Google Books On A Website Near You

Today Google announced on their Book Search Blog that they have developed a series of partnerships in order to more fully integrate Google Books into existing websites.  In the post, they highlight several advantages of this feature including

“For example, suppose you’ve turned to the Books-A-Millionsite to look for a book on the history of your hometown (say, Mountain View, California). When you see a book that looks promising, you can now click on “Google Preview” to browse through the book just as you might in the physical store, without ever having to leave Books-A-Million’s website. “

Whenever browsing participating websites, you just need to look for the Google Preview button and it will open up a window to preview the book online.  There are many different sites participating – bookstores, university libraries, publishers (even Arcadia Publishing – publisher of the Images of America Series), and social book sharing sites.  One of my favorite sites, WorldCat.org is also participating. 

I’ve blogged about Worldcat before: it allows you to locate books in libraries that may be close to you.  When you are looking at a record for a book, if you see the Google Preview button you can begin to browse what is available. 

You can read more about what WorldCat did here.  Right now, it looks like you need to use APIs in order to take advantage of the book preview.  I wonder if there would be any utility in them making an embed code of some type for an individual book-by-book basis?  One could always make a static link to a book, but I like the look of the embedded book. 

I find this particularly of interest as I’ve been spending some time exploring Google Books for my various genealogy interests.  Each month I choose a database to look at more in-depth and this month, Google Books was the one of choice.   During the Genea-Blogger games, my posts from this month on Google Books included:

I have more posts coming this Friday that are not up yet. I’ve written them and set them for pre-publish. I have the Genea-Blogger Games to thank for that!

Negro Week in Edgecombe

The September 20, 1898 issue of the Charlotte Observer featured an article titled: “Negro Week in Edgecombe: Black Republican Convention.”

As was often the case with some of these older articles, this is the overall synopsis– “Not a White Man in the Crowd — This is the set the White population are fussing with and putting in power — Lee Person, a notorious Black politician makes incendiary speeches — Tarboro still has a good police — Northhampton’s negro coroner, who is out for the stuff.”

I came across this article while browsing GenealogyBank tonight and had to read it.  My g-g-g-grandmother was named Mariah WImberly McNair and I suspect the local politician Dred Wimberly was her brother (see previous posts on Dred).  Since this article was about the right time frame as when he was in service, I took a closer look and sure enough he is mentioned. The article notes that although he was seemingly “master of ceremonies” someone else won the NC Senate seat.

[image from GenealogyBank.com]

Then, when I kept reading, I also saw mention of Turner Prince, whom I posted very briefly about last week as there is a community in Edgecombe County named after him, Princeville.  This article notes that Turner served as a state magistrate.

[image from GenealogyBank.com]

I need to read this article more in-depth. This is why I love newspapers!

Connections We Didn’t Know We Had

Before I discovered the wonderful world of genealogy a couple of years ago, my hobby of choice was cross-stitching. I still enjoy stitching, I just don’t do it as much (you can see all the projects I’ve completed here).  Back in 2003, while on a business trip out to San Diego and while there had dinner with a group of stitchers there – one of the ladies I met during that time was a woman I’ll call T.   Since then, we’ve exchanged emails, read each other’s blogs, etc.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, T emails me a genealogy related question.  There is a cross-stitch design called Mother’s Tree that she is wanting to stitch and she’d hit a road block with her 2nd great-grandmother, Elizabeth Daw.   She didn’t know who Elizabeth’s mother had been, but she knew Elizabeth had married a man named John Wimberly. Well, she was internet searching the Wimberly name and up came my genealogy blog. My blog came up b/c I’ve been researching Wimberlys. I have previously posted this, but I have a 3rd great-grandmother named Mariah Wimberly, whom I believe was a slave of a very wealthy Robert Diggs Wimberly of Edgecombe County, North Carolina.

Today, I took about an hour to spend some time trying to help her and I think we made a breakthrough! As she’d given me enough information to start, I was able to find her ancestor in census records and from those, combined with burial records available online, I am at this point about 90% sure we’ve found Elizabeth’s mother. If we are right, her mother would be a Nancy Daw, and Nancy’s mother was Anne Wilson. This would add two more generations to T’s family tree and cross-stitch chart – how cool.

As I was looking further into Elizabeth’s husband John, I came up with a hypothesis on who his father was based on again,  census records and burial records – a Watford Wimberly, who is listed in the census as being from NC — ooh, was this a connection in any way to “my” Wimberly?

So, off I go to Google Watford and one of the pages that is returned is a genealogy from a very detailed an comprehensive Wimberley Family History.  Working my way through the site, according to this researcher, Watford was indeed John’s father as on this site, John is listed as having married a Mary Elizabeth Daw.

