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Building your genealogy library one volume at a time

Every genealogist needs a few good reference books at home in his personal library. I wanted to share a few of my favorite books with you.

One of the best all around books on genealogy is The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood. This is one of my favorites, and I still refer to it. There is a little bit about everything in here.

Another important book to have at your house is the Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives of the United States, edited by Eales and Kvasnicka. This book lists all of the holdings of the National Archives. You will be amazed at the amount of information they store. There is a branch office in East Point, Ga., where you can order and view the microfilms.

The Handy Book by George Everton and Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County & Town Sources by Alice Eichholz are two books that will give you the addresses of every place you will ever need to write. This includes county and city offices, courthouses and genealogical societies. It is really best to get both books as neither is complete and they complement each other.

If you are interested in doing paid genealogy work, or if you just want to upgrade the quality of your own work, there are three more essential books. Professional Genealogy -- A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians by Elizabeth Shown Mills is a comprehensive book covering all aspects of professional research. Elizabeth Shown Mills also wrote Evidence! Citation and & Analysis for the Family Historian, which details how to cite every possible genealogy source correctly. Genealogical Evidence: A Guide to the Standard of Proof Relating to Pedigrees, Ancestry, Heirship and Family History by Noel C. Stevenson will help you learn to weigh your evidence.

If you are interested in the different numbering systems used in genealogy then Numbering Your Genealogy: Basic Systems, Complex Families and International Kin by Curran, Crane and Wray is for you. All of the currently available genealogy software programs do the numbering for you and several have different numbering systems to chose from. However, if this sort of thing interests you, this book is the definitive guide.

If you are planning on publishing a family history, either an informal one to pass out among your relatives or a more professional one for sale, then you need to read Producing a Quality Family History by Patricia Hatcher and Indexing Family Histories: Simple Steps for a Quality Product by John V. Wylie.

A good English manual is another essential if you plan on publishing. Two good ones are The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors and Publishers published by the University of Chicago Press and Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works With Words by Bruce Ross-Larson.

You can't have enough books and this list will only get you started. Next time I will go over the available publications that pertain specifically to McDuffie County.

Web posted on Thursday, March 11, 2004

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