What are you reading now?

I try to be a voracious reader but sometimes other things get in the way.  Recently Marian Pierre-Louis recommended a book, The Family Tree Problem Solver, in her blog, Roots & Rambles <http://rootsandrambles.blogspot.com/2012/10/book-mentioned-during-webinar.html>.  I promptly checked it out of the Seattle Public Library.  I agree; it’s a good one.

I like this book because….

  • the author is up front that this is not a beginner book and then proceeds to write to the reader in a tone which supports that statement.
  • the book focuses on common intermediate/advanced problems, such as MIA in the censuses, multiple people with the same name in a locale, and solving problems before 1850.
  • the book is entertainingly written.  It is a great combination of case studies, options and development of a research plan for each problem.

I think this would make a good reference book to have on hand. But, this is not a reference book like The Handybook but more like a guide to solutions in general.

I want to thank Karen in Chicago for continuing the dialog on certification.  She shared with me some of her wonderful work product and caused a big shift in how I do citations.  I had been using Evidence! but on her recommendation I moved over to Evidence Explained, both by ESM.  I admit I still like the census citations better in Evidence! but I will live with it.  She also was kind enough to review one of my documents (she is taking the ProGen course) and I failed everything!  Back to work.

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last post:  completed (!) the SGS Bulletin and the newsletter for this quarter.  Now it needs to be printed (could occur next weekend) and mailed (could occur the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Woo hoo!  This has been totally consumptive.  I also had a genealogical emergency….had to put in a few hours for a client to add some information related to a project I had done for her for a birthday that is just a week away.  I presented to the SAR on the changes to medicine and health care before, during and after the Civil War, a topic that has interested me ever since I did the Jens Dahle report.  This week I will speak to the Seattle Newcomers Club (50 are registered, a record!) on starting your own genealogy.  Should be interesting.  Found out that one auction is completed and someone bought my services!  I guess there were a number of bidders (even better.)

1. Rising, Marsha Hoffman. The Family Tree Problem Solver Cincinnati, Ohio: Family Tree Books, 2005.

2. Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007.

3. Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

4. Everton, A. Lee. The Handybook for Genealogists. Logan, Utah: The Everton Publishers, Inc., 1999.


What were some books that I bought?

I found in the process of educating myself about the process of application that I did not have enough good examples of reports required, particularly the lineage reports.  I also saw some consistent recommendations for books in the videos that I reviewed so I decided to go ahead and purchase some items for my library.  Today’s blog will be a short review of those books I bought or had in my library that have proven their worth.

Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian:  (ESM) I really like the approach she took with this and my citations follow this book very closely.  If there is a downfall, it is that there are not enough on-line citations for the variety of documents now found there.  She makes up for that with her Quicksheet

Quicksheet; Citing online Historical Resources:  (ESM) I really like this one also but I found that she shifted away from putting the name of the person of interest first (what I liked about Evidence!) and instead embedded the name further in the document.

Evidence Explained! (ESM) A big expensive book.  I use the previous two for my citations but I like the narrative in the beginning about proof, what constitutes proof and how to make those decisions.  I don’t know that I would buy this book now, but others find it invaluable.

The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual:  (BCG) After my first glance at the book, I thought about sending it back.  Subsequent to that, it’s become a “go-to” book and all I can say is “What was I thinking!?”  It has been a very good resource especially the examples of the reports. I found the narrative in the front repetitive of the FHL video by Tom Jones.

Professional Genealogy:  (ESM) I think I could have done without this one as well, since I have no intention of becoming a PG.  On the other hand it has some good examples, and ESM is always an easy writer to read…..and besides that my friend from many years ago, Birdie Monk Holsclaw, wrote one of the chapters.

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy:  (Val Greenwood) Haven’t delved into this one much.  I think it may of been more use to me a few years ago….explaining the different land & probate transactions but then again…I may have gotten them wrong.

In summary, I would suggest that there are some minimal books you need to have in your library but what works for me might not work for you.  Check out your public library (I should be wearing a black arm band, our public library is closed this week due to budget cuts!) and see what they might have for you first or prevail upon a friend who has purchased the book to see if it would be of any interest to you.

I probably need to purchase some subscriptions but haven’t explored enough to know which ones.  Stay tuned!  I’ll let you know what I find out.

Happy Hunting!


What I worked on yesterday:  The lineage report.  I wrote about 1 page last night.  I find I have the sources but decided to re-review every source to glean out all the information for the report.  I am still working on the person of interest but have now covered her genealogy summary and her life story up to 1900.  It is slow going.

ESM is Elizabeth Shown Mills.