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My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

There Were 27 Books About Witchcraft

In December 2013, I shared some parts of my 2nd great-grandfather's will in my post, Finally, What Was the Good Stuff in The Probate? I couldn't share his entire will and probate because it was 44 pages long. Three other posts were written about his will. Post #1, Post #2, Post #3.

The 4th post was written because I wanted to know what happened to the 2,600 books that were going to be sold. Specifically, I wondered if they went to a library.
A BILL OF APPRAISEMENT

of the Estate of William F. Poole, late of the County of Cook and State of Illinois, deceased.
                   One lot of Books (2,600 in number) at $1.00 per volume.
                                                                                      Total-         $2,600


Portrait of W.F. Poole
Newberry Library
Photo by Diane Boumenot
Being that William Frederick Poole was a well-known librarian, I thought his books would sell quickly. Thanks to a reader who contacted me in September, I now know how they were sold, and the titles of his 1,087 books, part of his 2,600 collection.

Ivy wrote, "I am a fellow at the Newberry library currently doing some research on Poole's Index, which is how I happened to come across your blog. I happened upon some biographical information in the Newberry Library archives regarding the sale of William Frederick Poole's books after his death. Yes, they were his personal collection, and it was quite extensive. The family tried to sell them privately, but it seems as if that didn't work out and so a public sale was held in 1900; there is a copy of the catalog of the sale in the Newberry's collection (Catalogue of the valuable private library of the late William F. Poole, LL.D., Librarian of the Newberry Library, Chicago, Ill.)" I was given the link and additional bits of information. 

She wrote again saying, "If you ever find yourself in the Chicago area, I would definitely suggest looking into those files, as his notes have information about family trees and other information (they're not super organized, though!). Williamson's (wrote biography of my ancestor) records do show that he tried to get in contact with family/descendants in the 1950s to see if they had letters or other records, but he did not turn up much." 

Then, I read: "I did happen to find that the sales catalog from Poole's book collection is also digitized on HathiTrust here, so you can see for yourself what books he had." http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015020833938.

There were 76 pages of cataloged books! What were the topics? Well, the most surprising thing was seeing 27 books about witchcraft in his collection. If you would like to see the entire list, use the link above and scroll down to page 73. I'm sharing the description of two books on witchcraft, papers by Mr. Poole and his listing of the NEHGS Register (he was an early member to that society). The majority of his other books are about history.







4 comments:

Nancy said...

It must be very satisfying, both as a granddaughter and as a family historian/genealogist, to be able to learn the names of the books in his library. It seems amazing to me to have an ancestor who was important enough that a library recorded the titles of his books.

I wonder why the books about witchcraft....

Diane B said...

Fascinating, Barbara. Wouldn't you love to see those files!!

Barbara Poole said...

Nancy, he grew up in Salem, MA. Just like now, there are a lot of people interested in the subject. Heather Rojo mentioned she googled witchcraft, and saw 27,000 books about it are out there. I have no interest in the subject.

Diane, Ha, I wish I knew about all this when you went to the Library, instead of taking the photo of his portrait.

Barbara Poole said...

Nancy, he grew up in Salem, MA. Just like now, there are a lot of people interested in the subject. Heather Rojo mentioned she googled witchcraft, and saw 27,000 books about it are out there. I have no interest in the subject.

Diane, Ha, I wish I knew about all this when you went to the Library, instead of taking the photo of his portrait.