Monday, May 04, 2009

Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County In the 21st Century

The last few weeks I've been spending a lot of time with Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County by William T. Price (1901), which is now available on Google Books. You can download the pdf file, and for a while you could also grab the unedited OCR version of the text, although this doesn't seem to be available anymore.

About 400 pages of this tome record are genealogical records, interspersed with short reminiscences about the early settlers in Pocahontas County. Because so many people are looking for this information, I'm converting it into html on our website, Pocahontas County History. Over the years, I've encountered unattributed quotes from Reverend Price's book on many different genealogy websites, and last summer I discovered that WPA employees had typed out long passages from the 1901 book in the late 1930'a and early 1940's. Some of these typists identified their source, while others did not, but these typescripts have been appearing here and there on the Internet as well, never with proper attribution.

I must confess, the more time I spend with the late Reverend Price (pictured above), the more exasperated I become with some of his bad editorial habits; however, I don't want his work floating around the Interwebitubes without proper attribution. Besides, with Drupal set up for decent search engine optimization, more people should be able to find their ancestral names and places once the worthy reverend's words are rendered into hypertext markup language. (Worthy ancestors being the only kind he bothered to catalog.)

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