I’ve found probably a dozen or so books, perhaps more, that each deal with a certain branch of my family tree. These books are usually helpful, usually incomplete, and usually written in the late 1800’s by someone related to the family who was also a genealogist. They are dry, and written in a very matter-of-fact style, but I love them. They have their own unique charm.
For example, here is one on the Pond family written in 1873 by Edward Doubleday Harris entitled “A Genealogical History of Daniel Pond and His Descendants” which chronicles the history of the family of my 3x great-grandmother Louisa Pond.
Last night, however, a helpful person on Ancestry pointed me to a book on my 12x great-grandfather Stephen Hopkins [ancestor of my great-great-grandmother Helen Maria Nason]. He, along with members of his family [including his daughter Constance Hopkins, my 11x great-grandmother], came to America in 1620 aboard the Mayflower and was one of the principle founders of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Stephen worked with Myles Standish and Squanto to keep the colony alive. But before that he was shipwrecked in Bermuda, visited the fledgling Virginia Colony [which predated the Pilgrims by a generation], and generally had a pretty incredible life.
Fortunately, a talented writer named Caleb Johnson has put his story into book form using a narrative style backed up by an impressive amount of both genealogical and general historical research. The book is called “Here Shall I Die Ashore”, and I’ve already ordered two copies after reading the first couple of chapters online. You can check out a nice sampling of the book here:
It’s really impressive. I aspire to his level of writing when it comes to making family history engaging and interesting to read.