(+) How To Self Publish Your Own Printed Book or eBook

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

Many genealogists dream of publishing the results of their research efforts. Whether it is to be a collection of childhood memories of time spent with grandparents or a scholarly study of all the descendants of a family’s immigrant ancestor, publishing books is still the best way to distribute information amongst relatives as well as to preserve the information for future generations.

Publishing most genealogy books has always been done by the use of “vanity press” publishers. A vanity press, vanity publisher, or subsidy publisher is a publishing house in which authors pay to have their books published. Unlike mainstream publishers, a “vanity press” publisher requires the author to pay in advance to have the book published. The price usually includes publishing some predetermined number of books. In many cases, the author takes immediate delivery of all the books, stores them, and then sells the individual books as best he or she can. The vanity press publisher may or may not also make the books available for ordering in the company’s catalog.

Genealogy Gems Launches Free Genealogy Book Club

The following announcement was written by Lisa Louise Cooke:

October 21, 2014

Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems is pleased to announce the launch of the FREE Genealogy Gems Book Club, which features great reads for genealogy lovers.

“This is an idea we’ve been percolating on for quite a while,” says Gems owner-producer Lisa Louise Cooke. “People are always sending me the names of books they love. I also hear from publishers and the authors themselves. We thought it would be great to share these books more widely.”

Book Review: A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors.
By Franklin Carter Smith and Emily Anne Croom.
Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 2008 reprint, (original Betterway Books, Cincinnati, 2003). 250 pages.

Emily Croom has several well-written genealogy guides under her belt. For this publication, she co-authored with Franklin Carter Smith, graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, who has researched his slave ancestry back to 1760. Their combined work has produced a well-written guide for African-American genealogy.

The authors emphasize the importance and relevance of the post-Civil War records. The 1870 census for the first time recorded names of African-Americans, and the great majority of African-Americans served in the military and naval forces after 1861.

Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750

Would you enjoy a comic book dedicated to history? Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 may be the answer.

Edited by Jason Rodriguez and created in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Concord Museum, Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 features tales about free thinkers, female business owners, Jewish settlers, and other little-known real-life characters.

Colonial Comics is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. Created in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Concord Museum, the illustrated stories will focus on tales normally not documented in most history books. The books will include stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life.

Book Reviews: Your Stripped-Bare Guide to Historical ‘Proof’ and Your Stripped-Bare Guide to Citing Sources

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Your Stripped-Bare Guide to Historical ‘Proof’ and Your Stripped-Bare Guide to Citing Sources.
By Elizabeth Shown Mills. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014. One page, 8×11, laminated.

The four-page laminated “at-a-glance” guides published by Genealogical are pretty handy instruction brochures, and now Genealogical has published a couple new one-page guides that are similarly meant to be quickie references on specific topics. These guides are offered under the heading of “Your Stripped-Bare Guide to ….”

One of the most noticeable pieces of the new publication is the graphic on the front page up in the top left-hand corner. A happy character wearing nothing more than a delighted grin and a graduate’s mortar board, tassel a-flutter in the breeze, with a bit of heinie showing beyond the borders of the covering document, is somewhat startling to see.

GenBiz Solutions™ Guides Released

The following announcement was written by Thomas MacEntee:

Chicago, Illinois: GenBiz Solutions™ Guides hit the marketplace today to meet the demands of the business owner with a genealogy-related business focus. Independent of developing genealogical research skills, today’s successful genealogy-related business owner must develop or enhance specific business skills. Each GenBiz Solutions™ Guide, geared towards the business side of genealogy, addresses a specific business topic. Initial guides released include:

NEHGS announces Robert Charles Anderson’s Exclusive, Must Have Genealogical Guide, Elements of Genealogical Analysis

The following announcement was written by the folks at the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

How to Maximize Your Research Using the Great Migration Study Project Method

September, 23, 2014 – Boston, Massachusetts – New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announces the publication of the latest work by renowned author Robert Charles Anderson, FASG. Detailing the author’s process, the work consists of 124 pages of genealogical expertise and principles used throughout his illustrious career.

In his new book, Robert Charles Anderson presents his step-by-step process for solving genealogical problems—a methodology thirty years in the making. Developed by Anderson and perfected through his work as director of the Great Migration Study Project at NEHGS, this systematic approach considers each source, each record, and each possible linkage before making a genealogical conclusion. Clearly defined tools, checklists, and logically ordered steps throughout the book help make this method both accessible and effective. Examples of actual research problems and continuing case studies, accompanied by easy-to-follow diagrams, walk you through steps of effective genealogical analysis.

Book Review: Scots-Irish Genealogy Research

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Scots-Irish Genealogy Research.
By Brian Mitchell. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014. 4 pages.

Brian Mitchell is a familiar name, author, and authority on Irish records. He has contributed to the online, searchable, and very sizeable database of County Derry church and civil records; his affiliation with the Derry City Council offers his expert research services to queries that come into that office; and his several Irish references A New Genealogical Guide Atlas of Ireland, A guide to Irish Parish Registers, Irish Passenger Lists 1847-1871, and Genealogy at a Glance: Irish Genealogy Research, are highly regarded research guides.

Scots-Irish Genealogy refers to the people whose ancestors originated in Scotland and settled in Ireland.

Book Review: The Parrett Migration

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The Parrett Migration.
by Dawn Parrett Thurston. Published by the author. 2014. 315 pages.

Ms. Thurston recites the story of her ancestor Joseph Frederick Parrett of Ohio, whose origins were in the Rhineland of Europe. His river journey took him out of the Old Country of the Switzerland region and across the sea to the port of Philadelphia. He and his families settled in the eastern states, moved into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, on to eastern Tennessee, Fayette County Ohio, Locust Grove Iowa, and finally to California.

Ms. Thurston proceeds to chronicle their lives. She enhances the stories with detailed period cultural and geographic descriptions. She writes her stories with the authority of meticulous, scrupulous, and extensive research, shifting the storyline beyond genealogy into historical reporting of keen interest to us.

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”:


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