The Best Books for Genealogy Research: A Comprehensive Guide

Genealogy research can be daunting but with these 15 best books according to readers you'll be able to find records you didn't even know existed! Learn more here.

The Best Books for Genealogy Research: A Comprehensive Guide

Genealogy research can be a daunting task, especially for those who are just starting out. With so many resources available, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately, there are a number of books available that can help guide you through the process. From official manuals to comprehensive guides, these books provide invaluable information on how to correctly cite sources, evaluate and analyze them, and find records you didn't even know existed.

In this article, we'll take a look at the 15 best genealogy books according to readers. The first book on our list is Aren't There Enough Forms to Organize Family Data? This download contains more than 100 templates, checklists and worksheets to track your research, from conflicting death dates to DNA matches, censuses and source citations. It's an excellent reference for many disciplines, but focuses specifically on family research. The Genealogist Certification Board (BCG) Manual is another great resource. This official BCG manual provides uniform quality and ethical standards for genealogical research so that genealogists can model their own research based on them, as well as evaluate the work of others. It also explains how to correctly cite sources for genealogical research. The Milstein Division of the New York Public Library is another great resource for genealogists.

Not only do these types of guides help you find and interpret the most fundamental genealogical documents, but they can also lead you to records you didn't even know existed. For example, did you know that many states conducted their own censuses, which can provide additional documentation about their ancestors in the years between the federal censuses? Or that there are special resources that provide information about railroad employees? Or that the records of the Freedmen's Office include valuable genealogical records of both former slaves and white refugees? These are just some of the many records that can be discovered by consulting the specific genealogical guides of each record. Another great resource is Genealogy Explained, an educational site to help weekend warrior genealogists learn to climb their family trees. It addresses the basics of genetic genealogy and family history research, as well as discussing the issues of finding support while searching, how to deal with anxiety, fear, and search expectations, and how best to find DNA matches.

Forensic Genealogy

, recommended by a dear friend and mentor who is also a genealogist, is another great book. It was called “the classic of all time” by Milton Rubincam in his introduction to genealogy as a hobby and profession.

It provides useful and expert information on topics of general interest to genealogists.

Genealogy Standards

, written by more than 100 collaborators and advisors from the Genealogical and Biographical Society of New York (NYG&B), is another must-read for anyone looking to develop a career in genealogy or continue their education. It provides a definitive guide to research resources in New York State.

Full-Color Illustrations

help the genealogist incorporate techniques into personal or client research projects.

Real Names: A Book of Nomenclature

, written by Russell Ash, researched centuries of vital records, census records, phone books and other sources for this unbridled list of real names.

Karen Stanbary's Genealogical Test Standard

applies genetic genealogy in a hypothetical case of unknown paternity that illustrates an end-to-end analysis. Finally, The Genealogist's Toolbox, written by Blaine Bettinger author of the blog The Genealogist and several articles in Family Tree magazine, explains how genetic genealogy works and answers questions from genealogists and people looking for information about their family trees.

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