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.

The reader could have no interest in the family, but learn about the regional cultures, geography, the contemporary economies, and gain an accurate picture of the lives and times of those eras and places. Anyone with an interest in the areas where the Parretts lived, in just reading the accounts of these locales would gain insight into how things were during these times in those places.

We can look to this family history book as an example of a well-written, appealing, and engrossing book. This can serve as a model for our own story-telling and writing efforts. The writing narrative moves right along, and when the author doesn’t know something for sure, she says so. She treads the line between what she assumes and what she knows with finesse, inspiring confidence that she’s not inflating her assumptions into truths.

This is a very fine family history book.

The Parrett Migration by Dawn Parrett Thurston is available from Amazon at

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