Book Review: Research

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Click to view a larger image Research by George G. Morgan. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co. 2014. 4 pages.

This is one of the latest “Genealogy At-A-Glance” condensed guides published as short, 4-page laminated 8×11 reference brochures. These are meant to be quick reference resources on major topics of research, and the authors are top-notch authorities in their respective fields.

George G. Morgan elaborates here on FamilySearch, which traces its own roots back to the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU), the microfilming arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose films we still read today. Digitization has overtaken the world of microfilm, and FamilySearch evolved out of GSU to oversee the monumental task of transferring from microform to digital media the collected filmed images, and to continue preserving records in digital form as the LDS locates new resources and repositories.

Book Review: My Ancestor Settled in the British West Indies

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

My Ancestor Settled in the British West Indies.
By John Titford. Published by the Society of Genealogists Enterprises Limited, London. 2011. 253 pages.

Mr. Titford has written a book about the British families who immigrated to the West Indies and their associated records. Loss has been the key point of the records generated in the colonies. Neglect, destruction, and civil strife have taken their toll on these records of Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Guiana, British Honduras, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nevis, St Kitts, St Lucia, and St Vincent, Tobago, Trinidad, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Book Review: Where’s Merrill?

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Where’s Merrill? By Gearóid O’Neary. Self-published as an e-book. 2013. 117 pages.

It’s relaxing to sit down and read a book just for pleasure’s sake. Set aside the hefty genealogy reference guides and just escape into an easy and comfortable read.

Where’s Merrill would be a good story to slip into. I have it on my e-reader, and it’s an agreeable way to pass the time on a crowded airplane, relax while on vacation, or read just propped up on the living room couch.

Merrill is a fictional genealogical thriller based on factual events and people, but written with artistic license permitting character embellishment and dramatic plot building.

Lind Street Research Publishes a New Guide for finding German Military Records for the former Kingdom of Hanover

The following announcement was written by Lind Street Research:

INVERNESS, ILLINOIS, August 1, 2014 – Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, Certified GenealogistSM and German research expert, is proud to announce the publication of Guide to Hanover Military Records, 1514–1866, on Microfilm at the Family History Library. Military records for the former Kingdom of Hanover in Germany can include a soldier’s date and place of birth, his father’s name, and widows’ pensions. This publication is the only English-language guide to this gold mine of information for genealogists. With this guide, a researcher can quickly determine all available records for a regiment and time period and know where to find them in the Family History Library’s (FHL) microfilm holdings in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The records in this collection span 130 rolls of FHL microfilm and go beyond simply listing names of soldiers. In addition to the typical details in the muster rolls, transfers to and from other companies provide clues to additional muster rolls to review. The many other types of records in this collection include regimental journals, pension data, marriage consents, field church books, and even horse muster rolls, including physical descriptions of the horses and the names of the soldiers who rode them, and much, much more.

How Do You Update Genealogical Reference Books?

Gary Mokotoff has come up with a good idea that I wish other genealogy authors would emulate.

It could be argued that genealogical reference books are obsolete the day they are published. That is because we are in an environment where resources for family history research are every growing (and sometimes contracting). Gary Mokotoff, author of “Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy,” has come up with a novel solution to the problem: he produces a new edition of his book every year.

Mokotoff has been updating the book every year since 2010. His publishing house, Avotaynu Inc, just published “Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy – 2014 Edition.” It includes new sections on Geni, MyHeritage and the American Joint Distribution Committee, institutions that were not that important to genealogical research five years ago. Illustrations can become obsolete, especially web pages which are constantly improved by their designers. The home page of FamilySearch today is significantly different than it was in 2010.

Book Review: The Jewish Presence in Early British Records 1650-1850

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The Jewish Presence in Early British Records 1650-1850. By David Dobson. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore . 2014. 123 pages.

You may recognize Mr. Dobson’s name. He has published numerous books of lists of names culled from historic records for the benefit of our genealogical research.

