Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Cousin Bait Leads to Discovery of Another Family History Book

My husband's Larimer family intermarried with members of the Work, Short, and McKibbin families in America.

One reason we know this is from the detailed Larimer family history book researched by John Clarence Work (1875-1962) and his father, Aaron Work (1837-1924). The book suggests that there were ties among the families back in the original home towns, before these ancestors crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

Believing that researching siblings, cousins, and in-laws can lead to more genealogical breakthroughs, I've been looking at the Work family connections with the Larimer family. And, of course, I've been blogging about the Work family.

My cousin bait blog posts have attracted a couple of inquiries--including one distant Work cousin who knew something I didn't about John Clarence Work.

Larimer Family History

A photocopy of the Larimer family history survived in my husband's family, along with my in-laws' hand-written corrections of spelling and dates for some of the people mentioned in the book. I've used the book and the corrections as a starting point for researching my husband's family, grateful for the clues and comments.

John Clarence Work and his father not only traced the Larimer family tree, they also compiled the names and brief bios of descendants of the original Larimer immigrant who left Northern Ireland about 1740 to make a new life in America. Happily for any Larimer descendant, the Larimer Family History is available for free, in its entirety, on FamilySearch (follow this direct link to the book).

As it happens, John Clarence Work was in touch with my late mother- and father-in-law during the 1950s, asking about their lives and the names/dates of their children (including my hubby). So I know how much effort they put into this family history. What I didn't know is that this was not the only family history done by John Clarence Work.

Work Family History

The Work cousin who contacted me via my blog said he was in touch with the Fairfield District Library in Lancaster, Ohio, near where the Work family once lived. The librarian kindly scanned and sent to him several pages from a book about Work family history, cowritten by John Clarence Work with his niece, Rhoda Fisher Work. That gave me an idea...

I searched the Family Search catalog for books by John Clarence Work. And I discovered that the Work Family History, like the Larimer Family History, is also available for free, in its entirety, on FamilySearch (follow this direct link to the book). What a treasure trove of genealogical clues!

One lesson learned from this experience is: If someone in the family wrote a family history, check to see whether that person wrote a second or third family history. Check the local library and historical/genealogical society in the area where these ancestors lived, and check Family Search as well.

Thank you to the Work cousin who contacted me and shared what he'd learned about the Work family history book!


  1. I love those old family history books. At worst, they are like online trees, to be used as clues and, at best, they are terrific. Congratulations on your find. :)

  2. That's a marvelous find & a good tip for researching!