Monday, January 2, 2012
Learning from the past
You would think that the genealogists, more than the average, would be able to learn from history. To get an idea of where we have been with genealogy going back a hundred years or more, we have a virtual window into the past. Google Books has several of the older genealogical journals. I got interested in looking at the old journals through a book, Allen, James B., Jessie L. Embry, and Kahlile B. Mehr. Hearts Turned to the Fathers: A History of the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1894-1994. Provo, Utah: BYU Studies, Brigham Young University, 1995. In talking about the history of the Utah Genealogical Society, the authors mention the journal, Genealogical Society of Utah. The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine. Salt Lake City, Utah: Geneal. Society of Utah, 1910. I decided to read some of the older issues and compare what was current over 100 years ago in genealogy with what is going on today.
As a matter of note, you can find the older copies of the journal online with complete text.
Here is another example of an older journal, The Genealogical Magazine. London: Elliot Stock], 1897.
As George Santayana (born Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás in Madrid, December 16, 1863; died September 26, 1952, in Rome) said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." See Wikipedia:George Snatayana. No where is this more true than with genealogy. No one who does not know the past and what has been done, can truly said to know the present and will never know the future.
Every word on every page is searchable in Google Books. I also suggest Archive.org as a source for older material.