Sometimes as genealogy researchers it is easy to get stuck in a rut and not move past those old familiar sites we always use to find our hidden ancestors. Google Books should become one of those familiar spots. Each family has their favorite stories about their ancestors. Ours came from the Story of William Boyles. First he was an Indian Chief his daughter an Indian because she had high cheek bones and knew about herbs and the Land. Then he was a very peace loving man who died of pneumonia at a young age while hiding in the Hills in Grayson County. The story passed down by family members was that he was a peace loving man who didn’t want to join the Confederate Army and fight in the War so he was hiding from Troops seeking to force him into enlistment. It was a good story and one that had been shared by the family for over a hundred years. Then the family researchers started looking for traces of William the Indian Chief and William the peaceful man. We found that William was not Indian but had come to Texas as part of the Peter’s Colony. It appears that he may have come by way of Illinois and the next look will be at his father and The Black Hawk Wars in Illinois, but what about William the peace loving man who didn't want to fight in a war. Google books led to a gold mine of History on William. In Google Books I found several listings on William Boyles in Texas. Some books I was able to read in their entirety and others referenced books I could find in Libraries and still others had some snippets from Magazine Articles. Among the snippets I found reference to a book called, Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, by Richard B. McCaslin in which William Boyles was listed. Family Tradition once again was replaced with fact. He probably did die while hiding in the hills around Grayson County Texas. Maybe from pneumonia or maybe from the complications of gun wounds inflicted by Confederate vigilantes seeking those men who had sworn to kill them and their families.
William Boyles may have been anything but peaceful. He apparently believed in a Cause, supported the Union in an area where that wasn’t popular and was willing to recruit others in supporting his cause, sharing secret handshakes and passwords and encouraging men to attend meetings bent towards the destruction of the Confederate Causes in and near Gainesville Texas. Although William Boyles may have escaped the work of the Confederate Vigilantes, a mock trial and the hanging of at least 42 men it appears he might have been wounded in attempting a rescue of his friends and companions. Among the men he recruited and who were hung was at least one brother in law and possibly a second who swore that his brother in law William Boyles had recruited him. If not for Google Books this information might never have been found. Once the book had been discovered I was able to purchase it at Amazon.com and a new piece of history was added to our family line.
I have since used Google Books to find even more information on my family. I would recommend Google Books to everyone doing research on their family. Combining Google Book with Card Catalogs of various Libraries and JStor I have been able to solve many puzzles and add interesting history to even more. Google Books is source to add to the familiar, the tried, and the most used web sites when doing research. Books still have gold mines them and I found mine through Google Books.
- Kat's Mountain Genealogy
- I am a genealogy enthusiast with over 40 years of experience in assisting others complete their family trees. I love helping others complete their own personal ancestory. I specialize in Research and Data Entry with an emphasis on Southern Research. I am vailable for Lectures on numerous topics and am always open to creating a class on a new Subject. I am a Member of the DAR, the DUP and Acting Vice President of the SCGA