More interesting to me is that when I worked my way up through Watford’s ancestry, it appears he is a 8th great-grandson of a William Wimberly of England (1455-1510).  “My” Robert Diggs Wimberly is also listed on this site as a descendant of the same William Wimberly.  Through my own research, I had only identified up to Robert’s grandfather, a George Wimberly.

I have emailed the site owner to learn more about his sources. One thing I often lament when visiting other’s trees is the too frequent lack of sources. This is one reason I value the program that I use for my own genealogies and my website is b/c it makes it very easy to include and show sources.  I have emailed the site owner to find out more, but this is such a cool connection for me and T.   Over the next few weeks, we are going to try and further verify this information, but it is for reasons such as this that I absolutely love the internet!

Rev. Kemp Plummer Battle

One day in December while searching a database I have access to through my job, I came across the following newspaper article from the Chicago Defender. I was doing a search for Dred Wimberly, a black Senator from NC that I suspect is a brother to one of my 3rd great-grandmothers, and this article came up. It came up b/c the Rev. Kemp Plummer Battle was married to one of Dred’s daughters, Annie.

Now, the interesting aspect of this is the Reverend’s name. He’s black. Dred himself was a slave on the Battle Plantation (see previous posts) and it was the WHITE Kemp Plummer Battle that suggested he run for office. The white Kemp Battle was former slavewoner of Dred, and is a former president of my alma mater, the University of NC @ Chapel Hill and Dred was a slave on his family’s plantation. I found it striking that Dred’s daughter would have married a black Kemp Plummer Battle!

Perhaps the Rev. was named after the white Kemp; perhaps the Rev.’s ancestors were too slaves of the Battle plantation. I’ll have to dig deeper and explore this further.

Dred is their son!

I haven’t been blogging much lately, the reason being that I have been quite busy personally. We are going to be moving within the next couple of weeks, so I’ve been prepping for that. Also, I’ve been mostly working on the family tree of an extended family member and have been so engrossed, I’ve just not posted much.

But, I do have something to share today! Thanks to help from a RAOGK volunteer, I received Dred Wimberly’s death certificate. I’ve posted about my efforts to link him to my family and his death certificate confirms that he is indeed the son of Allen & Della Battle Wimberly!!! This adds another link to my chain of evidence and given that Dred shows a very similar living pattern to his parents that my 3rd great-grandmother Mariah does, I am even more convinced that she is part of this family. This is really cool.

Link to Dred’s page on my family genealogy site.

Dred’s Brother?

In my quest to confirm my suspicions on Dred Wimberly, I have another clue. I sent away for his death certificate, but the register of deeds tells me they could not locate it. Hmm.. time to try the NC State Archives. But, they did have the death certificate of whom I suspected to be Dred’s brother, Richard Wimberly.

Richard Wimberly, according to the death certificate, was born about 1859 and his parents were Allen & Della Wimberly. Informant was Dred Wimberly. Well, since my hand searching of the county census records of 1870 show only one Richard Wimberly and he is in the household of Allen & Della, I’m fairly certain this is he. Then, given that Dred was his informant, this adds to my theory that Dred is the son of Allen & Della as well.

I’ve located Richard and his family in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 census records. I’ve located his widowed wife in the 1930 census (he died in 1921). Maybe through his line I can find a living descendant to talk to. I continue to search.

More about Dred

Since my last post, I’ve been spending the week looking for more information about Dred Wimberly, and doing some further analysis of the information that I do have. I posted that I think he is the brother to my 3rd great-grandmother, Mariah Wimberly. My connection is circumstantial at best, but let me share why I think this and I’ve love to hear any feedback from anyone who may be reading. Am I making too much of this?

Here is a list of reasons for my theory on why I think he is the son of Allen & Della and why I suspect Mariah to be his sister and also their child.

  • The 1930 census record for Dred’s family, has him living with his sister, Annie E. Wimberly, who was born about 1867. In 1870, Dred lives two doors away from Allen & Della and Allen & Della have a daughter named Annie who was born about 1867. In the 1870 census for Tarboro, Edgecombe County, the only Annie Wimberly is this daughter of Allen & Della’s. The fact that Annie is Dred’s sister is further confirmed by an article in the Raleigh, NC News & Observer from 1937 that I obtained from the University of North Carolina this week. (I’ve ordered his death certificate and expect it this week…)
  • Dred named two of his children Allen & Della. He also had kids named Lucy, Frank & Annie. Allen & Della also had children named Lucy, Frank & Annie (Dred’s siblings)
  • In 1880, Dred lives two doors away from Allen & Della again.
  • Mariah also lives two doors away from Allen & Della in both the 1870 and 1880 census records and she is of age to be their daughter given that I know from the book, Somebody Knows My Name, that Allen & Della got “married” about 1841/1842.
  • Both Mariah & Dred have a son named Andrew.
  • Mariah had two children named Louisa and Joseph – Allen & Della had two children named Louisa and Joseph (would have been her siblings)

So – that’s what I’ve gathered so far. Mariah died in 1910, and I’ve not been able to locate any death certificate for her. I also checked the newspaper for the city where she was living and did not find any notice. But, I have hand-searched the census for all of Edgecombe County in 1870 and the way the proximity of the three families (Rufus & Mariah, Allen & Della, Dred and his family), all make sense.

