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Wireless at the Library


The Cooper Memorial Library now has a wireless connection sometimes called an access point or wireless hotspot. People drive around looking for such places calling it War Driving. There is software for that purpose and there are lists of open access points that people have located. But we don’t need to do that; Cooper has one. And it called Cooper. There is also another that is accessible in the parking lot called Liquids owned by the restaurant across the street.


You’ll need a wireless laptop computer or PDA to gain access. We’ll cover only the laptop here. When you turn your computer on you should be notified that there are one or more wireless networks in range. Click on that pop-up balloon and you’ll see one or more networks listed. (If balloon notification is disabled, you’ll see a triangle in the system tray and click on that). Click on Cooper and you should get connected.


If you want to receive your mail, you’ll have to make a change to your setup. Open Outlook Express and click on Tools and then on Accounts. select the account you want to use if more than one is shown and click Properties and then click on the Servers tab. In the Incoming Mail

 box after the server name add a period and then that part of your email address that occurs after the @ sign as in “” or “”. If that is already there you won’t have to change anything and you won’t have to change it back to use it at home. Unfortunately, you can’t do the same for the SMTP server so you won’t be able to send mail.


Now, to access to Libraries Online Databases from the Library or from home you can enter the following URL: To save this URL for future use, click on Favorites, Add to Favorites and choose a folder to save it in. Then you can get to this page without going the long way around. Note that while you are in the library, you can access and get the full benefits but not at home. The rest of the data bases can be accessed at home but you may need a username and password for some.


People chosen for searching are chosen to demonstrate a search technique; the names are only incidental to the process of examining different functions. We’re going to see if we can find anything about John Bellows who came to America in 1635 alone at the age of 12.. Our search will show some techniques that will help in finding what you want. Enter the URL above to go to the Library Online Databases. Scroll down and click on Heritage Quest. We’ll click on Search Books, and we’re presented with choices among People, Places and Publications and we’ll click on People and enter the name John Bellows. We were lucky; the Bellows genealogy is the first one listed. Lets try to download it. We’re limited to 50 pages at a time. Click on Download and each chapter is listed with the number of pages. We can select the first six chapters which cover 49 pages. Go to the bottom of the page and click Download. You may get a notice that there’s a problem and you may have exceeded the maximum number of pages. This occurs when some pictures are included on un-numbered pages. You can reduce the number of chapters or go to the bottom of the page and enter something like 1-46 in the Pages to Download box. When the download is ready you’ll be asked whether you want to Run or Save it. Choose Save and a box will pop up showing where it will be saved and what the name will be. Select an appropriate place for it. I would choose my Bellows genealogy folder. I would change the name of the file to Bellows.pdf. However you change the name, retain the suffix so it will run under the proper program. If you want more of the book, select the appropriate pages and do it again, perhaps calling it Bellows2.pdf.


What do we get on John Bellows if we use Google Books? Open a new browser window, go to and then to other and click on Books. Enter the search term John Bellows. We get 30,500 hits for John Bellows. Before we look through all of those let’s try to refine the search. Since John lived in Concord, MA let’s add Concord in the search box. That reduces the number to 1440. We could add more terms but let’s look through some of what we got. Many of the books concern Col. Benjamin Bellows but in total, there’s a lot of information about the Bellows family.


Google Books offers four different views of books. Full view allows you to view any page in a book and for some books, you can download the whole book. Limited preview allows only limited access to the page(s) specified. Snippet view shows the object of your search along with a few sentences. No preview available means the book is copyrighted and the author doesn’t want any part of it viewed.


If we search for John Bellows in Google we get 1,900,000 hits, many of them genealogies posted on the Internet. Don’t trust them until you check out their data through primary sources.


Going back to Heritage Quest, let’s try another way to get there. If what you want is to find the a book on the Bellows genealogy and you know the name then you can browse for the book. In this case the book begins with The Bellows Family. Go to Heritage Quest, click on Books and then click on the word Publications. Enter the word Bellows in the box that says “Or, jump to titles beginning with:” (The search ignores the word The). Again we were lucky and found our subject at the top of the list. Books beginning with The Genealogy of or The History of sometimes require searching through many pages.