His introduction to this book is better than mine:

There had been a Jewish presence in England since the days of William the Conqueror however in 1290 King Edward I of England banished them from his possessions. From that date until 1655 when Oliver Cromwell encouraged them to return there were officially no Jews in England. In Scotland there had been no similar legislation banning Jews though few, if any, settled there in the medieval period. During the seventeenth century the activities of the Spanish Inquisition encouraged Sephardic Jews to emigrate, some went north to the Netherlands while others moved to Brazil.

Book Review: Loyalist Refugees. Non-Military Refugees in Quebec 1776-1784.

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Loyalist Refugees. Non-Military Refugees in Quebec 1776-1784.
By Gavin K. Watt. Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, Ontario, Canada. 2014. 330 pages.

Not everyone in colonial America believed the colonies should be independent of England. Some 15-20% of the settled occupants remained loyal to the British Monarchy, and consequently were hounded, harassed, persecuted, and run out of their homes. The so-called Loyalists living in the northern regions moved north to the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. (Not every Loyalist fled the colonies. Many remained in the states and assumed citizenship in the new republic.)

Book Review: In Their Time. A Timeline Journal for Placing Family Events into Historical Context 1000-2076.

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

In Their Time. A Timeline Journal for Placing Family Events into Historical Context 1000-2076.
By Roger L. Dudley. Published by Warfield Press LLC., Prescott AZ. 2012. 793 pages.

This is a very clever idea of a book.

It furnishes a handy format for recording timelines of world events in the lifetimes of our ancestors.

Roger Dudley has put together a neat system of journaling the events occurring within a person’s lifetime. He begins in the year 1000 and ends in the year 2076, surely enough time for our kids to keep the record going.

The left side page has a list of significant world events, and the right side page is an empty, lined page. You write the names of the people living during those times on the empty page. It’s an effortless way to write down the names of our ancestors near the current events of the time.

Book Review: In Their Words. A Genealogist’s Translation Guide to Polish, German, Latin, and Russian Documents. Volume III: Latin

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Click on the image to view a larger version

In Their Words.
A Genealogist’s Translation Guide to Polish, German, Latin, and Russian Documents. Volume III: Latin.
by William F. Hoffman & Jonathan D. Shea. Published by Language and Lineage Press, Houston TX. 2013. 411 pages.

This book is about the Latin words and phrases we encounter when we work in Catholic church records.

The Catholic Church takes sacred care of its sacramental records. The administration of the sacraments defines a church member’s lifelong relationship to the Church. Pre-requisite for a marriage ceremony would require a proof of baptism which would require a query letter back to the home parish and their search into the baptismal register that was recorded decades earlier. The parish sacramental registers of baptism, communion, marriage, and burial are held for generations. In the Old Countries, your church records may well have been microfilmed by the LDS, and survive on film and digitized media today.

West Valley Genealogical Society & Library Used Book Sale

The West Valley Genealogical Society & Library of Youngtown, Arizona is a nonprofit 501 (3) c private library with more than 14,000 books in its library. The library sells duplicates in order to obtain funds for purchasing new books. This might be a good chance to pick up a few books at bargain prices.

You can find the list of available books for sale at

13 Tips for Landing a Wife (in the 19th Century)

In 1883, a Methodist minister named George W. Hudson wrote an “advice for men” book: The Marriage Guide for Young Men: A Manual of Courtship and Marriage. It was self-published, perhaps because traditional publishers of the time couldn’t handle all the hard-core truth the Reverend was going to deliver. It is amusing and often politically incorrect when read in the twenty-first century. However, our ancestors probably believed these to be “facts.” Here are some excerpts:

“Whenever you see a woman with a good, full, round back head, combined with a good front, you may be sure that she is capable of giving a good degree of energy and pluck to her children; and better still, that full back head denotes that she is well sexed, capable of loving husband and children devotedly, and capable of giving her children a good sexual endowment.”

One suggestion is that a potential wife should be capable of working hard and able to “lift a good load”:

Book Review: Crash Course in Family History

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Crash Course in Family History. Fifth edition. By Paul Larsen. Published by 2014. 344 pages.

I’d say this book is for the armchair genealogist, a circumstance, I hope, that would only be for a transient period of time. Every genealogist worth his or her salt knows we eventually need to take it out to the repositories, but circumstances do arise when we’re confined at home for a time.

