Ancestory, Genealogy, and Your Family Tree

The Best Guide for FIning Your Way to the Past

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy With my self help website, food blog, and other online publications, I have the opportunity to read and review a good number of books. I’ve been a bookworm since the great and varied adventures of “Spot, Dick, and Jane,” so you can imagine how delirious I am when a new book to review comes in the mail. My smile stretches from ear to ear and my feet kind of do this little happy dance.

I’ve got nothing but mad love for great books, the authors who pen them, the publishers who publish them – and nothing but crazy mad love for the publicists who add to my personal library.

A recent book is from one of my favorite series of books, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide To…” series.  I’m mad about these books!  They take a subject matter that you’d LIKE to be an expert in and MAKE you an expert.  Given the fact that these wonderful books cover just about any subject you can think of, that means you can become an expert in any field you want.

I’ve always been fascinated by genealogy, for example, but honestly had no idea where to start. When asked if I’d be interested in reviewing The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy, 3rd Edition, I jumped in with both dancing feet.

About the Authors

Christine Rose is a full-time professional genealogist. She was elected a fellow of the American society of Genealogists in 1988, an honor bestowed on only 50 living genealogists at any time.  Kay Germain Ingalls is a certified genealogist and is past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

I’ve always wanted to dig around in my own family tree (as well as my husband’s).  I’ve been intrigued with my ancestors since I was about 17 years old.  A great, great uncle showed me a picture of someone in our family from YEARS ago.  She was dressed like Laura Ingalls Wilder if that gives you an idea of how old the picture was.  Her name was Annie, and her picture made me freeze in my tracks. She looked exactly like me.  My mom and other relatives in the room all looked back and forth between me and Annie’s picture and everyone agreed that we looked exactly alike.   My mom tried to get her hands on more pictures and information of Annie, but nothing really turned up.

To this day I’d just love to know more about her!  How many children did she have?  Who did she marry? Did she love animals? Did she have a cup of coffee by her side all day, too?  Things like this fascinate me.  I couldn’t help wondering, too, what her children looked like and what they did with their lives.  And their children, and their children, and…

From the Back Cover:
You’d love to learn more about your ancestors, but the wealth of information online, in family scrapbooks, in libraries, and at courthouses is so vast, you don’t know where to start your search.

The next best thing to a personal genealogist, this revised and updated guide gives you all the knowledge you need to trace your heritage.  In it, you get:

  • Guidance on sorting through census data, plus tips on widening your search with surname variations.
  • Tips for fact-finding in newspaper archives, military records, Social Security records, cemeteries, and more.
  • The latest information on using, GenWeb, and other online sources – plus hundreds of links to visit.
  • A new chapter devoted to researching African American lineage.
  • Expanded information on how to use DNA testing in your genealogical search.
  • Insightful ideas for breaking through the brick walls and seemingly dead ends all genealogists face.
  • A primer on organizing your work with charts, forms, and logs; citing sources; and establishing a numbering system.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy, 3rd Edition is like having a couple of genealogists siting on each side of you – telling you why you should research your family history, where to begin (with Mom and Dad!), how to proceed, and what to watch for. The advice and tips are priceless. I promise you, the book is filled with things you’d never have even thought of.

There are “Tree Tips” as well as “Lineage Lessons” and “Definitions” along the way. The definition prompt came in handy with Daguerreotypes, as you might imagine.

Who are You?
What’s the fascination? Curious as to why Grandpa never spoke about his family? Yearn to know your ethnic roots? Whatever it is, this part will get you going. Starting the search with your own family, you’ll learn how to spot the significance of all the papers and memorabilia you’re sure to find. If you’ve already started with the Internet, find out how to build on that.

You’ll also get the basics of recording what you find and an introduction to some of the charts, forms, and logs that will help you keep on track. You are laying the groundwork for a wonderful adventure. – From the Intro to Part 1

And that’s just Part 1!

I could give you a wonderfully flowery spiel about how “learning who your ancestors were will help you learn who you are.” I could point out how important it is to unearth family traits, illnesses, and whatnot to better understand and protect you and generations after you. I could also tell you how much your mind LOVES learning new things and the pursuit of new hobbies such as genealogy. And all that would be true. But, frankly, I’m just going to say this, “How freaking cool would it be if you found a face in the past that looked just like the one in the mirror?!”

Click through The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy, 3rd Edition to learn more. Trust me, this is a book you’ll want to add to your library because this is book that will serve you well.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are disrespectful, offensive, or off-topic.

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