Let’s see what we can do with Ancestry. Click on the Back arrow until we get to the first page and click on Ancestry. Enter John Bellows and then in the Born Box, enter England and in the Death Boxes enter United States and Massachusetts. We can choose what kind of data to view. Click on Historical Records and see some of the data that’s available. Be cautious of records that say he was born in 1622 in Marlboro, MA since it didn’t exist then. Click on Family Trees and see some trees for John. Check out sources for the few that have them. World Family Trees are a combination of data from many trees and anybody can edit and change them. Be careful in accepting anything you find here. Public trees can be viewed in a somewhat unwieldy format. Note that for most records, Ancestry abstracts the data from the record and presents it in the right column so we don’t have to search through each record to find what we seek.


Lets see if we can find when John came over. Click on U.S. Immigration Collection and enter John Bellows. There are several records stating he came in 1635 and one states he settled in Concord, NH. The reference is to Robert Charles Anderson’s The Great Migration and Charles is not that dumb but he does assume that the reader will understand that Concord means Concord, MA at that time but he merely calls it Concord. Whoever wrote the abstract added NH.


My father was Canadian and I wonder if there’s a record of his travels. Type Allan Dill in the name box and see what he was up to. There are four trips from Halifax to Boston by Allan F. Dill; on two he was alone and on two others he was with one or two sisters.


Ancestry has some great records and playing with it to get to understand what it can do will help you get better results in the long run. One of the great assets is the US census which is completely indexed for every year except 1890 , most of which was lost to fire. You can select which data base to search and thus not have to sift through hundreds of records of no interest to you. Let’s see where my father was in 1930. Select the 1930 census and enter the name and as much data as you want or know. He was living in New Jersey and was born in Canada. He is counted twice in the census because he wasn’t allowed to be married and live off the campus where he taught at Princeton Country Day School so he had two residences.


You can select All in order to view all census records. Enter Handy Crook, Residence , MA. He was in the 1850 and 1860 censuses and in 1860 we see all of the children he was busy having during the past 10 years. Actually, he was married in 1847 and where Priscilla lived with daughter, Sarah, in 1850 is a mystery.


Spend some time with Ancestry and familiarize yourself with what’s available and how to get it.


Let’s go back to Heritage Quest and click on Revolutionary War. In the name boxes enter Pratt, Levi. The first entry is for a land grant and I don’t know which Levi it was for but he sold it. The third is for the Levi we seek. It also includes his wife’s application for pension after he died. There’s some good genealogical information here; date of marriage, where and by whom it was performed, her and Levi’s ages, and the date of Levi’s death. His Revolutionary War record is interesting in itself as is the inventory of his assets when he applied.


Heritage Quest does not have the actual Military Service Records but where a pension was applied for, the pension file is available and the genealogical information is extremely valuable and usually accurate as primary records and certification to accuracy were required. Unlike with FEMA today.


Now lets go back to just being on the Internet and look at a few sites. Start with . It is a collection of RSS feeds from 63 different web sites and it posts what’s new on each site and includes a link to each new item on the individual web sites. So you don’t need to check a lot of web sites to stay up to date; one site will do it all.


One last site is now called Everton Publishers Genealogy Blog hosted by Leland Meitzler. It’s full of the latest happenings in the field of genealogy and an archive by subject is available in the left column.


During the meeting we bounced around a bit and found that we could not always get back on the Library’s Start Page but it was available often enough so that we got everything done.


My experience with Heritage Quest using the Library Start Page is that you need a username and password and I was unable to learn what we should use. I go back to doing it as we did before using Pastfinder Home Page and clicking on Libraries and then Lake County Library Catalogue and and then Online Databases and then Heritage Quest and enter my library card number.


In answer to some questions raised:

URL stands for Universal Resource Locator and is the address that you click on or type in the address bar.

RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication and it’s a means of seeing the first few lines on many web pages in one place so you can determine if you want to view them. We covered them on September 14, 2005 . 

Pastfinders’ Web Page is . By clicking on Previous Meetings Computer at the top of the page you can access all of the meeting notes since January 17, 2002. (Has it been that long?). There are links to other sites in the left column and articles by Pastfinder members under Articles at the top of the page.