First of all, I liked the clean, concise outline of the book. Everything is well-organized and easy to find. Even more important are the clear, detailed steps of researching. The explanations of various records and how and where to find them are invaluable. The more I read, the more I liked. I wish I had had this book back when I started my genealogy! But even though I've been researching my family tree for over 20 years now, have read a number of genealogy how-to books, and attended many seminars and workshops, this helpful guide is still pertinent to my research. For more experienced researchers, it's a great refresher for overviews on various types of records, research approaches, and the latest in technology (DNA, Internet research, etc.).
Here are the list of chapters:
- 1. Family Tree Basics
- 2. The Journey Begins at Home
- 3. Growing the Family Tree
- 4. The Name of the Game
- 5. Where Do I Look for That?
- 6. Vital Records
- 7. Clues in the Census
- 8. Marching Papers [military records]
- 9. A Nation of Immigrants
- 10. Clues in the Cemetery
- 11. Following in Their Footsteps [land records]
- 12. Probate and Estate Trails
- 13. Branching Out [other record types]
- 14. Special Situations in Family Trees
- 15. Walking the Web
- 16. Shelves of Possibilities [research facilities]
- 17. Tools for Taming the Family Tree
- 18. Assembling the Pieces [methodology]
- 19. When You Get Stuck
- 20. Uncovering Your Genetic Roots
- 21. Sharing Your Family History
What really clinched it for me that this was a book worth owning was that during the week at the lake, I caught both my 13-year-old son and my 16-year-old daughter picking it up where I had left it open on the table and start reading it! Aha! While my daughter has always been interested in history, and they've both had a mild passing interest in any family stories I've shared, to actually witness them reading a genealogy how-to book was enough to send me into raptures! When I got back home, I immediately ordered a copy through Tim Agazio's Genealogy Reviews Online Bookstore at Amazon.
I'm so happy with this book that I've e-mailed all 51 people on my e-mailing list that have taken my Beginning Online Genealogy course the last few years through the Community Colleges of Spokane's Institute for Extended Learning, and recommended this book as a must-have for their personal home library. I'm also using it as a reference for my new Intermediate Online Genealogy course that I'll be starting during the Winter Quarter.
If you're looking for a great book for a friend or family member that has shown interest in genealogy, or you want a handy, easy-to-use, economical reference guide for your own home library, I recommend picking up a copy for yourself! Remember, the holidays will be here soon!