Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Arab Genealogy


I usually highlight family history resources that are especially useful.

Today, I have to highlight a resource with a twist, and ask:  Is this useful?

I can't tell!

The resource is the Digital Assets Repository at the New Library of Alexandria in Egypt (Bibliotheca Alexandrina).

An Arabian family tree, perhaps?

Under their Categories listing, if you click on the Geography and History category, you'll get these intriguing results:

  • Genealogy, names insignia (307)
  • Biography, genealogy, insignia (882)

In other words, there are at least several hundred books here...possibly close to a thousand...that touch on genealogy and family history.  In perusing the book lists, it's clear that the focus of these works is on family history in Arabia, and often on the particular family history of descendants from Mohammed.

Unfortunately, my exploration of the site pretty much had to end there.  All the resources appear to be in Arabic, which effectively closes the door to my English-only brain.

In addition, the site...and I hate to say this...is only minimally functional in terms of actually letting users sort through and pull up available materials.  Nothing is working quite right yet, though they hopefully will fix this down the road (it is a beta site, after all).

Using Google Translate, I can see that some of the resources have very useful-sounding names like:
  • Tombstones Muslim cemetery Sa'ada, Yemen
  • Dictionary of Arab Tribes of Old and Modern

Other translations are suggestive, but not terribly revealing, like:

  • Exciting existence, the descent, we find kings

while others are simply ???????

  • Sentences from the book flowed supervision

Anyway, if anyone can shed some light on this collection, and its value (or lack thereof) to those exploring Arabic family history, please post your remarks in the Comments.

Much appreciated.

David

Visit the main page of Free Genealogy Tools for more, umm, free genealogical tools.

And don't forget to also check for your family history at Ancestry.com and NewspaperArchive.com. These are subscription databases, but they are among the most powerful research tools available for looking into family roots.


NewspaperArchive.com

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