Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What’s on Your Genealogy Bookshelf?

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun has arrived at just he right moment after a long stressful week for all of us. Randy Seaver liked my suggestion, the idea for which I got from Teresa’s blog post on Writing My Past this week.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:
1)  Teresa at the Writing My Past blog wrote a post about her genealogy bookshelf, even showing photographs of the books on several of her shelves.  Linda Stufflebean thought this was a good SNGF topic, so here we are!

2)  Tell us what books, or types of books are on your genealogy bookshelf/ves in your home.  Do you have a photo of them?  Are there specific books that you use more than others?
I love books, but I try to keep my collection somewhat minimized, donating outdated books or those I don’t really need anymore to local libraries.
First, here are a few photos of my shelves of genealogy books:
The first two photos are my top shelf, the second two my middle shelf and the last one my third shelf. There are a variety of types of books, but most are mainly research/methods/resources types of books. (There is a little overlap in the shelf photos.)
They are arranged mostly by size, not topic, except the bottom shelf is the little library I’ve built on Carpatho-Rusyn history.
I have to say that my most used reference book is on the left in the middle row – Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses 1790-1920 by Thorndale & Dollarhide. I bought it years ago (still a hardcover version back then)  at the SoCal Genealogy Jamboree and Bill Dollarhide even signed my book. 🙂
I also have about five thin books on dating old photographs which I frequently consult. The one is the image above, More Dating Old Photographs 1840-1929 by Family Chronicle is usually the one I look at first.
The Source has always been a favorite text and I have to include my own compilation of the Williams family (top left) as I worked on that family for over 20 years! Val Greenwood’s 4th Edition of The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy is a classic.
Research Like a Pro by Diana Elder and Nicole Dyer is a new classic – an excellent program teaching proper methodology.
The last two books are “currents.” The Siege of Fort Cumberland, 1776 by Ernest Clarke tells the story of my Loyalist and Patriot who fought each other in Canada. Encyclopedia of Rusyn History & Culture by Magosci & Pop is a giant handbook of all things Carpatho-Rusyn.
Passamaquoddy by Martha Barto is the very first family history book I ever bought, as it covers the West Isles of New Brunswick, Canada where my Loyalist ancestors settled.
Reading books like Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer(which I own but have loaned out to a friend) and these by Rhys Isaac and James Evans provide a comprehensive social history answering the “why” and “from where” questions that we have about our ancestors. My understanding of U.S. history is much deeper having read these books.
That’s it. Randy, thank you for also liking this topic for SNGF. I enjoyed it and found some long buried books that I will be re-reading. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What’s on Your Genealogy Bookshelf?”

  1. Yours certainly look more organized than mine! It’s good that you have the classics near to hand when you need them. One of these days I’ll have that again (she says hopefully).

  2. Very cool, Linda – so many interesting books there. Wish I had more American ancestors (well, I actually have none – just some collaterals that moved there early in the 20th century)…

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