Memoir of the Leonard Family – Wm R. Deane, 1852. Descendants of James Leonard, aka “The Taunton Leonards” or “The Iron Leonards.”
- Find-a-Grave.com – Ridiculous as it may sound, there’s database of MILLIONS of pictures of tombstones. Lots of Leonards (and others) to be found.
There, that should hold you for a while, right? I know I’ve left some out and I fully intend to formalize this list onto it’s own page, one of these days. In the meantime, feel free to leave suggested sites in the comments.
And as a footnote, this may be the last post for a while (or not), as I’m trying to go heads-down to rewrite my own family history, long overdue for updating. At any rate, don’t worry if you don’t hear from me for a while, I’m still alive and well. (That’s song, isn’t it? Edgar Winter maybe?)