Three New Books on Our Shelves

We continue to add interesting titles to our book collection and in this post we’ll review three new titles.  The first book was reviewed by Lynn Johnson and the next two by Janet Allard.



Phantoms of the Fur Trade

Twenty Men Who Worked in the Trade Between 1618 and 1758

by Timothy J. Kent

Timothy Kent is an independent scholar who has spent more than twenty years researching the lives of early French-Canadian settlers and the men who participated in the fur trade.  While Kent’s sources are well documented his research has not been limited to books.  Over the years he and his family have recreated the voyageur’s journeys using only the materials that the real voyageur’s would have had on hand.   This is a 3-volume study about the lives of twenty voyageurs.

The books look to be very readable and will be of interest to anyone who wants to read about the fur trade in general.  If, however, your ancestor happens to be one of the twenty, well you’ve just hit the genealogical equivalent of the Mega Millions Jackpot because for each man there is a biographical sketch that can be up to 180 pages long.  The biographies may also include one or more of the following: contracts, inventories, maps, photographs and pedigree charts.

To check out the list of men studied go to the “search catalog” feature on either of our websites, then type in a few keywords.  Once you see the three volumes listed click on the column for the “ID” number of each book, doing this will bring you to a description of the book’s contents including their names and that of their spouses.


Miller’s Manual

by Douglas J. Miller

This is the best research guide about French-Canadian genealogical resources.  If you are a novice researcher knowing how to use materials is a must.  This book covers most of the top sources written by experts like Tanguay, Jette, Drouin and Loiselle as well as both the 47-volume set, Programme de Researche en Demographie Historique (PRDH), compiled by researchers at the University of Montreal, and Tanguay Abbreviations.  Each work is described and explained in detail.  Miller’s Manual  tells about baptisms, marriages and burial records as well as the common terms and abbreviations used in each book.  This book’s ‘Historical Time Line’ also gives us the period of time that each of these sources cover.  No matter how long you have been working on French-Canadian genealogy this will be a reference you will go back to many times.


Indian Deeds

Land Transactions in Plymouth Colony, 1620-1691

by Jeremy Despertuis Bangs

If you have an ancestor from the Plymouth Colony and the Mayflower you will find this book extremely interesting.  My ancestor, Henry Samson, arrived on the Mayflower and I was able to find where he, along with Experience Mitchell, purchased a tract of land a half-mile wide by a mile and a half long from Tuspaquin, the ‘Black Sachem,’ and his son William (also a sachem).  This land lay west of land purchased by John Alden.

There are wonderful facts on the life and happenings of this period of time.  Happenings involving settlers such as Myles Standish, William Bradford, Constant Southworth, Issak Allerton, Francis Cooke and Edward Winslow as well as the Indians involved and many others.  We find notes on transactions explaining terms such as the word ‘pond’ used in Plymouth Colony area – which would mean a lake to us today.  It has separate indexes for Indian names and various surnames.  I found that I wanted to share the facts with others as the material had me so involved.

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