Books

Book Review: Tips and Quips for the Family Historian

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Tips and Quips for the Family Historian
By Elizabeth Shown Mills and Ruth Brossette Lennon.
Genealogical Publishing Co., 2017. 173 pages.

On a lighter note……Elizabeth Mills has collaborated with her granddaughter Ruth Brossette Lennon in producing a smallish book of “tips and quips,” presenting a more lighthearted approach to words from the wise.

Ms. Lennon typeset the book and created the look. Her innovative style gives a cheerful and sunny air to the deep thoughts of master genealogists: “Genealogy can not only help kids understand the world but can give them respect for their elders, bridge generation gaps, and heal family wounds.” (Tony Burroughs.)

Book Review: Evidence Explained, Third Edition

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Evidence Explained
Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace
Third Edition Revised. By Elizabeth Shown Mills. Genealogical Publishing Co., 2017. 892 pages.

Now, this is a TOME.

Heavy in weight, thick in size, and rich in content. It’s so dense and daunting that the author wrote a comforting QuickStart Guide on the very first pages, to wit: don’t be intimidated by the book’s size, read chapters 1 and 2 (on the basic principles of history research), then go back to doing your research and refer just to the parts of the book that you need right when you need it.

This is the third edition of Evidence Explained, which hardly needs an introduction to the vast number of genealogists who have been working in the field for some time. For new genealogists may not know what the fuss is all about, Evidence Explained has influenced the genealogy world beyond measure. , Eventually every genealogist worth his or her salt acquires the book as a most necessary aid for citing the genealogy histories.

Book Review: The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy
By Blaine T. Bettinger
Family Tree Books. 2016. 238 pages.

Blaine Bettinger publishes his blog “The Genetic Genealogist” where he writes the relevance and worth of genetics testing used alongside the methodology of traditional genealogy research. He updates the readers on the latest approaches to the science and its applicability to our work. His long and close association with genetics genealogy qualifies him as a most apt author for a guidebook.

Guide to DNA Testing offers a lot of information for the beginner and advanced researcher alike.

Getting a Whiff of History – Do You Like the Smell of Old Books?

Most long-time genealogists know the smell of old books. Now a new study in the journal Heritage Science, claims that the odors of the past are part of our “cultural heritage.”

Old books (specifically the historic paper and other materials used) give off unique moldy or sweetly musty scents that readers and history buffs know intimately and find pleasurable.

Reading a digital image of an old book on Google Books just isn’t the same!

Watch the British Library Digitize One of the World’s Largest Books

Most experienced genealogists are familiar with over-sized books. Vital records, deeds, maps, and more are often published on larger-than-normal pages. Digitizing those books can be a challenge although several companies have already done a great job at digitization.

However, how do you digitize a book that is nearly six feet by seven and a half feet when open? It is so big that it even has wheels fixed onto it to make it easier to move around!

Book Review: The Missing Man

The following book review was written by Dina C. Carson and Bobbi King:

The Missing Man
By Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Self-published. 2017. 132 pages.

Reviewed by Dina C. Carson and Bobbi King

Morton Farrier, forensic genealogist, is back with a new, much more personal case to solve.

Will a three-week honeymoon in America be long enough for him to find his biological father and discover the secret he is keeping? What will the records in Boston untangle? A former life? A former wife?

Morton’s investigation will lead him through a twisted tale of family, mysterious fires and murder! What could lead him to his elusive father when disappearing is the family business?

How to Find Someone Who Has the Book You Seek

Perhaps the full title of this article should be How to Find Someone Who Has the Book You Seek and Also Let Everyone Else Know About the Books You Own and Also Catalog Your Own Personal Library with Minimal Effort.

