Summer Reading from the Genealogy Bookshelf

DISCLAIMER: In the past, I have received complimentary copies of some of the books on this list, but my recommendations are not influenced in any way by that. These are all books I’ve truly enjoyed reading.

We are now well into summer and the hot weather has settled in for the duration here in Tucson. It’s time to get busy catching up on some reading and I thought I’d make some recommendations and suggestions for books you might want to read, too

If you haven’t ever read Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Any serious genealogist needs to understand the settling and populating of of America to get a better understanding of the social customs and cultural influences in the regions where their own ancestors lived.

A book that is similar to Albion’s Seed is Lloyd de Witt Bockstruck’s American Settlements and Migrations: A Primer for Genealogists and Family Historians. It is a much smaller book and is a great companion piece to Albion’s Seed.

Another book I’d recommend is Val Greenwood’s 4th Edition of The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy. Whether you are a beginning researcher or an experienced genealogist, there is always something new to learn out there and Greenwood’s book will do just that.

One more heavy reading classic I’d recommend is The Source by Loretto Dennis Szucs. It’s another one of those books that offers new tips and ideas to pursue in your research and is one of my all time favorites.

A much newer, excellent book is Research Like a Pro by Diana Elder and Nicole Dyer. The title says it all. The book is a straightforward approach to sound genealogical researching.

If you are just beginning to test the DNA waters and would like to learn more about the topic, Blaine T. Bettinger’s book, The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy is a great place to start.

Summertime is a time for relaxation and enjoyment, too, so I have a few much lighter reading suggestions. Marc McCutcheon’s Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians is a book that will teach you a lot about life in the 19th century, but it’s a fun read.

Elizabeth Shown Mills and Ruth Brossette Lennon teamed up for Tips & Quips for the Family Historian.  I won a copy of this book at my local genealogical society meeting and loved it!

Last, but definitely not least, if you like genealogy AND mysteries, have I got the author for you! Nathan Dylan Goodwin writes the best genealogical mysteries, starring forensic genealogist Morton Farrier. I met him at last year’s RootsTech and I am totally hooked on his stories.

Just a few of the Morton Farrier mysteries

A final suggestion – if magazine reading better fits your summer style, but you’d like to keep up with genealogy news, visit your local bookstore (down the street or online) to pick up the latest issues of Family Tree Magazine or Internet Genealogy Magazine:

Now, sit back, relax and start reading!




2 thoughts on “Summer Reading from the Genealogy Bookshelf”

  1. Great list 🙂

    I also like Your Genealogy – published jointly in Canada and the US.

    And, for those with English ancestors, I also recommend the two British genealogy magazines:

    FamilyTree (yes, I know – very confusing as it has the same name as the American magazine)

    Who do you think you are?

  2. I really enjoyed David Hackett Fischer’s book, Albion’s Seed. He is a superb writer. In fact, if you want to branch out a bit and read about American history (and every genealogist should), I highly recommend anything he has written. He has several books that focus on the Revolutionary War period that are excellent.

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