Friday, June 21, 2024

Revisiting Those Printed Genealogy Books

When I began working on my husband's family tree 26 years ago, I was fortunate to have many clues in hand, including a 1959-era genealogy book about Larimer ancestors. Even better, my late mom-in-law had jotted notes, fixed typos, and corrected dates of folks listed in the book. Today, the Larimer book has been digitized and is available for free download from FamilySearch--including a handy name index. 

Fleshing out "no record" ancestors

Despite the paucity of sources and various omissions and errors, I've revisited this book again and again in search of clues. Of course, now it's easier to research distant ancestors ... even those who the author marked as "no record" 65 years ago when he printed this book. So one of my goals is to flesh out the lives of the "no record" ancestors and add their descendants to my hubby's family tree. 

Nothing in this book is a fact until I confirm with other evidence, but it's been a good starting point for many avenues of genealogical investigation. 

Clues to military ancestors

I've also used the book to identify possible military ancestors in the Larimer family tree. Above, an excerpt from p 30, indicating that Isaac Larimer (1828-1910) and John Larimer (1836-1871) both served in the US Civil War. My research (using Fold3, obits, Census records, and more) confirms that yes, both of those men (1c4r from my hubby) were fighting for the Union.  

Isaac Larimer was in the 35th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry. As shown above, during his first battle against Confederate forces, Isaac was captured. His obit says he was held for three weeks until he escaped and rejoined his unit. Then he was wounded by a gunshot to the face in 1863. He nearly died but managed to recover and eventually was mustered out, returning to his wife and children on the family farm. 

With more than one John Larimer in the family tree during that period, I had to be sure I had the correct spouse, children, dates, and place. John Larimer's Civil War pension record showed dates when he was declared an invalid, and dates when his widow Anna Mary claimed pension and money for minor dependents. Also this card showed his unit (10th Missouri Cavalry) which helped me reconstruct where he was and what he did during the Civil War. 

Other Larimers in the military?

What about the other two adult Larimer men in this excerpt, the brothers of John and Isaac? James Larimer's obit mentions nothing about military service. He registered for the Civil War draft but was marked as married with children, I saw on the ledger page. Very likely he did not serve, but I'll take a closer look. George Larimer doesn't seem to have been in the military, either, but I'll dig a little deeper just in case.

Interestingly, lower on this same page, J. Wright Larimer and Harvey J. Larimer are listed as younger sons of Moses Larimer and Nancy Blosser Larimer--without mentioning that both enlisted in the 151st Indiana Volunteer Infantry in 1865, ready to fight for the Union. My own research uncovered their stories, which are now in the booklet. Maybe their descendants weren't aware of this military service?

Anyway, go ahead and revisit those printed genealogy books but be sure to double-check names, dates, and everything else!

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