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31 October 2016

"Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques" by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith

Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith offers "brick wall" techniques. The authors inform the readers in the introduction that this book is not for beginners. The authors assume that the reader already knows basic skills; the reader wants techniques and suggestions to help answer the tough questions or break down brick walls.

The brick wall metaphor and why it matters is explained in the introduction. The reader visualizes walking through the woods with a goal to arrive at the other side. The authors take the readers down the path which includes forks or choices. What happens when the reader/researcher reaches a brick wall? The analogies between a brick wall and research provide connectors to help the reader extend their knowledge. "What choices do you have to help you make further progress? That depends a great deal on the approach you take from there." Continuing on page xv, the reader is presented with eight ideas for getting past the brick wall. These eight ideas are developed into chapters of techniques to overcome the brick walls in our research.

Also in the introduction, the authors suggest that the researcher identify goals and objectives, identify questions, identify resources and consider what records were created. The introduction covers five pages. This review is to encourage the family historian to study the presented material and techniques, not copy the whole book.

Every chapter provides details, examples and sources on a specific connector. Example, chapter one, 38 pages long, reminds the reader to return to details. Examine each brick minutely. Return to records already collected. Reexamine every detail. Focus on the details. The chapter examples include census, birth records, marriage records, death records, obituary, cemetery and photographs. With each topic, the reader is reminded what you originally noticed and what you may have overlooked. Were multiple names on a tombstone noted? What is the significance of multiple names? How are multiple tombstones positioned? Wonderful, such needed attention to details!

Read for yourself to find out more about the FAN principle or DNA or putting all the techniques to work. On page 195, the authors write, "This book was written with the genealogist in mind who has already completed the easier parts of research and who want to move past the frustrations....think of this book as providing you with new ways to conduct that journey, even if you may never reach the destination."

What makes this book unique?
  • analogy to connect techniques with research
  • advanced research
Morgan, George G. and Drew Smith. Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques. New York: McGraw Hill. 2014.

Check area libraries, this book is available at the Gwinnett County Public Library, Georgia. Ask yourself, does this book help me advance towards my genealogy goals? Comments or questions, please contact Selma Blackmon, Thank you!

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