You can find dozens of programs that will help you catalog your personal book collection. Some of these will create a list that you can print or store on your own computer or store on your smartphone or even upload to the World Wide Web. Some products also keep track of the books you want to read (sometimes called a wish list) and will also keep track of books you have loaned out to others, including the date loaned. Some cataloging products will also track other media, such as CD and DVD disks, video games, and more. However, one online service does all that and lots more. You can access your information from a web browser on a desktop computer, a laptop computer, or even from a smartphone. The last feature is very useful when you are at a bookstore or flea market or genealogy conference and are wondering, “Do I already have that book?” Best of all, you can share your catalog with others and also see what others have in their collections. The service is available either free of charge or for very low fees.

Book Reviews: Three More Resources for Georgia Researchers

The following book reviews were written by Bobbi King:

Families of Southeastern Georgia
By Jack N. Averitt. Genealogical Publishing Co. 2009. 457 pages.
Originally published as Volume III of Georgia’s Coastal Plain: Family and Personal History (New York, 1964). The numerous illustrations in the original book are not reproduced in this reprint.

This is a book of strictly biographical sketches; no historical background text, timelines, nor Georgia history.

There are approximately 1,000 biographical descriptions of families offering names, places and dates of birth, spouses, marriage places and dates, children, parents, and places and dates of deaths. Additional personal information commonly includes careers, civic affiliations, church affiliations, and military service, some back to the Civil War.

The index contains approximately 3500 names.

Volumes I and II of the series contain historical information, while Volume III contains the family summaries, hence the reprint of only Volume III. A complete list of the families named can be found at Genealogical.com, Search: Families of Southeastern Georgia.


1864 Census for Re-organizing the Georgia Militia
by Nancy J. Cornell. Genealogical Publishing Co. 2000. 843 pages.

IDG Introduces their Newest of In-Brief Research Guide: “Pennsylvania Genealogy” by Elissa Scalise Powell

The following announcement was written by the In-Depth Genealogist:

The In-Depth Genealogist (IDG) is pleased to present their newest in-brief research guide in the research series by writer, Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, entitled “An In-Brief Guide to Pennsylvania Genealogy.” Elissa is a western Pennsylvania researcher and co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). She is a past-president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and coordinator of the IGHR “Professional Genealogy” course since 2007 She was an instructor for Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate course (2008-2016) and co-coordinator of SLIG’s 2013 “Credentialing: AG, CG, or Both?” course. Elissa’s familiarity with Pennsylvania history and research helps make this research guide a real value to anyone wanting to go further with their Pennsylvania ancestors.

Book Reviews of Three Books by Michael A. Ports Concerning Georgia History and Genealogy

The following book reviews were written by Bobbi King:

Georgia Free Persons of Color
Volume V, Richmond County 1799-1863

by Michael A. Ports
Genealogical Publishing Co. 2016. 166 pages.

Beginning in 1818, Georgia law required free persons of color to register with the inferior courts of their counties of residence. This book holds transcriptions of Richmond County, from four registers, from original records available at the Georgia Department of Archives and History in Morrow, Georgia.

Each register was different in format and information provided; introductory paragraphs explain the contents and format of each. All names are transcribed as accurately as possible as recorded, with no corrections for misspellings. The entries are arranged in a table format, with typical columns of name, age, nativity, place of residence, how long in Georgia, and occupation. Later years’ records note the names of guardians.

Book Review: Publish Your Family History: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing the Stories of Your Ancestors

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Publish Your Family History: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing the Stories of Your Ancestors
By Dina C. Carson. Iron Gate Publishing. 2015. 369 pages.

I’m not a good storyteller. I’ve ruined many a good yarn with a lot of pointless detail and too much talk.

I haven’t a clue how to design a book cover except by stealing the ideas of others.

I have no idea how to put together a book except by reading the instructions written by Dina Carson.

Ms. Carson is a Colorado genealogist, gravestone photographer, writer, and publisher. Her books on self-publishing are so helpful, easy to read, full of direction and inspiration, I simply don’t try to write a book without her references nearby.

Book Reviews: David Dobson’s Books

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

DAVID DOBSON continues his work compiling names into published lists which are absolutely indispensable to our genealogy work. Featured here are some of Dobson’s more recent publications.

