Monday, October 23, 2017

Family History Tips Archive Available on Our Blog

If you've just started working on your family history or you missed any of Brenna Corbit's Family History Tips articles, you can access all of them at this blog.

At the bottom of this article, click on the label "Genealogy Tips" and all 20 articles will appear. 

Brenna has been researching her own family history and helping others to find out more about their ancestors. She provides a wide variety of helpful tips that should help you out as you move ahead in your own search.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Take Our Annual Survey to Help Us Improve Our Services

Please help The Yocum Library improve its services and resources by taking this short survey. By completing this survey, you can enter to win a $25 gift card for the new RACC Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Thank you!

Click on this link to start the survey:      

Monday, October 16, 2017

Family History Tips-Part 20

Solving the Puzzle: Working Two Ends of a Family Tree
by Brenna Corbit, Technical Services Librarian

When working a family tree, you start with yourself. Doing it the other way around simply makes no sense. I can’t go back into the early 1800s, find a Corbit and work my way forward until I hopefully arrive at me. But I have been in a few situations where I did just that. Well, sort of.

Recently, I was working on my Eisenhower ancestors in Lebanon County, Pa. I had them traced back to the early 1800s in the northeastern section of the county, primarily Bethel Township. My 5x great-grandfather Benjamin was born in 1815 to Heinrich and Susanna (Wolf) Eisenhower, who were married in 1813. Other than that, I was at a dead-end. Therefore, I decided to work from the beginning of the Eisenhower line in America.

Basically, what you would need to do is see who was living in a particular area at a given time, and use the process of elimination. In this particular case, the process of ruling out Eisenhowers would be easier since the search would encompass an earlier time frame. The population would be smaller and the surname is not too common. Names like Miller or Moyer would be a nightmare, but not impossible.

Early histories state three Eisenhower brothers came to Pennsylvania. Brothers or not, Philadelphia ships’ records show three arrived aboard the Europa in 1741: Hans Nicholas Eisenhauer—28 yrs, Johann Peder Eisenhauer—25 yrs, and Johann Eisenhauer—16 yrs. A later arrival in the same port was Johan Jacob Eysenhawer in 1753. Incidentally, U. S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower descended from Hans Nicholas.

Moreover, 18th century Pennsylvania land records, tax lists, and the 1790 U. S. Census indicate the Eisenhowers settled primarily in the two neighboring Bethel Townships in Lebanon and Berks Counties. These clues indicate five possibilities of grand/parentage—Benjamin, John, Nicholas, Philip and Michael. Since my Benjamin was born in 1815, his father Heinrich would have been born somewhere between 1770 and 1795. Alas, none of these records include ages. My next step was to examine all available wills, probate, land records, and church records that are online.

So far I have not found any definite answer in cyberspace. Contrary to public opinion, not everything is online. Therefore, my next step is to go to the courthouses and historical/genealogical societies in Lebanon and neighboring counties. Lebanon was formed from parts of Dauphin and Lancaster in 1813, and Schuylkill is just over the border from Bethel Township. I may have much ground to cover, but I have confidence I will narrow down the five candidates. 

Since only a few Eisenhowers arrived that early, I am sure I have descended from one of the three “brothers,” and I am probably distantly related to a past president. I have used this method in the past with other dead-ends and have found my proof of decent. Therefore, I have much hope for your same ancestral conundrums. If you are stuck, you know where to find me.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Watch Highlights of the 2017 National Book Festival Gala

Celebrate reading and literacy as Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden hosts presentations by fantasy-sci-fi novelist Diana Gabaldon ("Outlander" series), historian David McCullough ("The American Spirit"), children's book author Reshma Saujani ("Girls Who Code"), nonfiction writer Margot Lee Shetterly ("Hidden Figures") and thriller writer Scott Turow ("Testimony"). David Rubenstein, the National Book Festival's leading sponsor, presents the 2017 Library of Congress Literacy Awards. The Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, to be given posthumously to novelist Denis Johnson, is announced as well.

Click on the link above to view a video showing highlights of the 2017 National Book Festival Gala. (Just a heads up before you start viewing-the recording is just under 90 minutes long.)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Library of Congress Webcasts

The Library of Congress has 14 webcasts featuring artists, writers, and musicians of Hispanic heritage. The webcasts include  Gabriel Muñoz Concert, "Invisible Immigrants" with speaker Juan Manuel Perez, and 12 others. Click on the link to see the list. Let us know if you listen to any of them.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Top Ten Challenged Books of 2016

This video explores the Top Ten Challenged Books of 2016 compiled by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF).

Last year’s list (the latest list compiled) explores a range of genres (young adult, fiction, memoir) and formats (novels, graphic novels, picture books), but they have one thing in common: each book was threatened with removal from spaces where diverse ideas and perspectives should be welcomed.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Today is the Start of Banned Books Week: September 24 - 30

Artwork courtesy of the American Library
By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools.

While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information.

Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community – librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types – in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. (Source: