Book Review: How to Do Everything: Genealogy

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

How to Do Everything: Genealogy, Fourth Edition
by George G. Morgan. Published by McGraw Hill. 2015. 490 pages.

Does George Morgan ever sleep? With several already-published genealogy research guides available, he sure hasn’t slowed down much. This newest book appears to be his most substantial work so far.

This latest book is jam-packed with genealogy research information, with very few blank pages among the total count of 490+. Even the inside pages of the covers have text: The inside front cover summarizes What You’ll Do in This Book and the inside back cover lists the Best Starting Points on the Internet for Your Research. Not much wasted space here.

Book Review: The People of Ireland 1600-1699, Part Four

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The People of Ireland 1600-1699, Part Four
by David Dobson
Printed for Clearfield Co. by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014. 114 pages.

Mr. Dobson gathered the 17th-century names of “ordinary people” whose roots were native to Ireland, or who were immigrant English, with a few names of Huguenot and Dutch immigrants. These collected names can be used to identify locations of families during the 1600s. Those persons of Scottish origin are collected in Mr. Dobson’s Scots-Irish Links, 1575-1725, and are not included in the People of Ireland works.

Mr. Dobson writes that there are few church baptism, marriage, and burial records from the Irish Catholic parishes before the mid-1750s. Presbyterian church records date from the 1670s, and the Quakers maintained records from the 1650s. As the predominant religion, the missing Catholic records represent a significant amount of missing data. Mr. Dobson accessed a considerable amount of material not available to the ordinary researcher, along with primary sources such as governmental records and references found in Irish, British, and European sources.

NGS Introduces Four New Research in the States Books: California, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Nebraska

The National Genealogical Society has introduced four new books for genealogists. I noticed that one of them (Nebraska) was written by Bobbi King who writes most of the book reviews that are published in this newsletter. (Hey, Bobbi. Can I write the review of YOUR book?)

The following announcement was written by the National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 20 MAY 2015—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is pleased to announce the publication of four, new books as part of its Research in the States series, which now covers research in more than twenty-two states. The newest volumes are Research in California by Sheila Benedict; Research in Missouri, 3rd edition, by Ann Carter Fleming, cgSM, cglSM, fngs; Research in Oklahoma by Kathy Huber, MLS; and Research in Nebraska by Roberta “Bobbi” King. The books are now available in the NGS store in both PDF and print versions. The print versions will ship after 31 May.

Book Reviews: Manitoba Scrip 2nd Edition and Northwest Half-Breed Scrip – 1885

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Manitoba Scrip 2nd Edition
Compiled by Gail Morin
Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2015. 330 pages

Northwest Half-Breed Scrip – 1885
Compiled by Gail Morin
Reprint by Genealogical Publishing Co., [1997] 2015. 287 pages.

Ms. Morin has compiled a massive number of names of Canadian Half-Breed scrip recipients, those persons of mixed white and Indian blood.

Manitoba Scrip contains the names of scrip recipients who were Mètis, as well as recipients who were Half-Breeds. Original white settlers also were entitled to land or cash scrip if they had settled in Manitoba between 1813 and 1835.

Northwest Half-Breed Scrip contains names of residents of the Northwest territories who were Half-Breed heads of family or Half-Breed children who received land and money scrip.

Book Review: Genealogy and The Law

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Genealogy and The Law
A Guide to Legal Sources for the Family Historian

by Kay Haviland Freilich & William B. Freilich
Published by the National Genealogical Society. 2014. 119 pages.

The law and its application to genealogy have become more and more a topic of interest to genealogists. Credit Judy Russell and The Legal Genealogist with her “Oh-My-Gosh-Isn’t-This-The-Most-Interesting-Law” blog accounts that draw us into her world of making sense of applying law to genealogy situations, both explanatory and amusing.

Genealogy and The Law is the latest in the Special Topics Series of books published by NGS. The authors, Kay Freilich has taught the Law Library course at the Samford Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research, and William Freilich holds his JD from Villanova University and is retired from corporate law practice. The two authors have written a very nice introductory, and also useful for the experienced researcher, particularly the Citing Your Sources chapter, book that covers the whys and where-fors for considering the aspects of law in your research.

Book Review: Historic German Newspapers Online

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Historic German Newspapers Online
Compiled by Ernest Thode
Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014. 223 pages.

Ernest Thode is a name readily recognized in the German-researching community. His big, red, softbound German-English Genealogical Dictionary is likely on every German researcher’s bookshelf. I took it to Salt Lake City one year to help me transcribe microfilmed German church records, and it was a great help.

In German Newspapers Online, in the introductory pages, Mr. Thode writes, “…I contend that any search for a German or Eastern European ancestor is incomplete without looking in German-language newspapers for that area….There are now thousands of titles online, many scanned with OCR software, some full-text searchable, and others viewable by going chronologically and page by page (like the olden days of cranking a microfilm reader).” Newspapers of 50 years or older are the subject of his book, with some more current editions noted for their genealogical value.

NEHGS announces the Publication of Deborah Child’s, Soldier, Engraver, Forger: Richard Brunton’s Life on the Fringe in America’s New Republic

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

April 23, 2015 – Boston, Massachusetts – New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announces the publication of the latest work by Deborah Child.

In this richly illustrated biography, the author follows in the footsteps of Richard Brunton, a British grenadier who fought in the American Revolution before deserting in 1779. A trained engraver and diesinker, his primitive but charming works include some of the earliest pre-printed family registers in America. Despite his many talents and efforts, he was never able to make an honest living from his craft. Instead, he spent years living on the fringes of society, forging and counterfeiting currency, until his death in a New England almshouse in 1832.

Book Review: Elements of Genealogical Analysis

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Elements of Genealogical Analysis
By Robert Charles Anderson
New England Historic Genealogical Society. 2014. 168 pages.

Robert Charles Anderson secured his place in the pantheon of genealogical greats when he became Director of the Great Migration Study Project. Supported by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the published volumes titled the Great Migration Series represent a set of colonial biographies that anchors New England research. His Santa-Claus beard belies a suffers-no-fools independence and an intellect that his admirers immediately pronounce as “genius.” The American Society of Genealogists, limited to a lifetime membership of fifty Fellows, received Mr. Anderson as one of its own in 1978.

Mr. Anderson discovered his own New England roots some forty years ago. His investigations broadened beyond his own family to encompass the biographies of the New England colonists. The Migration Project subsequently issued:

Guinness confirms Confucius Family Tree as World’s Largest

The genealogical line of the ancient Chinese sage Confucius has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest family tree in history, containing the names of more than 2 million descendants, according to the latest edition of the Confucius genealogy book published in 2009.

According to those who have looked at the book (in Chinese), the Confucius Genealogy appears to contain many source citations and supporting documentation.

Book Review: A Page of History – Passport Applications 1851-1914

The following review of two books was written by Bobbi King:

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

A Page of History
Passport Applications 1851-1914; Passport Applications Volume II 1915-1925
by Phil Goldfarb
Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC

These two volumes of A Page of History are not exactly genealogy books, but rather, books of general historical interest. Of course, if your ancestor happens to be one of the famous people included in the books, then your interest is very personal. And someone writing a biography of any of the persons in the book could find additional material.

The first pages detail a short history of passport applications, a brief summary of passports in the United States and passport application forms, and types of passport applications.

FamilySearch Free Historic Book Collection Online Hits 200,000th Milestone

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Imagine a free virtual online library of rare historic books from all over the world to help you discover rich, unknown details about the lives of your ancestors. What if the historic book collections held by significant public libraries and venerable societies were the sources of these contributed books? You’d have a dynamic, priceless online repository of some of the greatest hidden historic treasures predominantly unknown to man. International, and a growing host of partnering libraries and organizations and volunteers, have announced today that they’ve reached the milestone of publishing 200,000 historic volumes online for free at The growing online collection, which began in 2007, is invaluable to genealogists and family historians in finding their ancestors.

FamilySearch has mobile digitization pods at partnering libraries and organizations across the United States including Fort Wayne (Indiana), Syracuse (New York), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), Independence (Missouri), Houston (Texas), at the University of Florida, and in Salt Lake City (Utah). Digitization is also being done at strategic FamilySearch Centers in Pocatello (Idaho), Mesa (Arizona), Oakland, Orange and Sacramento (California), and in Utah at the West Valley and Ogden Centers. . Most of the digitized publications consists of compiled family histories and local and county histories. The collection also includes telephone and postal directories and other resources.

A 9th-century “Leechbook”

I have had a few medical problems during my life and have been treated by a number of doctors. I am glad I didn’t live during the 9th century!

“Bald’s Leechbook” is not a book about blood-sucking worms. It’s a medieval tome written in Anglo-Saxon, probably during the ninth century, which outlines the practices of English doctors (sometimes referred to as “leeches” at the time) concerning care and treatment of a variety of human maladies. The book can now be found in London’s British Library.

Book Review: MindMaps for Genealogy

The following book review was written by Dick Eastman:

MindMaps for Genealogy
by Ron Arons
71 ppg. Published by Criminal Research Press

I have read a lot of genealogy books over the years but MindMaps for Genealogy was not like any other book I have read before.

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. The diagrams created by mind mapping techniques visually “map” information. Mind maps can be used as an aid to studying and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.

