Getting Back to Reading

After having it for some time, I’m finally starting to read Staking Her Claim: Women Homesteading the West. My immediate homesteaders were married couples in Nebraska in the 1880s. Hensley’s book focuses on slightly later claims from slightly further west (for reasons she mentions clearly in the introduction). I have two female relatives that started homestead claims as single women in Nebraska during the 1880 time period (one who was in her sixties and one who was in her early twenties). My relatives claims were made by single women (I think) because they were trying to claim as much property as possible–not because the women were living a distance from family and completely on their own. The women profiled in Hensley’s book were, for the most part on their own. The transcriptions of their letters makes for an informative and interesting read–even if your people did not homestead.

Based upon a Facebook post by Elizabeth Shown Mills (author of Evidence Explained), I’ve ordered Indian Slavery in Colonial America. There’s nothing like jumping time periods, but it’s been a while since I’ve really looked at my pre-American Revolution families and I thought this might be an interesting read.

Read. There’s more than Facebook posts out there that can give you background to assist you with your genealogical research.


3 thoughts on “Getting Back to Reading

  1. I agree 100%, I’m currently reading “Recollections of our Pioneers in Lee County.” This is an absolutely fascinating book written in 1893 and telling of the early men and women of that area. The language can be a bit sentimental but there is nothing like it for getting a sense of the lives of my families who were there and in neighboring Bureau counties. I hold them in much higher respect than I did before I started this book.

  2. And – such reading frequently brings to mind an idea I had planned to follow-up on and haven’t or generates a clue I hadn’t considered.

  3. I agree as well; my grandfather flew a Sopwith Camel for the Royal Air Force in WWI. He was 18 years old in July 1918 and had less than 2 months service with the RAF when he was shot down (fortunately surviving since I otherwise wouldn’t be around to post this!). He didn’t talk about the war, but I gained some appreciation for his service by reading “Letters from a War Bird” The World War I Correspondence of Elliott White Springs, in which I found out that the Sopwith Camel “by the middle of the summer of 1918 was rapidly becoming obsolescent….”

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