New GeneaGem: Tips & Quips by Elizabeth Shown Mills and Ruth Brossette Lennon

Not only do I rarely post book reviews, I don’t think I’ve ever chosen a single book as a GeneaGem. Today is an exception!

I attended my local Pima County Genealogy Society meeting yesterday and was lucky enough to win a great door prize. I had no idea this book even existed!

Before the drawing for the book, everyone commented on what a “cute little” book it is. Yes, it is a small tome, only 7 1/4 inches by 5 1/2 inches and perhaps a half inch thick.

The title is also cute, but it belies the many words of wisdom that are found inside its covers.

Elizabeth Shown Mills and Ruth Brossette Lemon have compiled a ton of sage advice for genealogical researchers. Given Elizabeth Shown Mills’ reputation for source citations, each quotation is fully sourced – all 332 of them!

Quotations have been sorted into one of 87 (!) categories, ranging from topics which would be expected, such as Elusive Ancestors, Research Traps and Genealogical Proof Standard to less common, more surprising categories like “Gullibility.”

Who has contributed quotes? Everyone from Val Greenwood to Plutarch to Maya Angelou to Rosie O’Donnell.

The sayings are really reminders to follow sound research principles and create quality work documenting our family histories.

The book, published in 2017,  is available from the Genealogical Publishing Company for $14.95. GPC has it classified under Humor, but I’m not sure why. The “quips” – like stating that genealogy is a “grave disease” are few and far between compared to the “tips,” which are on target, serious and made to keep family historians on their toes in a good way. The screen shot above is from the GPC website and gives you a taste of what is inside the book.

I highly recommend this book as it is light reading, but reminds the reader of the importance of his/her work.

It would make a great holiday gift for the genealogist in your family.

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