Family History Researchers should keep in mind that local Genealogical and Historical Societies often have rare and unique holdings. If your ancestors lived in an area for at least some amount of time, and especially if they resided there for an extended time, consider contacting the local Genealogical Society for that area to inquire about their holdings. You may also consider traveling there in person if you can, and make it a research trip. If you are unable to travel there in person, contact them to see what they have and ask if they can do some on-site research for you. Results may vary, but it’s always worth it to inquire.
A distant cousin of mine wrote a Cross Family Tree back in the 1950s. He was the same generation as my grandfather and died years ago, so I never met him. He lived in Pennsylvania, died in New York, and I have yet to travel to either state, although I’d like to someday. His Cross Family Tree is about 30 pages long and lists nearly 500 individuals.
He refers to an Old Cross Family Bible as a source, but unfortunately never mentions who owned the Bible at the time of his research. He did type up a transcription of the pages that include births, marriages, and deaths for genealogy. The Cross family resided in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania in the early 1800s.
I found the Clearfield County Historical Society online. I contacted them about their holdings, and inquired about on-site research done by their staff or volunteers. They do research for a fee or an hourly rate. I engaged them for research.
They returned copies of documents they found, including newspaper obituaries, many that are difficult or impossible to find elsewhere. They also sent a copy and a transcription of the Old Cross Family Bible that my cousin referenced in his work! It matches, word for word! As it turns out, the family member that had the Bible back in 1976 donated the Bible to the Historical Society for preservation!
My research is now a little more complete with this addition. The Old Cross Family Bible is intact, stored for preservation and posterity, and I have scanned copies of the pertinent pages, with source citation of the Bible (publication date and publisher, who donated the Bible, etc.). This Bible is unique, and found nowhere else. Obtaining this information is a find.
I am grateful that this family member donated the Bible, and grateful that the Clearfield County Historical Society has a way for me to do research there using their on-site staff and volunteers.