We are excited to announce the newest featured book in the Genealogy Gems Book Club: The Lost Ancestor by Nathan Dylan Goodwin.
This is the most recent book in the genealogical crime mystery series by the British author. It’s classic genre fiction, so much fun to curl up and get lost in! The hero, Morton Farrier, is a forensic genealogist who occasionally takes on a job that leads him into dark and dangerous corners of the past and the present.
In this book, Morton is hired to find out what happened to his client’s great-aunt Mary, who disappeared without a trace a century ago while working as a maid at a grand English estate. We follow Morton to his favorite research haunts, envy his research budget (vital records by express mail!) and wince at the lumps and risks he takes as he uncovers the truth. It’s so fun to read, that when I finished I immediately read the other titles in the series (Hiding the Past (The Forensic Genealogist) (Volume 1) and the novella The Orange Lilies: A Morton Farrier novella
Hear a little more about this book in the free Genealogy Gems podcast episode 178. Next month, Lisa and I will talk about some of our favorite parts of the book. In June, the author will join us on the podcast for an exclusive interview. So start reading and stay tuned!
Do you love to read? Do you enjoy family history? Then you should definitely be enjoying our free, no-fuss, no-commitment Genealogy Gems Book Club. We feature our favorite novels and non-fiction titles that we would recommend to anyone who enjoys reading about history and family identity, relationships and history. Click here to see titles we’ve featured in the past and hear our interviews with the authors.
Recently we announced our featured book title for the first quarter of 2015: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. A major theme in this book is what happens to a child’s identity when he or she is separated from parents and kin.
With this story fresh on my mind, Lisa sent me a story from The Press and Journal (Aberdeen, UK) about Irene Robertson from Scotland. Irene grew up never knowing much about her birth family. Her mother had released her into foster care but never allowed her to be adopted, so she stayed with a foster mother until she was an adult.
Over the years she wondered whether she had birth relatives out there somewhere. It was painful. “When I saw programmes on the TV like Who Do You Think You Are? I couldn’t watch them,” she told The Press and Journal. “I couldn’t watch people meeting their relatives, I would just start crying. I so wanted it to be me.”
When she was nearly 70, a charity called Birthlink helped Irene locate her niece and, through her, her brother. Their reunion over the phone, and then in person, felt to Irene like coming home. “The minute I spoke to him he said, ‘You sound just like family’ and that’s all I wanted to hear really,” she told the paper. “That’s great. He made it very easy. I mean somebody called me ‘Sis’. What a feeling that is, it was just amazing.” Read the full story about these birth siblings reunited and see a picture of them in the The Press and Journal.
Join our “virtual book club” in reading Orphan Train, a novel about two people fostered out in the U.S.–one an orphan train rider and another a teen in today’s foster system. In March we welcome author Christina Baker Kline to the Genealogy Gems podcast to talk about the experiences of her characters in Orphan Train–feelings that might very well resonate with Irene in Scotland.
(Note: when you use our links to shop for the book you are helping to support the free Genealogy Gems Book Club and Podcast. Thank you!)
With more than 20 million books digitized and online, Google Books is an amazing resource for genealogy, so much so that I devoted an entire chapter to it in my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox. However, Google Books has been under the cloud of a law suit from publishers and authors who say that Google’s digitization project violated their copyrights.
The good news is that yesterday the Association of American Publishers and Google announced that they have reached a settlement to end a lawsuit filed by five publishers in October 2005. Publishers will now be able to choose which books are included in the project. Read more about the settlement at USAToday.com.
To learn more about how to use Google Books for Genealogy, get my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, in paperback or ebook.