Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Essential Books for Genealogy

Do you remember books? They were those paper things with a heavier cover that some of you may have lugged around during your early school years. Well. guess what? As genealogists much of what is useful and necessary in researching our ancestors is still stored in those paper pages. All you with bibliophobia can take comfort in the fact that many of these books are available in ebook editions or are already online. The following list contains those books I consider essential to an understanding of genealogy. Some of them seem to be overly topical or specific, but they are essential none-the-less. You may disagree because of your own particular interests or ancestry, but by and large, reading and/or studying any of these books will assist you in pursuing your goal to discover your ancestry. You are certainly welcome to add your own suggestions in the comments to this post.

Another point is that there may be an existing surname book or local history that would be extremely valuable to you and may be of no interest to me. I have done a list like this some time ago, but I decided to compile the present list without reference to the previous one (or ones) just to do one from my present perspective.

This list is in alphabetical order by citation. I think that some of these books are more useful than others, but rather than give a "review" of each book, it will suffice to have a list. By the way, as search on for the word "genealogy" comes up with over 1.2 million items, most of which are books. (Firm), and D.C.) Board for Certification of Genealogists (Washington. Genealogy Standards, 2014.

Anderson, Robert Charles. Elements of Genealogical Analysis, 2014.

Anderson, Robert Charles, and New England Historic Genealogical Society. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995.

Anderson, Robert Charles, George Freeman Sanborn, Melinde Lutz Sanborn, New England Historic Genealogical Society, and Great Migration Study Project (New England Historic Genealogical Society). The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999.

Baxter, Angus. In Search of Your British & Irish Roots: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your English, Welsh, Scottish, & Irish Ancestors. New York: Morrow, 1982.

Black, Henry Campbell, 1860-1927. Black’s law dictionary. St. Paul, Minn.: West Group, 2009.

Clemensson, Per, and Kjell Andersson. Your Swedish Roots: A Step by Step Handbook. Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2004.

Durie, Bruce. Scottish Genealogy. Stroud: History, 2012.

Eichholz, Alice, and Ancestry Publishing. Redbook: American State, County & Town Sources. Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004.

Evans, Barbara Jean, and Barbara Jean Evans. The New A to Zax: A Comprehensive Genealogical Dictionary for Genealogists and Historians. [Champaign, IL]: B.J. Evans, 1990.

Everton, George B. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America. Draper, Utah: Everton Publishers, 2002.

Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1990.

Herber, Mark D, and Society of Genealogists (Great Britain). Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History. Stroud, Gloucestershire [England]: History Press, 2008.

Humphery-Smith, Cecil R. The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers. Andover, Hampshire: Phillimore, 2010.

Jacobus, Donald Lines. Genealogy as Pastime and Profession. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1968.

Kinealy, Christine. Tracing Your Irish Roots. Belfast: Appletree Press, 1999.

Maxwell, Ian. How to Trace Your Irish Ancestors an Essential Guide to Researching and Documenting the Family Histories of Ireland’s People. Oxford: How To Books, 2008.

Meyerink, Kory L, Tristan Tolman, and Linda K Gulbrandsen. Becoming an Excellent Genealogist: Essays on Professional Research Skills. [Salt Lake City, Utah]: ICAPGen, 2012.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Pub. Co., 2012.

———. Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 2001.

Minert, Roger P. Deciphering Handwriting in German Documents: Analyzing German, Latin, and French in Vital Records Written in Germany. Woods Cross, Utah: GRT Publications, 2001.

Ryskamp, George R. Finding Your Hispanic Roots. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1997.

———. Tracing Your Hispanic Heritage. Riverside, Calif.: Hispanic Family History Research, 1984.

Ryskamp, George R, and Peggy Ryskamp. Finding Your Mexican Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide. Provo, Utah: Ancestry Pub., 2007.

Sperry, Kip. Reading Early American Handwriting. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1998.

Szucs, Loretto Dennis, and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997.

The Chicago Manual of Style. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Weil, Fran├žois. Family Trees: A History of Genealogy in America, 2013.

1 comment:

  1. Another book which is still on my shelf is William Thorndale's and William Dollarhide's Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920. I think it might be out of print now, but for all my husband's ancestors who moved west, I need a guide showing all the county boundary changes. The Map Guide does the trick!