Local History and Genealogy
News, comments, resources, and more.
One thing nearly always leads to another, when you’re doing library research. Last week a patron asked us to find the text of an old poem about the Kalamazoo River; while hunting it down, Local History librarian David DeVries discovered this gem in the history room Poetry file. Undated, the accompanying note said that it had been reprinted by request in the Kalamazoo Telegraph, though “doubtless many in Kalamazoo have read it.”
From the madding crowd they stand apart,
The maidens four and the Work of Art;
And none might tell from sight alone
In which had Culture ripest grown--
The Gotham Million fair to see,
The Philadelphia Pedigree,
The Boston Mind of Azure hue,
Or the soulful Soul from Kalamazoo--
For all loved art in a seemly way,
With an earnest soul and a capital A.
Long they worshipped; but no one broke
The sacred stillness, until up spoke
The Western one from the nameless place,
Who, blushing, said: "What a lovely vase!"
Over three faces a sad smile flew,
And they edged away from Kalamazoo.
But Gotham's haughty soul was stirred
To crush the stranger with one small word.
Deftly hiding reproof in praise,
She cries: "'Tis, indeed, a lovely vaze!"
But brief her unlovely triumph when
The lofty one from the house of Penn,
With the consciousness of two grandpapas,
Exclaims: "It is quite a lovely vahs!"
And glances around with an anxious thrill,
Awaiting the word of Beacon Hill.
But the Boston maid smiles courteouslee
And gently murmurs: "Oh pardon me!
I did not catch your remark, because
I was so entranced with that lovely vaws!"
James Jeffry Roche
History Room Poetry File
Having Irish ancestors who originally settled in Canada before immigrating to the U.S., I am always eager to find new sources for Canadian research. I’m happy to report that several new resources have recently become available in the history room for those of us searching for clues to our Canadian roots. We now have four volumes of the series Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canadaby Terrence Punch. The title suggests it contains passenger lists, but that's just the beginning. The series currently spans from 1761 to 1863 and also includes newspaper articles, census, regimental, church, prison, and marriage records, burials, tombstone inscriptions, and more. Another recent acquisition with a different focus on Canadian genealogy is Margaret Ann Wilkinson’s Genealogy and the Law in Canada. This book tackles Canada’s laws pertaining to personal data protection and access to information, and how they affect genealogical research. These complicated issues are thoroughly explained in Wilkinson’s book, and readers come away with a clear understanding of what records they can and can’t expect to obtain in Canada. Finally, many of Ancestry Library Edition’s newest additions are databases of Canadian records. Dozens of databases that run the gamut from British Columbia Medical Register, 1890 to Quebec Land Grants, 1763-1890 were added in October alone. With all these new resources, there couldn’t be a better time to work on your Canadian research in the Local History Room.
Erin's Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada