Casefile Clues

27 February 2013

Jumping the Book, Err Gun, on GoogleBooks

I was following my advice on Search Tip of the Day and using GoogleBooks for females and not just males. 

Searching for females as well as males is good. Jumping the gun is not. A reference that I thought was to "my" Wilhelmina Rothweiler in St. Louis was not my Wilhelmina Rothweiler after all.

The image that is first displayed in this post contains two references to Wilhelmine  Rothweiler and was obtained on a search of GoogleBooks. The Wilhelmina Rothweiler of interest lived in St. Louis for most of her life in the United States. I decided that because the name was not too common that the Wilhelmine reference had to be to the one I wanted and that the material I had found was a listing of real estate transactions from St. Louis. The non-specific title as shown on GoogleBooks was Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide, Volume 56. I had made a discovery. Or so I thought.

Real estate record and builders' guide. (1888). New York: F.W. Dodge Corp.; 15th edition. page 601; digital image GoogleBooks (http://books.google.com), 27 February 2013. 

I was wrong.

The transactions are from New York City, not St. Louis. That was clear from the title page which is partially shown here.

My guess is that this guide is available for other years as well. Researchers with New York City ancestors who owned real property may find the guide helpful.

If I had looked at the property addresses more carefully and been familiar with street names in St. Louis and New York City, it would have dawned on me that the first image did not have to deal with St. Louis land transactions.

Lesson:


Always read the title page and never assume that an unusual name is that unusual.