The People of Belfast 1600-1799.
Genealogical Publishing Co. 2016. 155 pages.

Belfast, Ireland, grew from small village to important city after receiving a Royal Charter in 1613. The population stood at about two thousand residents. This volume contains lists of about two thousand names of Belfast residents transcribed from forty-five primary sources in Ireland, Scotland, England, and elsewhere, which are listed in the back of the book. A short introduction describes the history of Belfast.

The People of the Scottish Burghs.
Genealogical Publishing Co.

This set comprises a series of eleven Genealogical Source Books. Two recent examples are:

Book Review: Unofficial Ancestry.com Workbook

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

unofficial-ancestry-workbookUnofficial Ancestry.com Workbook
A How-To Manual for Tracing Your Family Tree on the #1 Genealogy Website
By Nancy Hendrickson. Published by Family Tree Books. 2016. 191 pages.

In leafing through the pages of this workbook, a variation on an old commercial came to mind:
Subscribing to Ancestry……199 dollars.
Finding that elusive record…..priceless.

This is a workbook that could be very useful when you’re working and poking around on Ancestry. It’s filled with guidance on navigating the various tabs and links in order to get the most out of Ancestry. There are examples of records you’ll find, the various dialog boxes you’ll come across, sidebars containing explanatory text and image graphics to present clues and hints for your searches, and worksheets that are nicely formatted for recording your data. There are links for downloading more copies of the worksheets, nicely avoiding copyright infringement.

Book Review: Frozen in Time

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

frozen-in-timeFrozen in Time
An Early Carte de Visite Album from New Bedford, Massachusetts
By Susan Snow Lukesh
Self-published at Lulu.com. 2016. 166 pages.

“Cartes de visite: small, mass-produced, and inexpensive photographs introduced in the United States in 1859, widely used in the 1860s and then almost completely superseded by the larger cabinet card photograph in the 1870s.”

Ms. Lukesh inherited a carte de visite album created in the 1860s by her great-great grandmother Abby Taber Hunt. She presents this album, along with biographical sketches of the families, with detailed descriptions of a neighborhood, as a glimpse of one sectional area as being representative of the larger metropolis, and a sense of the culture and times of the seacoast town and whaling port city of New Bedford.

The Genealogy Library Inside Your Computer: How to Increase Your Personal Genealogy Library without Additional Bookshelves

old_books_and_new_ebooksThousands of genealogy books are available to you right now. You can search for them and, if you find some that look interesting, you can be reading them within minutes. There is no waiting for the post office to deliver them. Best of all is the price: most of them are available free of charge!

NOTE: a few of the ebooks are only available on CD-ROM which obviously does involve a postal delay and normally costs some money..

As you may have guessed, these are out-of-copyright books printed prior to 1923 plus a handful of later books. Luckily, there were a lot of genealogy books published in those days. After all, the records weren’t as old back then!

In addition, I will list sources for many newer genealogy books that are for sale at modest prices.

Perhaps to Best Place to Start Your Search for Online Genealogy eBooks

Genealogical Publishing Company Adds a New Online Catalog Solely for Genealogy eBooks

genealogicallogoGenealogical Publishing Company, often abbreviated as “GPC,” has long been a major provider of genealogy and local history books. I suspect the company is the largest publisher of these books in North America although I don’t have any statistics to prove that belief. All I can say is that I have purchased many books from GPC over the years to help in my genealogy research efforts. Of course, GPC has had a web site at genealogical.com for years that has offered online ordering of books. Now GPC has added a new section to the web site: one that is dedicated to genealogy and local history e-books.

gpc_suggestions

library.genealogical.com offers not only an online catalog and very fast ordering; it also offers immediate delivery of ebooks. You no longer need to wait for days for the mailman to deliver a printed book. There are almost 800 titles on the site now and most of them are available as e-books.

