Favorite Family History Books
9/25/2009
Ten essential books for building your family history library.

1. Uncovering Your Ancestry Through Family Photographs by Maureen Taylor (Betterway Books). Many genealogists get interested in family history because of old photographs: Who were those people posed without smiles on their faces? This book offers help on gathering and interpreting information from old photographs.

2. The Genealogist's Address Book, 4th edition, by Elizabeth Petty Bentley (Genealogical Publishing Co.). Ever wish you had a Yellow Pages of research facilities, libraries, courthouses, town halls and the like? The Genealogist's Address Book is the answer, offering a comprehensive list of current genealogical and historical resources. It gives you not only a mailing address, but phone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses and Web sites.

3. Genealogy Online for Dummies by Matthew L. and April Leigh Helm (International Data Group Co.). Overwhelmed with all the Internet has to offer you on genealogy? This guide helps you explore online resources for your family history search. For beginners to advanced, Genealogy Online for Dummies will show you how to plug in to information on your ancestors.

4. Writing Family Histories and Memoirs by Kirk Polking (Betterway Books). Your family history and personal stories are too valuable to lose. Turn them into a lively written account for the next generation. Polking's book shows how to turn research into a written legacy.

5. Genealogy on CD-ROM by Marthe Arends (Genealogical Publishing Co.). This book shows you what genealogical information and resources are available on CD-ROM, from genealogical references to indexes to records and compiled genealogies.

6. Reading Early American Handwriting by Kip Sperry (Genealogical Publishing Co.). If your research has taken you beyond typewritten records, then you've noticed that the handwriting of early days can be difficult to decipher. This book will teach you how to read and understand the handwriting found in genealogical documents.

7. They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Arrival Record, revised edition, by John Phillip Colletta (Ancestry). This book will take you step-by-step through ship passenger lists, showing how to use the available indexes and alternative resources to find the ship's list that bears your ancestor's name.

8. State Census Records by Ann S. Lainhart (Genealogical Publishing Co.). State census records rank with federal censuses as a major genealogical resource, yet they've remained under-used by many researchers. This book details, state-by-state, which state censuses exist for you to research and how you can access them.

9. Tracking Your African-American Family History by David T. Thackery (Ancestry). The search for African-American ancestors is among the most challenging, but Thackery shows you that the difficulties are not insurmountable. This book takes you through the transition from slavery to freedom and how to search for your ancestors in the records.

10. They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins by Loretto Dennis Szucs (Ancestry). Nearly everyone has immigrant ancestors. Here is an accurate, readable and interesting guide to naturalization records and sources that will point to your immigrant ancestor's origins in the Old Country.

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