Martin Genealogy Publishing started in 1990 as we searched for projects to help us in our own genealogy research and to assist others in the same search in our areas of interest. We had used indexed newspapers that required us to go to a specific location in order to find out if the name in the index was the one we were researching. As a result, we chose to do abstracts of the newspaper articles instead of just an index. We had to read through the newspapers on microfilm anyway, so the abstracts were created as we went. Thus, the multi-volume publication for the Gadsden Times Abstracts began. The Gadsden Times was, at one time, the largest circulating newspaper in the state of Alabama. Since the newspapers shared information by way of copying articles from each other, they were the “social media” of the time. Articles from all over the world appeared in the local newspaper. Letters from locals who moved to other states often were brought to the newspaper to be published or shared or at least have reference to the folks involved. The indexes to the books are extensive and have become voluminous in effort to make them more usable.
We also created index resources for various census records that were not available easily at the time. The 1885 Florida State Census was only 13 reels of microfilm and was a wonderful resource to help fill the gap for the missing 1890 Federal census. Since we were researching Florida families during that time frame, the index was created as we researched and a tool was created for others. Since the film is now available on line, one might presume that the printed volume is unnecessary. However, we know from having gone through the census page by page that an accurate index is almost impossible. Several names that we know are in our index do not appear in any of the on-line resources. Printed copies are available still for the 1910 Florida census records for specific counties. Most folks are relying on on-line resources, but some still like the feel of a book in hand. Our indexes are always EVERY NAME indexes and incllude mortality, agriculture, and manufacturing schedules if available.
The church books that were published came into our hands unexpectedly. Both are wonderful resources for rarely-found information on families involved in the two unrelated churches in Alabama.