With the new online ebook catalog, you can:

Online eBook: Acadian Culture in Maine

If you have Acadian ancestry, especially those who moved from Acadia to northern Maine, you will want to read a 92-page report on the history and culture of Maine’s upper St. John Valley that is available online free of charge. Acadian Culture in Maine, a 1994 publication of the National Park Service can be found on the web site of the University of Maine at Fort Kent Acadian Archives at http://acim.umfk.maine.edu.

acadian-culture-in-maine

The 1994 print run was limited to 1,000 copies that sold out quickly. The Park Service did not have the necessary funds for a second publication. Now the Park Service has made the book available online at no charge. The result is lower expenses for the National Park Service and a much wider audience for this reference book.

The Acadians featured in this book are those Americans of French descent connected by history to the upper St. John Valley of Maine and New Brunswick, including the descendants of early Acadian settlers of the St. John Valley.

Borrowing Library Books on Your Phone and Tablet

The New York Times recently published a “how to” guide for borrowing library books on your phone and tablet computer. The article points out:

“E-books are available for borrowing from about 11,000 libraries around the country, so confirm that your local library lends them and offers the Kindle format. You can find this out from the library’s own website or at OverDrive.com, a digital service that works with libraries to lend digital content to the public.

“If your library lends Kindle books, you just need a valid library card and PIN code from the institution itself. You also need an Amazon account, a Wi-Fi connection and a Kindle e-reader, Kindle Fire tablet, Kindle mobile reading app or the Kindle Cloud Reader.”

This and a lot more information is available at https://goo.gl/HiK5g8.

Converting My Personal Library to Digital

NOTE: This is an update to an article I published several years ago. I have changed hardware since then and have updated my procedures. This article reflects those changes.

I keep my computers and genealogy material in a small room in our house. I am sure the folks who built the house intended this room to be a child’s bedroom, but there are no children in the house, so I have converted it into something I call “our office.” I bet many people reading this article have done the same with a spare room in their homes.

bookscanningI have several computers and a 27-inch wide monitor in this room, along with a VoIP telephone, a high-speed fiber optic Internet connection, a wi-fi router, two printers (inkjet and laser), two scanners, several external hard drives used for making backups, oversized hi-fi speakers connected to the computers, and various other pieces of computer hardware. Luckily, these are all rather small, and advancing technology results in smaller and smaller devices appearing every year. I occasionally replace aging hardware, and the newer devices are almost always smaller than the old ones. However, I have a huge space problem: books and magazines. They don’t seem to be getting any smaller. My older books still take up as much room today as they did years ago.

“My office” has two bookcases that are each six feet tall and four feet wide, along with two smaller bookcases and a four-drawer filing cabinet. Pam and I share this “office,” so we have two desks, each laden with computers and printers. We squeeze a lot into a ten-foot-by-twelve-foot room.

I don’t want to count how many books I have purchased over the years, but I am sure it must be several hundred volumes. I don’t want to even think about the bottom-line price. I only have space in my four bookcases to store a tiny fraction of them; the rest are stored in boxes in the basement. Out-of-sight books are books that I rarely use. “Out of sight, out of mind.” I probably wasted my money by purchasing all those books as I rarely use most of them. I may have looked at them once, but I rarely go back to them again and again.

A Genealogist’s Guide To Boston, Massachusetts Released

The following announcement was written by the folks at the In-Depth Genealogist:

gamble-guide_bostonma-coverThe fourth in a series of guides to popular research destinations

The In-Depth Genealogist is pleased to present their newest book in the research series by writer, Jacqueline Gamble entitled “A Genealogist’s Guide to Boston, Massachusetts”. The book is a great resource for genealogists who plan on researching in this geographic area. Approximately 12 million people from all over the world visit Boston every year to take in its beautiful harbor, amazing history, museums, sporting events, and more. With its mixture of old buildings (some dating back to the 1600s), new skyscrapers, and everything in between, Boston truly is a meeting of past, present and future.

This guide will provide you with what you will need to know when planning a genealogy trip to Boston. Within the book is information on repositories, libraries, historical societies, cemeteries, attractions, accommodations, and more in and around Boston.