A Genealogist’s Summer Bookshelf

NOTE: Friday’s Family History Finds is on hiatus this week. Next week’s Finds will post over the weekend. We are cruising the seas once again.

Summer is almost here and it’s time to plan for genealogical reading and learning. I’ve already been lining up a few tomes on my bookshelf for my leisure reading. I’ve always been more enticed by non-fiction and my reading habits skew heavily in that direction.

I have had a couple of books in my collection that somehow haven’t yet gotten read. That will change this summer.

First, Locating Your Roots: Discover Your Ancestors Using Land Records by Patricia Law Hatcher looks like far more than how to use a deed index. It covers all aspects of land ownership, both private and public, along with issues, resources and a great glossary. I use land records often, but haven’t ever read a book on the topic. It will reinforce what I already know and extend my knowledge a bit, too. It was published in 2003, but the concepts haven’t changed!

A second book that’s been on my shelf is Courthouse Indexes Illustrated by Christine Rose. It’s not the most interesting topic, but it’s essential to understand how an index is set up. The system that Pennsylvania uses just baffles me and I dread having to look up anything in their deed records because of it. It’s a slim book, about 60 pages, so it will be a quick read.

I also found two books I learned about while watching recent webinars. The first is The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790 by Rhys Isaac, as my husband has lots of 18th century Virginia lines. The second is more related to my own paternal family – After Ellis Island: Newcomers and Natives in the 1910 Census by Susan Cotts Watkins.

A book on my Kindle is Zotero for Genealogy by Donna Cox Baker. I know just a very little about Zotero, but am intrigued enough that I want to learn more.

There are a few light reads on my list. Having become hooked on Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s genealogical crime mysteries, I came across The Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mysteries by M.J. Lee.

Paging the Dead (A Family History Mystery Book 1) by by Brynn Bonner has also been downloaded. It sounds like an interesting story.

I have to admit these mysteries are about the only fiction I read. They’re my guilty pleasure. 🙂

If I finish these books before the end of the summer, which is about at Halloween in terms of Tucson heat, I’ll look for a few more books to tide me over. I’ll also perhaps do some mini-reviews at the end of the summer.

There are a number of books I’ve already read that I’d highly recommend. A few are easy reading, but most will stretch the brain a bit.

Best reference book for anyone and everyone in U.S. genealogy:

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 4th Edition by Val Greenwood

Foundations of American colonies and culture:

Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer (One of my favorite books on American culture)

Emigrants: Why the English Sailed to the New World by James Evans (A great companion to Albion’s Seed that gives a great understanding of the who, why and how settlers came to the colonies)

American Settlements and Migrations: A Primer for Genealogists and Family Historians by Lloyd de Witt Bockstruck (Adds lots of important trivia to the foundation laid by the previous two books)

Honing the research skills:

Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide by Diana Elder (An excellent methodology guide for the “how to” do it right the first time)

Elements of Genealogical Analysis by Robert Charles Anderson (Step-by-step guide in how to solve genealogical problems)

Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, 4th Edition by Christine Rose (How to do quality research)

Tackling DNA and Genealogy:

Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine T. Bettinger (Great introduction to DNA and family history)

Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies by Debbie Parker Wayne (Recommended for intermediate or beyond knowledge of DNA testing. It is an intense book, but excellent.)

Genealogical mysteries:

Any and all of Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s crime mysteries that center around the life of forensic genealogist, Morton Farrier, in England. Nathan’s stories are captivating and I’ve gotten hooked. You will, too, once you get started.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.