Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Free Public Library & back to the City Archives & the Historical Society

We've been walking a lot, so today we decided to take a taxi to the library, as it would be a very long hike. It's quite an ornate building, similar in some ways to the Alberta Legislature Building, with a wide staircase and decorated pillars & high central ceiling. On the second floor, we found the Map room, and beside that, the Microfilm room. Groan!

The good news was that the staff were fabulous!! They went out of their way to help us with newspapers and maps, and the microfilm readers were much better than those we had found anywhere else. They had a reader that was connected to a computer, so I could scan images and save them to a flash drive, which was great. I found obituaries for Haldane Hay and James MacHarg, but in my excitement to save them, I forgot to note the name and date of the newspaper I was looking at. After lunch, I trudged back upstairs to find them again, and made paper copies and noted the sources. A lesson for me!!

I was excited to hand Dad a reel which I knew would contain Lily Hay & John Smith's marriage announcement, and we did find it, but it didn't contain any new information. We hoped it would say more about their parents or where they all lived, but were were disappointed. C'est la vie!

Once we were done there, I asked Dad to come back to the City Archives with me, as I had forgotten to check a couple of Lockerbie names while we were there. We zipped over, and spent about an hour the,re searching, but came up with nothing. Oh well -- at least I had no regrets, as I had been feeling badly about forgetting to check the first time.

When we were done there, it was about 3:30, so we took a taxi to the Historical Society, and Dad left me to work there. He'd had enough for one day, so went back to the hotel for a rest. I had a list in hand, and tackled what I could. I started out with a few books about Schuylkill County and Pottsville, but came up with nothing. Then I requested what I thought were old records from the old Presbyterian church in Frankford, but was sent to the microfilm room. Oh my goodness, at this point I had been staring at microfilm for hours, and couldn't imagine I'd find much, but it was my only hope.

First reel out of the box, and I found John Smith Jr. within a few minutes. We knew his month and year of birth, but had not found his birth record until now. So we now have his birth and baptism - yay!! A further search did not show anything for his younger siblings, so the family must have moved soon afterward. This reel also had John Smith & Lilly Hay's marriage, which Mandy Johnson had found a couple of years ago. Nice to see it for myself, though, and to realize it was the same source. I wished we had that nice reader/scanner in order to save this source, but at least we have a photocopy of it.

I packed up at this point and nearly ran back to the hotel to show Dad my newest little bit of information. We were both pretty tired, so didn't feel much like walking too far, and we went to a little Mediterranean/Italian place about a block away for dinner. They had great food, and we sat out at a table on the sidewalk and enjoyed watching some of the locals.

All in all, not a bad day, but a little short of my expectations. Thursday will be better, I hope, as we have reserved a car, and will be driving to Pottsville to check out the Hay family.

No comments:

Post a Comment