Geyh, Patricia Keeney, et al. French-Canadian Sources: A Guide for Genealogists.

Orem, UT: Ancestry, 2002. 329p., hardcover. Index, illus, maps. $39.95. ISBN 1-931279-01-2.

Any guide to family history research in French Canada is automatically of interest to Louisiana genealogists not only because of the historical similarity between the French colonial systems in Quebec and Louisiana, but also because a large fraction of those expelled by the English from Acadia made their way to Quebec.

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Published in: on 18 March 2013 at 6:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace.

Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 2007. 885p. Hardcover, index, illus. $59.95. ISBN 0-8063-1806-6.

I admit it — when a new book is announced by Elizabeth Mills, I immediately put in an advance order, without even reading any reviews. I’ve heard her speak at dozens of conferences and seminars, local and national, and I’ve read (I think) all of her published articles. My regard for her professional expertise is such that anything she cares to say, I want to hear.

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Published in: on 4 August 2011 at 4:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Handybook for Genealogists, United States of America.

11th ed. Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2006. 862p., hardcover. Index, maps. $59.95. ISBN 1-932008-00-8.

For several decades, one of the first books a new (or newly serious) genealogist was likely to purchase has been “Everton’s Handybook.” It first appeared in 1947 with only a couple hundred pages of contact information, but it was an almost immediate success and the first ten editions have sold more than 1,000,000 copies.

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Published in: on 29 June 2011 at 1:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Smith, Gordon Burns. History of the Georgia Militia, 1783–1861.

4v. Milledgeville, GA: Boyd Publishing, 2000–1. Hardcover. Index. ISBN 1-890307-32-7. (PO Box 367, Milledgeville, GA 31061 / <tignall@accucomm.net>)

There have traditionally been three schools of thought about the antebellum State militias in the South. Some historians have treated them as a joke, a haven for those who wanted only to carouse and get drunk. Others consider it as primarily an paranoid institution organized to enforce slavery. Most historians, however, have simply ignored the militia.

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Published in: on 22 June 2011 at 6:36 am  Comments (2)  
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Early, Joseph E., Jr. A Texas Baptist History Sourcebook.

Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press, 2004. 676p., hardcover. Index. $29.95. ISBN 1-57441-176-4.

Early is a professor of religion at Cumberland College and the author of two previous books on the history of the Baptist denomination in Texas. This one is meant as a complementary volume to Harry McBeth’s Texas Baptists: A Sesquicentennial History (1998), currently the standard historical survey.

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Published in: on 8 June 2011 at 5:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Rising, Marsha Hoffman. The Family Tree Problem Solver: Proven Methods for Scaling the Inevitable Brick Wall.

Cincinnati: Family Tree Books (F&W Publications), 2005. 232p., softcover. Index, illus. $19.99. ISBN 1-55870-685-2.

We all have “brick walls” — those situations in which the courthouse records have disappeared, or no census record can be found, or there are four people with the same common name in the same neighborhood at the same time, not to mention people whom we come to suspect must have landed by flying saucer. After failing to find an obvious solution, the inclination often is to throw up one’s hands and shift attention to an easier branch of the family.

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Published in: on 21 May 2011 at 12:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bridges, Myrtle N. (comp). Final Words: 772 Original Wills by Richmond County, North Carolina, Testators, 1779–1915.

Marceline, MO: Wadsworth Publishing Co, 2005. 670p., hardcover. Index, illus. (Myrtle N. Bridges, 4093 NC 55W, Angier, NC 27501 / Web: <home.att.net/~hbridges/myrtle.htm>)

Not every book I review is a work of general methodology or national-level resources. My people, like yours, lived “locally,” wherever that location might be. I’m interested in works and collections of narrower interest, even if I haven’t (yet) found a personal connection there because I like to see how a variety of authors handle the challenge of making local records available and understandable to other researchers.

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Published in: on 18 May 2011 at 3:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ericson, Carolyn Reeves & Kathryn Hooper Davis (comps.).

Bibles, Bibles, Bibles: A Collection of 18th & 19th Century Family Bible Records. Nacogdoches, TX: Ericson Books, 2000. 231p., hardcover. Index. ISBN 1-911317-62-7.

Among the sources most useful to family researchers, Bible records are perhaps the least consulted. Even if a genealogist suspects a family Bible might still survive for a line under investigation, she’s likely not to know where it is, who presently owns it, or whether the information already has been extracted by an earlier researcher. I regard the publication of such records, therefore, as a great service to the genealogical community — but there are certain necessary inclusions.

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Published in: on 5 May 2011 at 12:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rose, Christine. Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures.

San Jose, CA: CR Publications, 2004. 219p., softcover. Index, illus. $21.98. ISBN 0-929626-16-8.

Rose is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists and a well-known speaker at national conferences. She’s also an admitted courthouse junky. There are more than 3,000 courthouses in the United States and she’s poked around in more than 500 of them — and she would be the first to tell you that every one is different, even in neighboring counties formed at the same time. (I’ve spent considerable time in courthouses myself, though not as many as Christine. Maybe only 100.)

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Published in: on 5 November 2010 at 9:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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