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What You May Have Missed: April 15th edition

Over the last two weeks, there has been a lot of great articles and videos available from the world.

Here is what you might have missed.

Articles Blog

Fold3 Expert Series Blog

Ancestry Reference Desk


Ancestry Reference Desk: Grow Your Research Skills

Do you use or Fold3 in the library?

Are you looking for How To articles and videos to help restart or expand your research?

Would you like some pointers on how to get the most out of records and images you find in your research?

Check our new Ancestry Reference Desk.

You can also follow us on facebook: or twitter: @ancestryrefdesk

Ancestry Reference Desk is the place to learn everything you want to know about using at the library, other public places, as well as tips and tricks you can use at home.

We will show you what to do before you go to the library, what you can expect to find there, and how to organize what you find when you get home.

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Nauvoo Blacksmith Shop - George Brown

We had a great experience in Nauvoo, Illinois. Not only did we make some amazing family history discoveries on Kathy’s side of the family, but we were able to experience so many different trades relevant to the life of a frontier pioneer in the mid 1800’s.

One in particular was of most interest to us because of how it related to my ancestor George Brown. George Brown was a blacksmith in the 1800’s and after making this discovery it made our experience at the blacksmith shop in old Nauvoo so much more interesting. I felt like I could see into the past and understand what it must have really been like for my Great Great Grandpa Brown as a blacksmith. As someone who has owned his own small business for the past 13 years, I could see that in a lot of ways things haven’t changed very much in the last 150 years. I am sure that my great great grandfather had a lot of the same challenges running his business that I have had running mine. Customers must have wanted things done yesterday. I am sure that some of his customers probably paid very well, while some probably didn’t pay  at al. I’m sure that he had employees that needed to be trained and retrained to get the job done just right.

 I couldn’t help but wonder, while we were watching the blacksmithing demonstrations, what kind of a person he must have been. I wanted to know how he decided to become a blacksmith, was there someone in his life who influenced him to pursue this trade or did he discover at some point early in his life that he was good at the trade and so he stayed with it throughout the remainder of his life. This is what is so amazing about this trip and what is so amazing about doing family history. We make these insightful discoveries on and then we can go out the next day and live a little in the life of that very ancestor. As I look back over the photos we have taken so far on this trip, I feel like a sponge that just wants to soak in as much as I possibly can. I am grateful for the example of George Brown and for the contribution he made to the lives of those in his community and family and now for the contribution he has made to my life. Thanks Grandpa George!