A handbook for readers interested in investigating their family histories.
In this debut nonfiction work, Berry draws on her own genealogical research experience to present a comprehensive guide to resources, techniques, and standards. The book addresses methods of creating family trees; highlights useful software and websites; tells how to use census, immigration, and other official records; and addresses alternative methods of locating people and information not found through standard search methods. The lists of resources are incredibly thorough, with thousands of databases, including URLs for those available online. Berry lists each state’s official archives, various regional and national archives from every country and autonomous region, and even ecclesiastical archives. Early chapters address techniques for making connections with distant relatives, encouraging readers to reach out via Ancestry.com and other, similar websites. Berry also details the role of DNA testing in genealogical research and offers a thorough, high-level explanation of what commercial DNA tests can reveal. Separate chapters focus on researching African-American and Native American ancestors, specifically; Berry has both black and Choctaw ancestry herself, and she offers examples of her own investigative successes. An appendix provides worksheets for organizing information about individuals and family groups. The book is clearly written and provides a wealth of information; the discussion of census records, for instance, includes a summary of the specific types of information collected in each U.S. census from 1790 to 2010, and its suggestions for advanced Google terms will be useful to any reader. She organizes the information logically and presents it coherently, making her book a specialized but extremely useful tool.
A detailed and thorough collection of resources, techniques, and methods for genealogical research.