Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Essential Genealogy Books For Family Historians

For every family history buff, a well-stocked bookshelf is vitally important to help your research. Most of the following genealogy books can be found at your local library, but having them on hand can benefit you when you feel you need help locating a type of record or figuring out where to look next.

Ancestral Trails The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History, Volume ll by Mark Herber.

Likely the definative book for those doing English research, Herber's book has been a part of my own personal collection since it first appeared. The book is the sequel to Herber's previous edition and is described as "bigger and better with the new and expanded edition" and it is also available in paperback (as shown to the left). The book includes advice and guidance for those researching the often overwhelming British archives, and digging into various records such as personal recollections, photographs and other memorabilia to civil, legal and religious records, newspapers and directories.

The book helps the beginner genealogist as well as being invaluable to the more advanced researcher.

The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th edition, by George B. Everton.

Exactly as described, Everton's Handybook is a primary resource for anyone doing research in the United States.

The book is broken down state by state, with numerous helpful maps outlining state and county boundary changes through the years, as well as useful information about everthing from the availablity of census records, to local libraries and genealogical sources. One of the first places any beginner should look as well as seasoned family historians.

The Source - A Guidebook to American Genealogy Published by Ancestry.com. Edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking

Ancestry.com's excellent guide to both online and offline sources of genealogical records.

Each chapter covers one area of research such as census records, church records, court records, city and other directories, immigration records, land records, military records, newspapers, and vital records. Special guides include: African American research, colonial English, colonial Spanish (for Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas), Hispanic, Jewish American and Native American.

Obviously these three books only scratch the surface of what is available to genealogists and you should keep an eye out for other family history books that can help you trace your ancestry.

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