Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
Our Family, Out Town: Essays on Family and Local History Sources in the National Archives.
Compiled by Timothy Walch. Washington: National Archives and Records Administration, 1987. Illustrations. Index. 223 Pages.
As the fields of family and community history grow, the number and quality of publications in those fields continues to amaze. A recent example is the publication by the National Archives of Our Family, Our Town. Drawn from a long running series of articles on sources in the Archives’ journal, Prologue, plus a few new pieces, this book becomes an excellent supplement to their 1983 publication, Genealogical Research in the National Archives, as a guide to local and family history sources in the National Archives. It includes articles on state, local and family sources, special articles on pension, certificate, census, and tax records and their use by local historians; plus special articles on immigrant, Indian and Afro-American family records. The book also discusses court records and executive department records, such as the Interstate Commerce Commission case files. These articles serve both as a reminder of what a treasure house of sources for local and family history the National Archives are, and as a guide to the uses of those sources.