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31 October 2016

"Discover Your Roots" by Paul Blake and Maggie Loughran

In Discover Your Roots: Dig Up Your Family History and Other Buried Treasures by Paul Blake and Maggie Loughran, the reader will learn fifty-two brilliant ideas. One good idea can change your life. Before jumping into research, the authors gently remind the reader of several things. In the introduction, the reader is reminded that the past starts now. It is not how far back that is important; satisfaction comes from really knowing your family up close and personal. Also, remember now is not then and we are not them. The four page introduction is well worth reading. Do you read the introduction to every book? You should!

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The authors present fifty-two brilliant ideas or chapters. These ideas are as basic as "What's in a name?" or "Who told you that?" to "In Deed." Every chapter or brilliant idea has four parts: the idea to try, another idea if the first worked, words of wisdom and Q & A highlights. Using "In Deed" as an example, the authors explain that a deed is a legal record for transfer of land. The idea is to search for property records at the county courthouse. Another idea would be to trace the history of the land. Words of wisdom provides a quote from S. J. Perelman, humorist and screenwriter. "A farm is an irregular patch of nettles bounded by short-term notes, containing a fool and his wife who didn't know enough to stay in the city." In the Q & A, the authors explain land records for homesteaders. Every idea is filled with more detail than my brief example.

What makes this book unique?
  • four parts for every idea or chapter
  • variety of topics
  • humor
Blake, Paul and Maggie Loughran. Discover Your Roots: Dig Up Your Family History and Other Buried Treasures. New York: A Perigee Book. 2006. quote from page 191.

This book has an easy to follow flow of the chapter outlines, a variety of topics discussed and many brilliant ideas. Updated editions are available.

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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