It's still something that should be done, but back then you didn't have as much of a choice. So I have quite a library of photocopied pages from books in my files - town histories, published genealogies, etc.
I don't even want to think about all those pages being a dime a piece to copy!!
So in a fit of thinking about things that are not the laundry or cleaning I should have been doing, I thought about all those pages recently and thought, hey, I bet I could find some of them as used books online and then could have the book as my own reference! I pulled a bunch out and went searching on various used book sites and found a few that seemed worth ordering and did.
One book that I ordered was "The Rockwell Family in America from 1630 to 1873" by Henry Ensign Rockwell, published in 1873.
I have one family line that goes back deep into New England history, and have some Rockwell ancestors, specifically the immigrants John Rockwell (1627-1673) and Sarah Ensign (abt 1630 - 1659).
The author of the book isn't a direct ancestor, but is in fact my 6th cousin 5x removed.
So I order the book and when it comes I'm surprised to open the box and have an envelope along with it - the envelope is full of old newspaper clippings and other handwritten notes on scraps of paper that apparently were all stored in the pages of the book - all on Rockwells! I look through the book and there are a bunch of pages with handwriting all over them - further notes on the people mentioned on the page, I can't believe what I'm seeing!!!
I look at the inside cover and it's signed "Julius Ensign Rockwell".
I look him up, and he's the son of the author! So I have the author's son's notations and newspaper clippings and I spent exactly $24.50 on this book. What a TREASURE!!
It's a genealogist's dream!!!
What I really enjoyed seeing was how similar it all looked to my files with random scraps of paper and notes on things I saw somewhere to look up later. It's wonderful to have these kinds of reminders of the humanness of our ancestors. Also, it's really freaking cool to have this book and these notes!!!