University of Toronto librarian Marian Press helps prevent genealogists from re-inventing the wheel in "Has Your Family History Been Published?" from the January/February 2009 Discovering Your Family History magazine, pages 25-27. Among myriad resources including links to online catalogs and Google Books, Marian discusses PERSI:
"Family histories are not always published in book form; often a genealogist will instead contribute an article on his or her family to an historical periodical or a genealogical society magazine. The best source for tracking these down is the Periodical Source Index (PERSI). PERSI is an index to genealogy and local history periodicals written in English and French (from Canada) since 1800. The PERSI database can be accessed through Ancestry.com. Note, however, that after you have done a surname search, PERSI will simply indicate the existence of a relevant article; the second step is to find a copy of it. The index will help you by providing the name and address of the periodical’s publisher and may also list libraries in the US that
Experienced researchers provide cautionary tales about previously compiled family histories and explain we must closely follow the line of reasoning and view cited sources in the context of all extant record groups in the locality where the ancestors once lived.
Marian's article provides a useful mix of additonal websites that might provide you with access to at least the title and author and location of previously published research. Interlibrary loan may be an option to consider.
Happy family tree climbing!
Your friend in genealogy.
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