50 Essential Books for My Home Genealogy Library

Lori Thornton, who writes the Smoky Mountain Family Historian blog, recently posted 50 Essential Books for My Home Genealogy Library. I love doing lists and decided to create my own list. I actually haven’t counted to see if I get to fifty, but here are some of the most valuable books on my own shelf, in no particular order. Some are general methodology books, while others are specific to my own families and places where they lived.

There are also some real oldies, but goodies (some I believe are out of print), but have stood the test of time and would greatly benefit those researchers who think “everything” is online and have little idea how to do on-site research.

  1. Professional Genealogy, Elizabeth Shown Mills
  2. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 3rd Edition, Elizabeth Shown Mills (3rd Edition, Revised is now available)
  3. Mastering Genealogical Documentation, Thomas W. Jones (brand new, hot off the presses)
  4. Mastering Genealogical Proof, Thomas W. Jones
  5. The Source, Third Edition, Loretto Dennis Szucs & Sandra Hargreaves Luebking
  6. The BCC Genealogical Standards Manual, Millenium Edition (2000, but I love the appendices.) Board for Certification of Genealogists
  7. Genealogy Standards, 50th Anniversary Edition, Board for Certification of Genealogists
  8. Genealogical Proof Standard, Christine Rose
  9. Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920, William Thorndale and William Dollarhide (one of my most used books for changes in county lines)
  10. Courthouse Research for Family Historians, Christine Rose
  11. Guide to Genealogical Writing, Penelope L. Stratton & Henry B. Hoff, CG, FASG
  12. Elements of Genealogical Analysis, Robert Charles Anderson, FASG
  13. Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques, George G. Morgan & Drew Smith
  14. Virginia Cavaliers & Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1800, Nell Marion Nugent (now available online)
  15. Virginia Genealogy: Sources & Resources, Carol McGinnis
  16. A Guide to the Genealogical Notes and Charts in the Archives Branch Virginia State Library and Archives, Lyndon H. Hart III
  17. North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History, Helen F. M. Leary
  18. Vital Records from the Eastport Sentinal (sic) of Eastport, Maine 1818-1900, Kenneth L. Willey
  19. Over the Portage: Early History of the Upper Miramichi, Revised Edition, William R. MacKinnon, Jr.
  20. Passamaquoddy, Martha Barto
  21. Social Networking for Genealogists, Drew Smith
  22. New York Probate Records: A Genealogist’s Guide to Testate and Intestate Records, Gordon L. Remington
  23. New Englanders in the 1600s: A Guide to Genealogical Research Published Between 1980 and 2010 (Expanded Edition), Martin E. Hollick
  24. Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research, Roseann Reinemuth Hogan
  25. Pennsylvania Line: A Research Guide to Pennsylvania Genealogy and Local History, William L. Iscrupe
  26. The King’s Loyal Americans; The Canadian Fact, B. Wood-Holt
  27. The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Germanic Ancestry in Europe, James M. Beidler
  28. U.S. Military Records, A Guide to Federal and State Sources, Colonial America to the Present, James C. Neagles
  29. The History of Nantucket : being a compendious account of the first settlement of the island by the English, together with the rise and progress of the whale fishery, and other historical facts relative to said island and its inhabitants, Obed Macy
  30. Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research, 5th Edition, Michael Leclerc
  31. Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely Places, Laura Szucs Pfeiffer
  32. Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records, Kory L. Meyerink, Editor
  33. The Library of Congress: A Guide to Historical and Genealogical Research, James C. Neagles & Mark C. Neagles
  34. The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches, Loretto Dennis Szucs & Sandra Hargreaves Luebking
  35. The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 3rd Edition, Val Greenwood
  36. The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, Blaine T. Bettinger
  37. Genetic Genealogy in Practice, Blaine T. Bettinger & Debbie Parker Wayne
  38. Land & Property Research in the United States, E. Wade Hone
  39. Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition
  40. Family Chronicle’s More Dating Old Photographs, Edward Zapletal, Editor
  41. Any of Gary W. Clark’s KwikGuides to photo dating and identification
  42. Any of Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor’s books on photo dating and identification
  43. Care and Identification of 19th-Century Photographic Prints, James M. Reilly
  44. Genealogies pertaining to families I am researching (There are some excellent family histories out there and I recommend that a researcher spend the money to buy them if he/she is deeply involved with a particular family surname.)

The last six books I consider essential to keep up with the technological end of genealogy research:

  1. The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd Edition, Lisa Louise Cooke
  2. Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse, Lisa Louise Cooke
  3. How to Do Everything Genealogy, George G. Morgan
  4. Getting the Most from Family Historian 6, Simon Orde
  5. Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic 7, Bruce Buzbee
  6. Legacy Family Tree 9.0, Millenium

That’s my list of 50. Thanks, Lori, for a great idea. What would be on your list?

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