Announcing Unlock the Past Handy Guides

The following announcement was written by the folks at Unlock the Past, a division of Gould Genealogy:

Adelaide, South Australia, 18 October 2017 – history and genealogy company, Unlock the Past, has launched a new series of handy guides to add to its popular guide books series. These are low cost A4 four-page guides on quality heavy card stock, concise, but packed full of key facts and clear information – intended for handy reference.

The series has launched with six titles from well known genealogists and Unlock the Past presenters and authors, Kerry Farmer, Eric Kopittke and Chris Paton. Current titles are listed at

They are priced at AU$5 (US$4 and £3) — for ready sale by authors themselves, societies and other resellers. Ebook editions are available for AU$3.95 from The range of titles is expected to grow considerably in coming months.

We welcome:

The Internet Archive Now Claims that Libraries may Legally Scan, Digitize, and Republish Books from 1923 to 1941

For many years, genealogists have believed that all books published in the U.S. prior to 1923 are now public domain, meaning those books can legally be copied and sold. Anything published in 1923 or later might be under copyright. The keyword here is “might.” The subject became a bit complicated starting in 1923. I wrote about that in an earlier Plus Edition article that is still available at: (A Plus Edition user name and password is required in order to read that article.)

Now the folks at the highly-respected Internet Archive have made a claim that Section 108h of the U.S. Copyright laws are even less restrictive, at least for libraries. That may not be the same as for private individuals, however. Here is a brief quote from the statement:

A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population [for Great Britain], 1921.

A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921 was published in 1927 and, as the full title indicates, it was based on the classification of occupations used in the 1921 UK census. It obviously is a great resource when tracing ancestry in Great Britain. However, many of the occupations listed in this book also were commonly used in all the other English-speaking countries so the use of this reference book is not limited to only the “mother country.”

Originally published as a printed book, the Dictionary of Occupational Terms is by far the most comprehensive dictionary of British occupations, with almost 30,000 terms, and includes (sometimes very detailed) descriptions of the activities that each occupation involves.

A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921 is extremely rare. In the British Isles, copies are available in only three of the six legal deposit libraries, four university libraries, two public libraries, and the London Library. The UK National Archives has two copies, one in the document collection and one on the shelves in the Research & Enquiries Room. Copies occasionally surface in the second-hand book trade.

Free Guide to DNA Testing

Richard Hill has written a genealogist’s Guide to DNA Testing. Best of all, the Guide is available free of change from now through September 2 as a Kindle ebook from Amazon. The ebook will revert to its normal price on September 3, 2017.

NOTE: Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers. You can read Kindle format ebooks on Kindle devices as well as on iPads, iPhones, Android phones and tablets, Windows, Macintosh, and in any sort if computer that can open a web browser and use the Kindle Cloud Reader. For more information about reading Kindle ebooks on non-Kindle devices, see my earlier article at:

Richard Hill’s Guide to DNA Testing is now available as version 3, updated to cover new tests and additional information. The Guide is intended to be a short, easy-to-understand introduction for people who aren’t yet interested enough to devote more time to the subject. Links to longer books and many other resources are useful to anyone.

Book Review: Genetic Genealogy in Practice

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Genetic Genealogy in Practice
By Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne.
National Genealogical Society.
2016. 196 pages.

This is a workbook type of book. I’ve heard this so many times from my genealogy friends: “Well, I finally got the results of my DNA testing, but now I don’t know what to do with it.”

This workbook should solve that dilemma. There is plenty of instruction along with the “work” part of the book. The early sections cover the biology and basics of genetics, and then continues on with instruction on applying the DNA results to your research.

Book Review: International Vital Records Handbook

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

International Vital Records Handbook
By Thomas Jay Kemp. Genealogical Publishing Co. 2017. 756 pages.

Sooner or later, we all need to order vital records. Often from vital records offices far away from our homes. So we need to find the address, find out what they have, what is the time frame for the extant records, and how much do they cost.

Nowadays it’s even more involved than it used to be. Increased security concerns since 2001 have increased the hassle of providing identification and restriction of records that used to be easier to obtain.

