Book Reviews: New and Updated “At a Glance” Guides

The following reviews were written by Bobbi King, the Book Reviews Editor for this newsletter:

New and Updated At a Glance Guides

The At a Glance guides are published by the Genealogical Publishing Company. Meant to be quick-read references, the guides are four-page laminates, 8 x 11 in size, authored by experts on specific topics. There is a wide range of guides available at the GPC website.
Here are brief descriptions of some updated guides newly published in 2020.

German Genealogy Research, Updated Edition
by Ernest Thode.
There are segments on German history followed by sections on research tips:

  • German Emigration, including the reasons for leaving homelands and the eras of peak migrations;
  • Passenger Lists, including lists of websites and German archives where online lists may be found;
  • Unlocking German Family History, including background and online sources related to German places, surnames, given names, and dates, the most noble being a description and link to the ever-valuable Meyers Gazetteer;
  • German Record Sources, including information about and where to find church and civil registration records, the German Center for Genealogy which has Germany’s largest genealogical collection, the Berlin Document Center which documents the regime from 1920 to 1945, village heritage books and histories that list village residents, military archives, censuses, and references for further reading;
  • Other Online Resources, including additional website urls for finding German information.

Scottish Genealogy Research, Updated Edition

by David Dobson.
There are segments on Scottish history followed by sections on research tips:

  • Scottish Emigration Background, including migration information and references for further research;
  • Passenger Lists, of which there are few before the mid-19th century, but there are pointers to some resources;
  • Unlocking Scottish Family History, with information on surnames and palaeography, the study of old handwriting styles and deciphering old documents;
  • Basic Genealogical Sources, including descriptions of old parish registers of the Church of Scotland 1553 to 1854 and other church records, post 1854 statutory registration of births, marriages, deaths, divorces, civil partnerships and same-sex marriages, and census returns from 1842 to 1911;
  • Supplementary Record Sources, describing sources for wills and testaments, monumental inscription lists, Kirk Session Records, Services of Heirs, Property and the Register of Sasines, burgh records, estate and family papers, maritime records, and tax records.
  • Major Online Resources describes websites useful for further research.

Polish Genealogy Research, Updated Edition
by Rosemary A. Dembinski Chorzempa.
There are segments on Polish history and research tips:

  • Polish Names describes the complications of deciphering the surnames;
  • Polish History and Emigration describes brief history from 963 A.D. to present;
  • Finding the Hometown is a brief guide to locating an ancestral village of origin;
  • Online Databases from Poland offers updated information on new efforts posting Polish records online;
  • Other Resources includes details about the millions of Polish and U.S. records at FamlySearch;
  • Areas in Polish Lands is a full page of major place names in Polish, Latin, German, and English language, a reminder of the variety of sovereigns and kingdoms that once ruled Poland and produced a mix of record languages.

Small as they are, these are very worthwhile references rich in resource and research ideas.

All of the “At a Glance” references are available from the publisher,, at as well as from genealogy booksellers most everywhere else.

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