March 2011 Book Remarks

By Sharon DeBartolo Carmack Premium

The classic guide to genealogy — Emily Anne Croom’s Unpuzzling Your Past (Genealogical Publishing Co.) — is back in print. Croom’s easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions for doing family history research are a must for beginners and serve as a great refresher for veteran genealogists.

A 15-page recollection written by Michelle Hoover’s great-grandmother became the basis for Hoover’s novel, The Quickening (Other Press), about two neighboring farm wives in the upper Midwest during the early 1900s. The author shifts points of view between the women to reveal their lives, resilience and sacrifices.

The Catholic Irish didn’t settle just in the cities of the East and Midwest — many ended up out West. In David M. Emmons’ Beyond the American Pale: The Irish in the West, 1845-1910 (University of Oklahoma Press), you’ll discover the conflict created when the Catholic Irish migrated to the frontier — where Protestant Americans had already gone to reinvent themselves.

Most of us have farmers and housewives in our family histories, maybe even a horse thief or two. But S. Kay Murphy discovered her great-grandmother might have been a serial killer. Follow her search to discover more in Tainted Legacy: The Story of Alleged Serial Killer Bertha Gifford (PublishAmerica). You’ll find it difficult to put this one down.

From the March 2011 issue of Family Tree Magazine.