This Vital Records Handbook has a printed form and information on each vital records office for each state of the United States. Each state section has that state’s application form for each record, i.e., an application form for a birth record, another page with the form for requesting a marriage record; however many forms you’ll need, there are pages for. You can scan or copy the page and use it to send in a request for the record you need.

Book Review: The Family Tree Irish Genealogy Guide

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The Family Tree Irish Genealogy Guide
By Claire Santry. Family Tree Books. 2017. 238 pages.

For years, Ms. Santry avoided research of her Irish ancestors because she believed that a 1922 fire had destroyed all Irish records. Once she realized the myth for the obstacle that it was, she launched her family search.

She believes Irish research it a whole lot easier nowadays, what with the availability of online records, along with the myriad libraries and archives that still hold valuable old registers. Ms. Santry’s experience led to writing the Irish Genealogy Guide which she promises “will give you a thorough grounding in genealogical techniques and point you towards the records you need to search, both in the United States and in Ireland. It’s full of tips, essential explanations about the collections, and strategic advice.”

The book is comprised of:

Book Review: In Search of Your German Roots

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

In Search of Your German Roots

by Angus Baxter.
This Fifth Edition was updated and revised by Marian Hoffman.
Genealogical Publishing Co. 2015. 125 pages.

Angus Baxter wrote the first through the fourth editions of In Search of Your German Roots. His daughter Susan Baxter updated the fourth edition (2008), and Marian Hoffman updated this fifth edition. Mr. Baxter died in 2005, and his name remains as author.

This is not a large book, but it’s dense with information about Germans, Germany, and German records research. Chapters and sections are:

Book Review: Map Guide to Luxembourg Parish Registers

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Map Guide to Luxembourg Parish Registers
by Kevan M. Hansen.
Family Roots Publishing Co. 2016.
180 pages.

Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Western Europe, about the size of US Rhode Island or England’s county of Northamptonshire. There are three official languages: Luxembourgish, French, and German.

Luxembourg is comprised of three districts, which are further divided into twelve cantons. The Map Guide has a map of each district showing its constituent cantons (regions). Each canton has a map showing its constituent communes (municipalities), and each commune has a map with its constituent villages. The village names are all listed in the three national languages.

Book Review: Your Family, Your Photos, Your Stories

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Your Family, Your Photos, Your Stories
by Barb Groth.
Self-published, BarbwireDigi. 2016. 134 pages.

I’d call this a guide for digital scrapbooking.

Traditionally, a scrapbook is a decorated photo album with written journaling that shares the stories connected to the photos. Memorabilia might be attached onto the pages, such as event tickets, achievement certificates, and original letters, all creatively composed with artwork, calligraphic writing, or any decorative embellishments that celebrate the memories.

Ms. Groth’s book gives us ideas for scrapbooking, but in a digital manner.

Her book is divided into several sections, including:

Book Review: German Census Records 1816-1916

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

German Census Records 1816-1916
The When, Where, and How of a Valuable Genealogical Resource
by Roger P. Minert. Family Roots Publishing Co. 2016. 250 pages.

Apparently, there is no other reference book out there addressing these kinds of records. At least, not in this broad, comprehensive form, covering the history of German census-taking and each province affected by the census decrees and practices.

Mr. Minert spent six months in Germany looking for these records, and his book documents the existence, or non-existence, of German census records, as well as he could determine given the complex histories of the provinces.

Book Review: Jewish Community of Long Island

The following was written by this newsletter’s Book Review Editor Bobbi King:

Jewish Community of Long Island
by Rhoda Miller and the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston SC. 2016. 127 pages.

This is essentially a picture book, but it’s an exceptional one.

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island, New York, has put together an album of photos, but with plenty of story, that narrates the history of Jewish settlement in the Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. What makes this particular book so interesting is the large number of photographs of temple congregations, synagogues, businesses, notable persons and family celebrations with caption biographies, Jewish participation in the world wars, and the summer pleasures of the Jewish community along the shore.

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, Search: Families of Southeastern Georgia.

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