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30 October 2016

"Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy" by Val D. Greenwood

The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood tops the list of comprehensive genealogical books. According to the author, "The records we must use in our research have not changed,... The good genealogist must still delve into the records relating to his ancestors...." The author divides his 662 page book into two parts, Background to Research and Records and Their Use.

A new family historian may study this book chapter by chapter as a textbook. Learn what is expected. Learn the terminology. Learn to analyze and evaluate evidence. A seasoned genealogist may use this book as a reference guide; a resource of new areas; a refresher for unused techniques.

As family historians, we use records created for a different purpose. All of the records from census, vital, military, probate and wills include background information. Understand the original purpose and time period, now the language of the document makes sense. Abstract or transcribe every document. The author provides record examples and finding guides. The record practices include organizing and analyzing. Comprehensive is the only word to describe Greenwood's Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy.

What makes this book unique?
  • The timeless principles of genealogical research introduced and explained.
  • All family historians from advanced to beginners will use this as a reference guide.
  • The family historian with a goal of quality research will find this book understandable and helpful.
Genealogical book reviewed: Greenwood, Val D. Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. 3rd Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. 2000. The author's quote is from page xiv.

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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