Paul Larsen’s fifth edition of Crash Course is a whopping resource directory of URLs referencing genealogy research. You could sit down at your computer, open up this tome to just about any page, and not get up for days.

Crash Course is not a treatise on research technique, nor an in-depth critical study of resources. Rather, it’s a colorful, light-hearted approach to genealogical research.

But the content is anything but light. This is a huge collection of links, there might be thousands, designated as either free or requiring payment. Featured web pages have bold titles, short but concise descriptions, a photo of the page attached.

The book is divided into three sections: Plant Your Family Tree, Make New Discoveries, and Connect With Your Family.

Mr. Larsen is an unabashed enthusiast for family history. There are numerous snippets of quotes from the writings, letters, and sayings of the famous and celebrated articulating the love of family, as well as testimonials from individuals who cite the strange, coincidental, improbable, unexpected, and thrilling surprises in genealogy.

This is certainly a departure from the usual research guide. Crisply illustrated, succinctly informative, and colorfully presented, this is a hefty companion for your research.

Crash Course in Family History is available from the publisher at as well as from Amazon at and from other bookstores as well.

(+) Self-Publish Your Book and Sell it on Amazon and Elsewhere

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

Many genealogists dream of publishing books about the family tree or about local history. Some want to write a book of “my ancestors,” but it may be better to write, “The Descendants of (insert ancestor’s name here)” or the “Early History of Washington County” or some other area where you have expertise. Either way, you have three tasks ahead of you: write the book, get it published, and then find buyers. I can’t offer much assistance for writing the book, but in this article I will tell you about some online services that can make it easy to self-publish and sell your new masterpiece.

Book Review: Genealogy at a Glance: Court Records Research

The following Book Review was written by Bobbi King:

Genealogy at a Glance: Court Records Research. By Wendy Bebout Elliott.
One in a series of “Genealogy at a Glance” publications by Genealogical Publishing Co. 2013. 4 pages.

Wendy Elliott’s introductory paragraph explains the importance of courthouse records: “Court actions covered a wide range of matters in the lives of our ancestors, including indenture and apprenticeship; adoption; bastardy; guardianship; marriage; divorce; citizenship and naturalization; land and property disputes; road, bridge, and mill construction and care; re-recording of deeds and wills; witchcraft; business licenses and bonds; the care of the poor and widows; and much more.”

Book Review: Our Ancestors, Our Stories

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Our Ancestors, Our Stories.
By Harris Bailey, Jr., Bernice Alexander Bennett, Ellen LeVonne Butler, Ethel Dailey, and Vincent Sheppard. Published by The Write Image, Suwanee, GA. 2014. 161 pages.

The five authors call themselves The Memory Keepers. They have published their accounts to honor their ancestors’ lives in Edgefield County, situated in the Piedmont of South Carolina known in the old days as the Backcountry, or the Upcountry.

Their ancestors were the enslaved workers who helped create the fortunes of slave owners but who, as equally as the white occupants, contributed to the history of South Carolina. The Edgefield District heritage continues to be watched over by members of the Old Edgefield District Genealogical Society, the Old Edgefield District African American Genealogical Society, and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc.

Book Review: The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide.
By James M. Beidler. Publ. by Family Tree Books, Blue Ash, OH. 2014. 239 pages.

James Beidler is a longtime German researcher, writer, and lecturer. He writes a column for German Life magazine and his newspaper column “Roots & Branches” appears weekly in the Lebanon Daily News and the Altoon Mirror (Pennsylvania).

You Can Download 83,947 Genealogy Books Free of Charge

You can keep a huge genealogy library in your own home. You don’t need to purchase bookcases or build an addition onto the house. You can keep the entire collection in your computer or even in a handheld Kindle, iPad, or similar device. Actually, you don’t have to keep a local copy at all, as the entire collection is available online, and you can retrieve the books of interest at any time.

Several organizations have been digitizing old genealogy and family history books for several years. The number of available books is still growing daily. Perhaps the largest such collection is available in’s genealogy collection. Available items include books on surname origins, vital statistics, parish records, census records, passenger lists of vessels, and other historical and biographical documents.


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