In this book, author Ron Arons introduces the basic concepts of mind maps: what they are, how to create them, and how to use them for planning genealogical research. He also shows how mind maps can complement the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS), considered to be a standard for determining and proving genealogy research results. Mind maps are particularly useful for helping solve “brick wall” problems that are common in genealogy research, including:

Google Books Reduces its Digitizing and Preservation of old Books while Internet Archive Increases its Efforts at the Same Thing

An article in The Message states that Google is reducing its efforts at digitizing old books. That certainly is a loss for genealogists, historians, and many others. In what appears to be an unrelated move, the Internet Archive is INCREASING its efforts at digitizing old books, adding 1,000 books to the online collection EACH DAY. Perhaps there is hope for genealogists after all.

In 2004, Google Books signaled the company’s intention to scan every known book, partnering with libraries and developing its own book scanner capable of digitizing 1,000 pages per hour. Since then, the company has digitized millions of old books, creating a valuable archive. Google Books is still online, but has curtailed its scanning efforts in recent years, likely discouraged by a decade of legal wrangling still in appeal. The Google Books Blog stopped updating in 2012 and the Twitter account has been dormant since February 2013.

Scottish Highlanders in America Documented in New Series

Dr. David Dobson, noted author of books pertaining to Scottish origins of American colonists, has introduced a new series designed to identify the origins of Scottish Highlanders who traveled to America prior to the Great Highland Migration that began in the 1730s. His first volume lists groups of Highlanders from Argyll who headed for North Carolina and New York.

Book Review: BarbwireDigi’s Guide to Creating A Digital Genealogy Scrapbook

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

BarbwireDigi’s Guide to Creating A Digital Genealogy Scrapbook
By Barb Groth
89 ppg. Published by BarbwireDigi/Barb Groth

Word has it that there was an emphasis on storytelling at the FGS/RootsTech conference this year.

To assist the genealogist who is ready to publish, there is an abundance of “How-To” guidebooks out there on the market. I’d say it’s a good idea to determine exactly where you’re at in your abilities to publish, then buy a guidebook suited to your immediate needs.

Ms. Groth has published a guide for creating a digital scrapbook, specifically targeted for the users of Adobe Photoshop© Elements. This program is an excellent photo-editing software for many genealogists, most especially for beginners. It’s fairly easy to learn, and does an excellent job of preparing photos for viewing and publication, adequately meeting the needs of most of us. Besides removing red-eye and cropping photos, I use photo-editing software to enhance contrast and modify light values on fuzzy scanned documents for improved readability and clarity. And, most importantly, Elements is affordable.

NGS Publication Genealogy and the Law – Now Available on Kindle

The following announcement was written by the folks at the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

Arlington, VA, 12 March 2015—Genealogy and the Law: A Guide to Legal Sources for the Family Historian by Kay Haviland Freilich, CGSM, CGLSM, FNGS and William B. Freilich, Esq., is now available as a Kindle eBook. First published by the National Genealogical Society (NGS) as a softcover book on 1 September 2014, Genealogy and the Law guides readers through the variety of legal sources that genealogists need to explain many of the events that occurred in their ancestors’ lives. Land ownership, estate administration, and taxation are a few of the many aspects of life that cannot be fully understood without knowledge of the law in effect at the time.

A Free Book in Google Books Lists Details of all Voters in New York City for 1919

I love Google Books! There are great finds there for genealogists and for many other interests as well. Newsletter reader Barbara Ulus sent information about her latest find, one that will interest any genealogist with ancestors living in New York City in 1919. Barbara writes:

“I’ve come across a free book on Google, which you may or may not know of, that lists the name, address and political party of all voters in the boroughs of NYC for 1919. Seems to list many more people than I found searching on the census. I guess people didn’t trust giving info to the census takers but most men wanted to vote as soon as they were able to.”

Book Review: The Ultimate Search Book. Worldwide Adoption, Genealogy, and Other Search Secrets.

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The Ultimate Search Book.
Worldwide Adoption, Genealogy, and Other Search Secrets.
By Lori Carangelo. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2011. 294 pages.

Lori Corangelo has been an adoption activist and involved with adoption research for many years. She founded Americans for Open Records (AmFOR), an organization for adoption-affected citizens. Their website at offers further explanations and resources involving adoption research.

The unique feature of Ultimate Search Book is its focus on adoption research. Typical first steps are described for genealogical research, but following chapters focus on the obstacles and techniques for performing adoptive research.

Book Review: Abstracts of the Debt Books of the Provincial Land Office of Maryland

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Abstracts of the Debt Books of the Provincial Land Office of Maryland.
By V.L. Skinner, Jr. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co. 2014. 365 pages.

Frederick County, Volume I. Calvert Papers, 1750.
Liber 22: 1753,1754,1755.

The Provincial Land Office of Maryland was responsible for the dispensing of land under its authority from 1634 to 1777. The Rent Rolls and the Debt Books were the means by which the Lord Proprietor kept track of the rents due him.

The Debt Book lists the names of persons who own land with the names and rents of each tract owned, all listed in one place under his or her name.


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