Part 2: Stretch Your Skills
When I was teaching and had children in school, summer was a magical time to catch up on all the things I never seemed to have time to tackle during the other three seasons of the year. I dreamed of finishing all my Christmas shopping by September 1, but a trip to the library would send me on a new quest to master the art of canning fresh tomato sauce, or learn about stamp collecting with kids.
Genealogists with “other” lives might want to take on a challenging new research skill during a summer lull. It’s a great time to be a family researcher, and these recent books are outstanding field books for any expedition.
The Family Tree Historical Maps Book: A State-by-State Atlas of US History, 1790-1900 (Family Tree Books, 2014).
Genealogists use scores of maps, and this new large-format new book from Family Tree Magazine is an attractive and useful reference work for anyone researching American records. Full color United States maps show decade-by-decade changes in the nation’s boundaries, and state maps provide milestone timelines to aid in understanding the images. Special maps illustrate average family sizes in 1900 and immigrant concentrations in 1880, among other subjects, and suggest possible themes to weave into your family history sketches.
Hardcover, PDF eBook Available from ShopFamilyTree and Amazon.
The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Germanic Ancestry in Europe, by James Beidler (Family Tree Books, 2014)
Did you know that more Americans today “claim German ancestry than any other ethnicity”? It’s not surprising that German traditions, foods, and names are found in all fifty United States. In this new guidebook, professional genealogist James Beidler shares strategies for researching German immigrant ancestors, deciphering German-language records, and understanding clues in German names. Extensive lists of German repositories, sample research requests in German, and helpful handwriting “cheat sheets” make this an especially useful book for historians (like me) seeking German ancestors.
Paperback; Kindle Available from ShopFamilyTree and Amazon
Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques, by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith (McGraw-Hill Osborne, 2013)
Authors Morgan and Smith, hosts of the popular Genealogy Guys Podcast, hear a lot of brick-wall stories from their listeners and have a good idea of the kinds of research problems that can helped with careful strategy. Generously illustrated and filled with examples and anecdotes, Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques is a solid next-step for the genealogist who feels blocked by elusive records or confused by conflicting information. The chapter on using DNA as part of a research strategy is especially instructive and helpful for anyone looking to understand the basics of genetic genealogy.
Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond, by Emily D. Aulicino (Author House, 2013)
The fast-moving technology of DNA testing and it’s uses for genealogical research have made genetic genealogy a frequent topic in the daily news. Author, speaker, and genealogist Aulicino has written a DNA guidebook that clearly explains the different DNA tests and how each one can be be used to further genealogical research. Topics such as choosing a testing company, convincing people to take a DNA test, and how to understand the results are among the book’s fifteen chapters.
Mastering Genealogical Proof , by Thomas W. Jones
In this workbook-handbook, Dr. Jones lays out a practical method for working with genealogical information, from locating and citing the bits and pieces you uncover, to evaluating, analyzing, correlating, and assembling evidence into reasonable written conclusions. With self-checking exercises, ample illustrations, charts and examples, MGP is the perfect Summer Learning experience. For an even richer understanding of the concepts, sign up for one of the MGP Study Groups coordinated by Angela McGhie.
For a detailed look at building a personal research library, see Michael Hait’s recent blog post at Planting the Seeds, Building a solid genealogy library (part one).
Save 10% at Shop Family Tree with Offer Code FAMILY10F. Note: Affiliate links.