Many people have a printed family history book in their home, or discover their family names in a book at a genealogical library and set out to do research from this starting point. What if you don’t have such a luxury? Are you out of luck? Were there no previous ancestors who crafted a family history to bless the lives of others?
Maybe, but maybe not. There is a place that you could find out. It’s generally not going to be quick or easy, but it’s worth investigating.
Published Family Histories on FamilySearch
Family History Books, according to the website, has 200,000+ digital periodicals from family histories or from genealogy societies and magazines. The digital books could be from the Family History Library (in Salt Lake) or nearly a dozen other partner societies.
I attempted to find the Geiszlers and the Zumsteins and came up short. Well, for the Geiszlers they could be mentioned in a few articles, but nothing that really caught my eye. Same for the Zumsteins. There was a Zumstein history, but it’s from the 1600s and I haven’t traced my lines back that far.
I did enter the terms Townsend and Ohio and came across an interesting entry.
I didn’t know there was a Townsend Society! That’s pretty cool. I don’t know that I can connect into Richard Townsend that settled in New York in 1640, but I like the idea of seeing who is on the “Ohio” line of Townsends. Perhaps there are a few clues that point to my brick wall Townsend and his likely brothers that could explain their ‘missing’ parents.
Once you find published family histories, then read this post to learn how to critically read that published work for more research questions.