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Book, Book, & Book – Plus a Wee Glimpse of a Tale of Using Indirect Evidence


I have loved books for as long as I can remember.  I probably even loved them before that.  When I was a teenager there was a certain book I checked out from the library several times.  I loved it so much that I asked my mom if I could say that I “lost it” and pay the lost book fee so I could keep it.  I was only joking.  Mostly.  You see, it was out of print and I really wanted my own copy.

That is definitely not the only time I have longed for an out of print book.

A few years ago I solved a long-standing brick wall using indirect evidence.  It was a lot of work.  I was nervous to call my conclusion solid.  The whole concept of indirect evidence was new to me.  I didn’t even know that phrase until well after I had drawn my conclusions.

Then I took an excellent class taught by Tom Jones at RootsTech in 2016 and realized I was, in fact, solid.  I had already done the very things he was teaching us, but I was uncertain until I watched him masterfully lay out how to use direct, indirect, and negative evidence.

But before taking that class and learning the phrase “indirect evidence”, I was scouring the web searching for more information to help solidify my conclusions.  I came across the book pictured above – Reminiscences of My Life and Times by, Telesphore Brouillette.

I could find it in only one location in the world – The University of Washington.

Telesphore was the brother of my previous brick wall.  I wanted desperately to get my hands on that book and see if my conclusions were correct.  Would he mention his sister in that 183 page volume and confirm my conclusions?

So onto the genealogy to-do list that book went.  I tried getting inter-library loan privileges, I considered asking my brother to go visit the library (but there is noooooo way he would scan all 183 pages for me), and I thought about going to Seattle myself and scanning away.

But I was definitely more thought than action on this to-do list item.  There were just other projects that were simpler to tackle.

Can any of you relate to that?  😉

Well, this past summer I connected with a newly found cousin, Margaret.  Margaret happens to own a copy of that prized book.  She generously offered to loan it to me to scan.  It arrived on Friday!

❤️  ❤️  ❤️

Can you feel my pure genealogy joy pouring off your screen right now?  Because it is like the mighty Mississippi in both volume and current – lots and lots of joy!

So now I will interrupt my current and equally joyful scanning project (My Grandpa’s journals from his LDS mission to New Zealand in the late 1940s with a recap of his time in the Marine Corps during WWII) so that I can scan and return this precious book to Margaret.

Who needs chocolate when you can have rare books?

Thank you, Margaret!



Now for a very quick bit about two additional books written by dear genealogy friends.

Last Wednesday I completed reading Kin Types by, Luanne Castle.

kin types

Oh!  Be still my heart and soul.  This slim, but powerfully moving chapbook (44 pages) of poetry, prose, and flash non-fiction is the perfect read for anyone who loves language, history, and genealogy.  You will be drawn into so many different compelling events in Luanne’s family tree.  Please read it and tell your friends about it.  You will love it!

I know exactly who needs to receive a copy of this book from me for Christmas.

Read Luanne’s own words describing the project here, and purchase this lovely book here.


In June, I finished reading Pacific Street by, Amy Cohen.

pacific street

Why haven’t I told you all about this book sooner?  Life, I suppose.  😉  Amy has created a beautiful historical fiction account of her own grandparent’s early lives.  It is lovely, moving, and so eye-opening.  Amy brings to life the experience of first-generation immigrants in America, of the challenging process for families to save and work to slowly bring everyone safely to America, and the persecution Jewish families have experienced pre-WWII.  It was especially meaningful to me to know that she wove this story using facts.  It felt like being invited into Amy’s home to listen to her tell you all about her Grandparents youth and how they met and I loved every minute of the tale.

You can read Amy’s own words about the project here, and you can purchase her wonderful novel here.



Ahhhh, books.  My love for you just never ends.  ❤️



Do you love books like you love air?  What is your favorite?



ps – Nobody take away my chocolate, please.  I may have been exaggerating a tiny bit about rare books replacing chocolate.  😉


41 thoughts on “Book, Book, & Book – Plus a Wee Glimpse of a Tale of Using Indirect Evidence”

  1. I’m with you on the love for old books! Do you ever shop on I have bought some really wonderful books through that site, including a history of WWI in Hancock County, Ohio, and U.S. Official Pictures of the World War. You can even get cash back through Coupon Cabin!

    I hope you find some interesting information about your Brouillette family member.

    1. Hi Katie! I haven’t had any luck on AbeBooks. But I love that I can check there and Amazon right from the OCLC. I’ve had lots of luck with used books on Amazon. Thank you, I hope I find something great too!

    2. Katie,

      Telesphore Brouillette was my 4th great uncle. I am descended from his sister, Rose de Lima (Delima Rose Brouillete) who married Joseph Marcy. Which sibling are you descended from?

      1. Hi Mary! Katie doesn’t descend from the Brouillette family, but I do! I descend from Esther who married Seth Potter Maffit.

          1. Yes! I’m working on it. I’ll post on my blog when it’s available. Feel free to email and check in anytime! My email address is on the sidebar. ❤️

  2. What an exciting discovery–and so nice of Margaret! I know how hard it is to part with a treasured book, even temporarily :). I understand about trying to figure out how to get something that you have to lay your hands on to answer a question or questions! Thank you so much for talking about Kin Types and for your lovely review, Amberly. It makes me so happy. I hope you don’t mind if I reblog your post. I also loved Amy’s book about her family. Isn’t it exciting to see stories coming out of genealogical research?!
    My favorite book? I have SO many. One of them is definitely Harriet Arnow’s novel The Dollmaker. It is about a woman in the years before WWII (if I remember right–it’s been so many years ago since I last read it) who lives in the Kentucky hills who has to move to Detroit with all her children for her husband to work in an auto factory. They live in a little village owned by the car company. She whittles dolls out of wood. Seeing the family move from the country to the city is intense.