Now, apparently, Dred has a history which resonates with me as I received my library degree from the University of North Carolina. There seems to be a story from him and from the son and grandson of Kemp P. Battle (former president of the University of North Carolina), that during the time period when UNC was closed and they were seeking more appropriations to re-open the university, that Dred gave the deciding vote for the appropriations, thus the school was able to re-open. However, it seems that Dred’s account, and Kemp’s son’s and grandson’s account conflict with NC records and the history of the University that Kemp wrote. The documented records have the appropriations being decided and voted upon during a time when Dred was not in office. I will definitely be researching this further!

But, in the meantime, I continue to collect all that I can find about Dred. And, there have located several items:

  • UNC Clipping File – the North Carolina Collection at UNC had a few newspaper articles about him that they sent to me.
  • Battle Book – the TN State Archives has the published family history of the Battle Family. It is a two-volume set written by one of Kemp’s sons. In this book there is a picture of Dred.
  • Dred’s gravesite – Just last year in Rocky Mount, NC, his headstone was found as there was a clean-up going on of the cemetery where he is buried. This article in the Rocky Mount Telegraph reports on it, and there is a picture of Dred’s daughter, Della’s, headstone.
  • In 1967, a state historical marker was made and put up in front of Dred’s home for his role on the NC General Assembly and State Senate and his positive voting record for education. You can see it by going here and doing a search for Dred Wimberly.
  • Hall of Fame – and, the Tarboro Daily Southerner just ran a story this march that indicates Dred was inaugurated into their local Hall of Fame in 2005.
  • Biographical Profiles – and, I have two biographical profiles of Dred. One is from the NC Dictionary of Biography that I was able to get as Vanderbilt has this full-text online and one from the book Ninety Bits of North Carolina Biography that I ordered and was delivered to me just yesterday.

I’ve been a busy bee haven’t I? But, I now will proceed with ordering certificates for Dred’s suspected family members and ordering microfilm of the newspapers of the county during his time in the General Assembly and State Senate to see what else I can find!

Overwhelmed!

I am so overwhelmed right now! The feeling I am experiencing is absolutely incredible. Why am I feeling so?

Today I received in the mail a book that I’d ordered. The book is “Echoes of Edgecombe County: 1860-1940″ by Monika S. Fleming. I ordered the book because one set of my ancestors, Rufus Tannahill McNair and Maria Wimberly McNair were from Edgecombe County. I have been interested in trying to find out more about their possible slaveowners (which I have posted about before). Well, part of my theory is that Maria’s parents were Allen Wimberly & Della Battle.

In this book by Ms. Fleming, pg. 92 has a picture of a Dred Wimberly, born around 1848 and was a former slave of the James S. Battle Family/Battle Plantation. This is the same plantation that Allen Wimberly was part of.

After seeing this entry, I went back and reviewed my notes that I have on the Wimberly family and I can say that based on what I have, I am of the opinion that Dred is the brother of my 3rd great-grandmother, Mariah. I have a major training session at work tomorrow that I have to prepare for, so I can’t research this as much as I normally would have tonight, but I cannot wait to get back to this! Based on some quick Google searching, I have found many other leads for resources I need to secure to keep learning more about Dred. This is so cool.

I think that I would like to formally write up how I’ve come to these conclusions and the research I’ve done and get it professionally examined.

More Information from the State Archives

After visiting the Tennessee State Library and Archives again today, I have more information to help me in figuring out the trees for the white families I’m researching. Some of the goodies:

While there, I also looked through the Heritage Books for Martin County, Craven County and Lenoir County. Made copies of a few key pages. However, I have to say that overall, I am quite disappointed with these series of books. They seem to have been mostly done by local genealogy societies in the 80’s and 90’s? My disapppointment with them is the true lack of adequate representation of black familes. Is it b/c the societies decided not to pursue as many black families? Is it because they tried and didn’t get participation from black families? For the Craven County book, the church section did not include black churches! (at least not the two that my families have been going to for the past 70 years. I am truly dismayed. Not sure what to do about it yet….