20 December 2012

My best local bookstore, and how it led me to “Son of a Witch, Founded 1975”

Son of a Witch, 1975, socieities, organizations, genealogy, family history, hereditaryHave you seen the library for all its worth? Yes, the stacks and collections that you can borrow are wonderful, and my own reading list is immense. But… did you possibly miss one section?

In my library, its easy to overlook. Right as you walk in, tucked into a corner. A small sign, “$1 paperbacks, $2 hard covers, all sales benefit Friends of the Library”. That’s it. I’m astonished that every time I visit the library, which is often, I see so many people just walk right by, as if there is nothing there.

Better for me, really.

What have I found on the used book shelves that my library is selling? Oh, so many things.  Generally, these are texts they have removed from circulation because they are not checked out often enough. I love them.

Each year, the library system in our county has one big sale, and I’m usually first in line. Well, ok, I’m there in the first hour. They fill a room with tables and stack the books anywhere and everywhere they can. It’s crowded, difficult to move around, and there are so many titles to look at, you can’t possibly see it all. But I have found so many treasures, its well worth it.

This past year, I picked up a nice hard cover volume, and I think I paid aroundhereditary register, genealogy, book, resources, organizations, Ancestral Journeys, United States of America, family history, 1977, $1.25 for it. It was a spur-of-the-moment this-might-be-interesting type of purchase. The book has sat on my shelf for months, untouched. I am sorry to say, The Hereditary Register of the United States of America 1977 has been just as unloved on my shelf as it was on the libraries’. (Pabst, Ralph Malcolm, Chairman of the Board; Beattie, Jerome Francis, President & Editor. The Hereditary Register Publications, Inc. Phoenix, AZ. 1977.)  I brought it back out, to use as an example for this post, and realized I truly had a previously undiscovered gem. A little piece of history, right there, just waiting for me to open my eyes.

IMG_9034At first glance in the library, it was a list of societies, and their members with a brief lineage for each individual. As interesting as that is, I missed the entire first section: The Hereditary Societies.

Fascinating historical overviews of organizations either currently famous and strong or never heard of before.  Everything from the Society of the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, to Son of a Witch (formed 1975), to the DAR is included.

What am I going to do with this little peek at American history? Well, to be honest, I’m not sure yet. Perhaps a blog series… there are some lists of names here that may prove useful to someone. I’m certainly not against sharing. I do know this, however, I am ever so grateful to the Summit County Library system; they are my best local bookstore.



  1. You are a true book-lover of the old school, it sounds like. The story of you discovering and then RE-discovering this book with The Hereditary Societies in it is a reminder that you never know what is between a book's covers! And I do love the Son of a Witch name and logo. Hm, do we even want to know what it means?

    1. Well, it is exactly what it sounds. The organization was founded for descendants of witches "Placed on trial and/or accused". The last two pages of the society description includes a list of "recognized witches".
      I'll be digging into this book further in 2013 - it's now part of my year long blogging plan!
      My thanks, as always, Mariann! ~ Jen


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