With summer here, making day trips to scout out genealogy resources is much easier. These local libraries and genealogy associations have items that are not available online and are focused on the places that you are interested in exploring. Let’s look.
I mentioned the Leach Library in a recent blog. They’ve provided (for free) digital copies of newspapers from the Wahpeton, ND area. In addition to these online gems, they have a wonderful resource corner that contains books with regional interest. In a recent visit, I found some interesting items.
In the World War 1917-1918-1919 Richland County No. Dakota – compiled, printed, and published by The Globe-Gazette Printing Co. Wahpeton, North Dakota 1920. Why is this book useful? It contains a list of all the service men and women who served during WWI from Richland County, ND. Each person has a brief biography which includes their rank, unit, parents and birth date and place, where they served and when they were discharged. If they were wounded or died, that too is noted. And bonus! There is a picture of each individual. In addition, there is information about the various committees throughout the county. If you have an individual who served in WWI from Richland County ND, it is worth a look. My individual spent time across the border in Minnesota, but he was considered a North Dakota resident so when he was drafted, the records were part of Richland County.
And as an example of something you might not expect to find…Someone took the time to copy and bind a special edition of a local newspaper which is focused on the early years of Richland County with interviews with the early settlers. People discussed memorable events, what it was like in those early days and numerous names are mentioned related to settlement of local towns and establishment of churches and businesses. If you have someone in the area, check out Richland County Farmer-Globe Historical Edition “Dedicated to the Handy Early Settlers Who Pioneered the Upper Red River Valley” published on Tuesday November 30, 1937. There is information regarding towns on the North Dakota and Minnesota side of the Red River Valley. Most information is focused places near Wahpeton, North Dakota. Even if your specific ancestor is not listed, you can read and better understand if they had similar experiences living in the same area during the same timeframe.
In addition to these examples, they have local town and county histories, submitted family histories and older histories of North Dakota.
This is just one place that gives you an example of what you can find by exploring your local library or historical society. Are these valuable resources that you are overlooking in your quest to research only online? I enjoy the comfort and convenience of online research but occasionally, it is good to stretch the leg, expand the mind and go exploring in our communities. Happy researching!
With a lifelong passion for genealogy and history, the author enjoys the opportunity to share genealogy tidbits, inspiring others to research and write their family story.