I'm a firm believer that if you don't know something, there's a book that can help teach you. A quick look at the bookcases that span one entire wall of my living room shows how seriously I mean that. Intermingled with books by my favorite authors are guides on childbirth and parenting, preserving and cooking food, crafts, antiques, writing and even auto repair. If I want to expand my knowledge of a topic or learn how to do something new, I get a book.
However, I have to confess that despite my love of genealogy, I do not have a single book on this topic. I have read extensively about genealogy online on websites, blogs, forums and message boards, but have yet to buy a book. I plan to remedy this in the near future. Right now, I'm working on a list of books that I feel would be most helpful in my endeavors to not only trace my own family tree, but also work as a professional genealogist helping others trace their ancestry. At the moment, my top picks are:
Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyperspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills
As you will recall, one of my goals for this year is to add source citations to all sources I have already and start citing consistently as I continue to add sources to my family tree. After reading customer reviews on the various booksellers' websites as well as reviews by geneabloggers, I feel this book would be an excellent start to my genealogy research library.
Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians by Elizabeth Shown Mills
While I didn't put becoming a professional genealogist on my list of goals for 2011, it is one goal I hope to reach in time. I feel that this book will be helpful in reaching that goal.
The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual by the Board for Certification of Genealogists
Like the previous book, I feel this book will be helpful in me becoming a professional genealogist. As I am currently looking into certification by the BCG, this will serve a purpose in that goal as well.
The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy by Val D Greenwood
Most of my family has been in America for 200+ years. While I have found some of the many records available to document their lives, I'm sure it is by no means everything. I'm hoping this book will shed some light on records I haven't yet explored.
The Hidden Half of the Family: A Sourcebook for Women's Genealogy by Christina Schaefer
Tracking down women in the family tree is often difficult. Knowing specific factors which can affect my search of a particular female would be helpful. That's why this book makes the list. I'm hoping it will help me locate the maiden names of my female ancestors.
The Family Tree Problem Solver by Marsha Hoffman Rising
Brick walls are a given with genealogy. If you haven't found one yet in your research, it's coming. I've tried a number of brick wall breaking suggestions in an attempt to break through my brick walls. Some have worked, some haven't. I'm hoping this book will offer tips I haven't tried and start crumbling my brick walls.
Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research by Roseann Reinmuth Hogan
One of my areas of concentration with my personal research is Kentucky. I'm hoping this book can teach me more places to look for information on my ancestors.
Ancestral Trails by Mark D Herber
The majority of my ancestral lines came from Great Britain. However, I haven't yet researched "across the pond" because I don't know much about what records are available there. With this book, I hope to make the leap so I can research further back into my family history.