Monday, September 15, 2008

My Ten Essential Genealogy-Related Books

This post was written for the 56th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy hosted by Lori at Smoky Mountain Family Historian.

I know that this might seem sacrilege, especially given that many genea-bloggers are also librarians or in the library sciences profession, but I am not a book person.

Now, don't get me wrong here - I love books, but over the past five years I have become so paperless that it is rare for me to purchase an actual book, rather than an e-book.

So, given that bit of Thomas info, here is my list and how to find these tomes, both hard cover and virtual:

1. Putman, George W., Genealogy of David Putman and His Descendants, Amsterdam, New York: George W. Putman, 1916.

This is the book that my mother handed to me over 15 years ago which traced my roots back to 1661 in Schenectady, New York.  There were only 100 copies since it was privately published but it can be accessed in PDF form using the link above.

2. Putnam, Eben, A History of the Putnam Family in England and America, Salem, Massachusetts: Salem Press Pub. and Print. Co., 1891-1908.

Since the surname Putman is often mis-transcribed as Putnam, this book which focuses on both surnames, is vital to any Putman research.

3. Moore, Edith Austin, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Robert Austin of Kingstown, R.I., St. Petersburg, Florida: 1951.

I and the Austin Family Association of America consider this the bible for Austin research along this family line.  The Austins are on my mother's side of the tree and go back to the early 1640s in Rhode Island.

4. Heidgerd, Ruth P., The Freer Family: The Descendants of Hugo Freer, Patentee of New Paltz, New Paltz, New York: Huguenot Historical Society, 1968.

Finding my Freer ancestors was and still is a big deal for me - it has anchored my already strong roots in the Hudson Valley region of New York. I have since become a member of the Huguenot Historical Society and make a visit to New Paltz whenever I make a trip home to see my mother.

5. Poucher, J. W., Byron J. Terwilliger, and Ruth P. Heidgerd, eds. Old Gravestones of Ulster County. Boston: Higginson Book Company, 1998.

This book contains over 22,000 inscriptions gathered from many cemetery surveys of Ulster County. A real gem!

6. National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, Lineage Books of the Charter Members of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Vol. I-CLII (152), Washington, D.C., 1899-1938.

I know I don't have room for all 152 volumes so thankfully this entire series can be accessed via

7. Reynolds, Cuyler, Hudson and Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911.

Along with any book by Jonathan Pearson, Cuyler Reynolds' works remain some of the most authoratative materials for research in upstate New York.

8. Pearson, Jonathan, Contributions for the Genealogies of the Descendants of the First Settlers of the Patent and City of Schenectady, from 1662 to 1800, Albany, New York: J. Munsell, 1873.

Jonathan Pearson spent years researching the Dutch family lines that settled Albany and Schenectady. If you have New York Dutch roots, you must know Mr. Pearson.

9. Hoes, Roswell R. Baptismal and Marriage Registers of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston, Ulster County, New York, 1660-1809. Boston: Clearfield Company, 1997.

Another great contributor to New York Dutch research!

10.  Mills, Elizabeth S., Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Boston: Genealogical Company, Incorporated, 2007.

I have followed the recommendations of several esteemed genea-bloggers and bought this book on Amazon a few weeks ago.  It has been invaluable!  I just wish this came in either a website format (how neat would it be to be able to enter your source title, select the type of evidence and have it spit out a pre-formatted citation? Note to E.S. Mills: build it and they will come - and pay for the privilege!)

So there you have it - a mix of everything!  Also, I want to give props out to a new website/tool I discovered that creates a bibliography for you.  It is called EasyBib: The Free Automatic Bibliography Composer - MLA and APA formatting.  I was able to enter in the ISBN number on a variety of books, press a button and there appeared an instantly formatted citation - proper and everything.  Check it out!

No comments: