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Start Your Research Right: 12 Books For Your Genealogy Journey


Last week my daughter was sick. Very sick. She developed a severe virus which resulted in the swelling of all the glandular organs in her body. She was a mess. She needed me.You see, she’s seventeen years old, so she doesn't think she needs a mother anymore, well if you don’t count the taxi service and cook part of things.

But she needed me last week. I took her temperature, fed her (tried to at least), held her hair through the vomiting, brought her tissues and fluids and spoon-fed her medicine at regular intervals. I even slept by her side. (That was probably more about me than her). And I was there around the clock for support.

Both my daughters are very secure confident young women and I’m happy about that; as a mother it is the very least I could hope for them. While I am proud of their independence, it can sometimes leave me feeling well....a little less needed. I know that I’m going to have to come to terms with this, as we will soon be empty nesters. I know that’s my problem not their problem.

What does does all this have to do with your genealogy journey?

The events of this last week got me thinking about beginner genealogists and what you need. You need my support. And like a teenager, you need to manoeuvre through the learning process of genealogy. I need to try to gently guide you but not smother you. I need to let you grow and develop with each mistake and help pick you up when and if you require it. I need to be there when you need me, when you are seeking out the information to overcome your next road block, brick wall, learning curve, call it what you will.

But I will let you make your mistakes because I made mine, and learned from them. And I'm not above sharing them on this blog. When you raise a teenager, if you try to take too much control, they shut down, they don’t hear you and they will rebel. You need to give a teenager enough room to find their way and make their own mistakes and draw their own conclusions, or you’ll lose them. I’m comfortable that as a beginner genealogist, when you stumble you will seek me out or one of my peers for support and guidance.

It’s that kind of gentle guidance that inspired this list of genealogy books. Books that can guide you the beginner, from your very first baby steps to a seasoned confident professional. Sure you will add plenty of your own books along the way. Knowledge that will stem from your own needs (the countries, states and towns you’re researching). And I’m sure my fellow genealogists will have their own thoughts on what books you should add to this list based on their own knowledge, experiences and yes failures.

However, the books listed below will help the beginner get started from the very basics and give you an opportunity to grow with each book and bring you to place where you can be confident in your research skills and ability.

And if you have a question, if you need me, I’ll be here.

12 Books for Your Genealogy Journey 


1. Unpuzzling Your Past. The Best-Selling Basic Guide to Genealogy. Fourth Edition. by Emily Ann Croom

2. How to Do Everything Genealogy 3/E by George G. Morgan.

3. The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy: Use the Web to trace your roots, share your history, and create a family tree  by Kimberley Powell

4. Google Your Family Tree: Unlocking the Hidden Power of Google by Daniel M. Lynch

5. The Genealogy Sourcebook (Sourcebooks) by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack and Marsha Hoffman Rising
 
6. How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records by Denise May Levenick

7. How to Find Family History in Newspapers by Lisa Louise Cooke

8. Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries by Maureen A. Taylor

9. They Came in Ships: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Arrival Record (3rd Edition) by John Philip Colleta

10. The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual by The Board for Certification of Genealogists

11. Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians by Elizabeth Shown Mills

12. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace 2nd Edition by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

5 comments:

  1. Book #1 Unpuzzling Your Past, is one of the first genealogy books I ever read & it was a great help to educate me and send me in the right directions. I know about half these books & will check out the others. A good list.

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  2. I think I'm still in my terrible twos when it comes to genealogy -- I know I have a lot of tantrums -- but like most toddlers need structure and guidance. Thanks for this very helpful list. Hope your daughter is fully recovered -- and back to her rebellious teenage ways, a sure sign that all is well in the world.

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  3. Colleen, I agree. Some books are good classics, while I tried to add new books that reflect the changing times of genealogy.

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  4. Edie, thanks for asking, and yes once I saw the attitude return I new she was on the road to recovery.

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  5. Lynn, this is a beautifully written post. I completely agree with your "gentle guidance" approach to being the mother of a child-becoming-a-young-woman. Well said. My dau is now out in the world, confident and successful in her field, but I well remember holding her hair while she vomited. I remember learning that she did not want me to "fix" things but to listen to her complaints and sympathize with her frustration...then she would find her own solution.

    Thank you for this list of books. I have a few of them, and I'm going to copy the URL of this blog so that I can remember the others. Have a great holiday season!

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