Helpful Genealogy Books

Helpful Genealogy Books

Stock your bookshelf with these 10 books to conquer your genealogical quandaries.

  1. A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Irish Ancestors by Dwight Radford and Kyle Betit (Betterway Books, $18.99). Just starting your Irish research? Or perhaps you’ve already hit a stumbling block in your Irish ancestry. While there’s no guarantee of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, this guide will give you tons of new leads and proven methods for tracking your Irish ancestors.

  2. Help! I’ve Inherited an Attic Full of History, volumes 1 and 2, by Althea Douglas (Ontario Genealogical Society, $12.80 each). Wondering what to do with all your family treasures? Douglas provides practical solutions. The first volume covers “dating, evaluating and disposing of the accumulation of a lifetime”; the second deals with “archival conservation in the home environment.”

  3. International Vital Records Handbook, 4th edition, by Thomas Jay Kemp (Genealogical Publishing Co., $34.95). Covering the 50 states, US territories and nearly 200 foreign countries, this expanded edition provides the forms and information you need to request birth, marriage and death records all over the globe.

  4. Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely Places by Laura Szucs Pfeiffer (Ancestry, $39.95). Where do you go in your research beyond vital records, census records and other common genealogical sources? Hidden Sources gives an overview of more than 100 sources you might not have considered.

  5. Family History for the Clueless by George D. Durrant and LaRene Gaunt (Bookcraft, $17.95). In a format similar to the Dummies and Idiot’s series, Family History for the Clueless offers basic, beginner genealogy instruction in language that’s easy to read and comprehend.

  6. The Ancestry Family Historian’s Address Book by Juliana Szucs Smith (Ancestry, $29.95). In this extensive list of addresses, URLs and e-mail addresses for societies, archives, agencies and more, you’ll find out where to write for your genealogical needs.

  7. Remember Me? A Guide to Organizing the Experiences of Your Life and Writing an Autobiography That Will Be Cherished for Generations (book and kit) by Robert Max (Remember Me?, $89.95). This boxed kit will help motivate you to record your life story. It includes a three-ring portfolio, acetate sleeves, index cards, personal philosophy stationery, “Stages of Life” stationery and an easy-to-follow guide to writing your autobiography. It’s a great gift idea for getting Grandpa and Grandma to put their lives on paper.

  8. Keeping Family Stories Alive, 2nd edition, by Vera Rosenbluth (Hartley and Marks, $19.95). Everyone has family stories, but not everyone takes the time to keep them alive. Rosenbluth shows you how and covers all aspects of life story preservation, from video and audio taping to using oral history in the classroom.

  9. Family Focused: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Autobiography and Family History by Janice T. Dixon (Mount Olympus Publishing, $19.95). If you’re looking for incentive to turn a jumble of notes and facts into an interesting family history narrative, look no further. Dixon takes you step by step through the writing process with warm and inviting instruction.

  10. Fantastic Family Gatherings: Tried and True Ideas for Large and Small Family Reunions by Kathy Smith Anthenat (Heritage Books, $32.50). Everything you need to know about planning and carrying out your family reunion is in this guide. It’s crammed with ideas for fundraising, decorations, mementos, family projects and recreational activities.

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