    1. Yes! I am so delighted and feel much gratitude for Margaret’s generosity and trust.

      You are welcome! I loved reading Kin Types so much. I’m sure I will read it again and again. It’s a wonderful collection.

      Oooh, interesting book. I’ve never read it.

      1. Are you going to scan or copy the book or just use it while you have it?
        Thanks so much about Kin Types. It makes me so happy :).
        So many people have never heard of The Dollmaker. I am afraid it will go away if more people don’t know about it. It’s a very emotional read, but it’s an important part of American history and the characters are so compelling.

  3. Hi Amberly, I am slow to get to this because there is a power outage in our town. But thank you!! I really appreciate your kind words about Pacific Street, and like Luanne, I’d like to reblog your post.

    Are you willing to share what book it was as a teen that you read and re-read? 🙂

    And yes, I can imagine your joy in being able to get possession of that book! I hope it provides you will lots of new insights and information.

    Thanks again!

    1. You are welcome, Amy! I loved reading Pacific Street. It was such a lovely journey. I suppose part of the joy was knowing their granddaughter wrote the story so it was all going to work out in the end. 😉

      I’m sorry about the power outage! Those drive me crazy. We’ve had several the last few years because there is a lot of new construction around me. They keep hitting power lines when they dig. One of those days I was making dinner for a friend who had just had a baby. The power went out just as I started. Thankfully my range is gas so I had my teenager light it (I’m a chicken) and then both of my teenagers held flashlights for me while I cooked. They really earned their supper that night! 😉

      Reblog away!

      The book from my teenage years was called Mrs. Mike.

      I should re-read it now that I know my family lived in areas set in the story. My mom found a copy for me a few years after the last time I checked it out and gave it to me for Christmas.

  4. Oh, my favorite book? Funny that the two I still love the best are children’s books—Charlotte’s Web and The Phantom Tollbooth. I’ve read both many times, including to my children.

    1. I LOVE children’s books. I read a lot of them. I suppose it goes with the territory when you earn a degree in Elementary Education, work with children, have children, and once upon a time taught kindergarten. 🙂

  5. Reblogged this on Brotmanblog: A Family Journey and commented:
    Thanks so much to Amberly, The Genealogy Girl, for her generous words about my book Pacific Street at the end of this lovely post about books. If you aren’t following Amberly’s blog, check it out. It’s wonderful.

  6. Fingers crossed you will confirm and find your answers with this book. I too have read both Kin Types and Pacific Street…both wonderful books and yes, perfect for gift giving 🙂

  7. Yep, love old books, new books, just books period – also chocolate. How wonderful that you have the opportunity to scan the Brouillette book. I purchased a PDF on CD-R of a manuscript by Henry Clay Young – “The Descendants of Enos Howard of Duanesburg, New York” (lost the CD with everything else in August) but did save a copy of the PDF to my computers. It helped open some doors and while some of the page scans were really lousy, I managed to enhance and clean them up in a photo editor so I could decipher the information. I was able to recreate the information on the missing pages and have been debating about offering a transcription with addition of new material, if I can find my backup hard drives. I think there are a lot of old genealogy and history books available on the Internet Archive ( – also books of old house plans, catalogs of interior furnishings, trims, plumbing fixtures, tiles, lighting fixtures, clothing, farm implements, etc. I’ve gotten a lot of helpful information and full color PDF copies that are downloadable, some books can be “borrowed” (I haven’t tried that as yet since most of the ones I’d like to borrow have nothing to do with present research, but it’s something I might get around to).
    I can’t say I have a favorite book, there are quite a few and I miss having the hardcopies (I lost over 4000 books – maybe 5000) and they run the gamut between “children’s” books (Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh series, Charlotte’s Web, The Album of Horses, Black Gold) to Tolkein’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Frank Herber’s Dune, Robert A. Heinlein’s works, histories, science architecture, art, music, and lots more.
    Books, chocolate, a good cup of coffee and a comfortable place to read – beyond price.

    1. Thank you! I say go for it! If you went the all of that work, do just a bit more and earn yourself a bit off the effort. 🙂

      I love So much great stuff on there!

      I’m sorry about your lost books. Books are such a part of me that when one is lost I mourn it like the loss of a loved one, maybe not quite as much as a human loved one, but almost.

      I also love children’s books. But my favorite book of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird. I reread it every few years.

  8. Oh, this too on Internet Archive – free PDFs of US Census images, not indexed but excellent images overall and you can download just one or the whole census for a specific area (I did that for Duanesburg New York in 1790 and found several families that married the children of Enos Howard and Martha B. Soule Howard).

  9. Hi Amberly, this is your reminder that you still need to mail the scrapbook back to me. Happy Halloween!!!

  10. How can I not totally love a post about books. And these books!!! I’m so glad you have a copy of Reminiscences. I hope you find the answers you’re looking for. And I’m excited about you scanning your grandpa’s New Zealand journals. There is a lovely sense of connection knowing people I know have links with places that are part of my life. 🙂

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