Friday, May 1, 2015

Best 3 Books for Genealogists and Why I Have Them

When my aunt turned over the family history to me, I inherited a lot of books. Loads and loads of marriage record books, tax roll books, and more. Surprisingly, I don't really need them. With,, and adding new digital images every day, I find the internet my go-to source for records.

But there are 3 books in my collection that I can't do without. Let me share them with you and tell you why I love them.

Red Book

Red Book: American State, County, and Town Resources is a big red book. It was edited by Alice Eichholz, Ph.D. and Certified Genealogist. The most recent edition is the third edition published in 2004.

The "chapters" are listed alphabetically by state. Each state chapter has a brief history and a section on where to find the following records: vital, census, land, probate, court, tax, cemetery, church, and military. The information will also tell you whether there are any loss of records you should know about. There are additional resources if applicable to the state.

But, the reason I love this book is because of the maps. Each state has a county map. These maps are so helpful when determining where your ancestors lived in relation to other counties and states. No longer do you have to find a map for Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana and glue them all together. This book gives you ALL surrounding counties of each state it touches!

Ohio map page from Red Book
Lastly, each state has a table that lists the date formed and parent county or counties that each were formed from. A good example is Ashland County, Ohio which was formed in 1846. Maybe you knew that. But did you know it was formed from parts of Huron, Lorain, Richmond, AND Wayne counties? Depending on where in Ashland County your ancestor was from, there could be hidden records in any of the other four counties!

Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace

Evidence Explained is a source citation Bible to the professional genealogist or anyone wanting to do the very best work. This book, authored by Elizabeth Shown-Mills, gives the methodology of citing genealogical sources and why it is important. She not only gives loads of practical examples of nearly anything you can imagine, but explains in detail why you source it "that way."

My favorite part of this book is the "QuickCheck Models." These QuickCheck Models are examples of how to cite your sources in an easy to use format. The pages are colored a dark gray and are quickly found by thumbing through the pages. 

I have given my book a little adjustment for even quicker access to the QuickCheck Models by adding labeled tabs to the items I use most often.

This book is a must-have for anyone who wants to be a professional in the field.

Genealogical Proof Standard

Genealogical Proof Standard is a small paperback book published by the Board of Certified Genealogists. It is dedicated to giving you all the key points to following a professional standard in genealogy research.

I have used it especially when learning the more advanced techniques of transcribing and abstracting wills, learning an effective research strategy, and writing reports and summaries for publications and clients.


Yes, I still have many other books on my shelves, but I have found these 3 books to be the ones I go to far more often than any others. 

What books are your favorite must-haves?

1 comment:

  1. French's Gazetteer, for New York State. Genealogies of the counties and municipalities are invaluable. An accompanying slim volume is an index of names in the gazetteer.


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