Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Friday, February 27, 2009

Froggie's Friday Book Review

The subject of today's book review is "The Netherland, Leatherlin Legacy with Allied
Crane and Walls Families," written by Gena Ayers Walls, of Houston, Texas.

But first I want to tell a brief story about how I first became aware of this book. It all started on the genealogy floor of the wonderful Erikkson Library in Dallas, Texas, where I was researching several family lines, including the Netherland family. I found the book among the many volumes there written specifically about various families in the United States. If you have never been to this library, I can only say that it seems a book is available there for every name known to man. Handwritten inside the cover of the book's cover was an inscription by Clarence Netherland, indicating he was a Dallas resident who had donated the book to the library.

After perusing the book's pages, I decided that I wanted to purchase a copy for my mother. As soon as I returned home, I looked up Clarence Netherland, who just happened to have two more copies of the book that he agreed to sell to me. Not only did I obtain a copy of the Netherland book, I also found a Netherland cousin. Unfortunately, Clarence Netherland, a well-respected Dallas resident, a petroleum engineer and founder of his own consulting firm, died early last year.

The name of this book itself, "The Netherland, Leatherlin Legacy with Allied Crane and Walls Families," offers some insight into its contents. Actually, this book has been written by Mrs. Walls about her husband's ancestors, his Netherland, Crane, and Walls families. The title is an indication of one of its contents, a discussion of the origins and variations of the present day Netherland family's name. In her well-researched and documented book, Mrs. Walls provides an in-depth discussion of the family's initial settlement in colonial Virginia and traces its migration path westward into Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Included in its almost 300 pages are many family pictures and other documentation that includes birth, marriage, and death records. Photocopies of other types of historical documents are provided in the book, as well. Some of these are copies of land grants, wills, and war records that may provide the researcher with evidence needed to establish a long sought after familial relationship.

Of particular interest to me, a Netherland family researcher myself, was medical history information that I gleaned from death certificates included in the book. It was because of this finding that I now know that five of my maternal grandfather's family, including my grandfather himself, died of complications from stomach cancer.

Although the book written by Mrs. Walls was first published over 10 years ago, it is still the leading genealogy book available about the Leatherlin, Neatherlin, Netherland family in the United States. If you have ties to the Crane, Netherland, or Walls families in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, or Texas, this book may be able to assist you in finding your "roots."

New copies of the book may still be available by contacting Gena Ayers Walls directly.

Recently, I was able to purchase an inexpensive used copy of the book for my uncle through this bookseller:

Barbara A. Geisert, 290 Birchfield Dr., Marietta, GA 30068-3803. Barbara can also be contacted by email at

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