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Examine the contents of any public library today, no matter how small, and you will probably find some shelf space accorded to genealogy. This is a book for those shelves, a handbook for anyone concerned in tracing ancestry back to American origins in Europe, west of the Iron Curtain. Specifically, this is not a book for those interested only in the past so far as it relates to the United States. But if the earliest forebear to come to these shores is known, and the country from which he came, here is the book to use to go farther back. There are rather sketchy introductory chapters outlining procedure here, sources of information, etc. There is some fairly general data applicable to any investigation:-the legendary, word of mouth sources of information, the beginnings of records, -- family papers, publications of genealogical societies, town records, cemetery inscriptions, wills, church records, census returns. But beyond this- and across the water- what to do. Mr. Pine explores the historical backgrounds of successive European countries, to chart the blood lines, the development, the beginnings of record keeping. More space is given to England and other parts of the British Isles, due to the demand being greatest there. The sources to investigate, how to proceed, what it costs, what is the etiquette of procedure, what delusions should be scotched, the difficulties- virtually impossibility- of going back into medieval sources, the matter of titles and heraldry, etc. The balance of the book treats more briefly with other countries of Europe, even to the Baltic and Balkan countries, and the difficulty of getting any information behind the Iron Curtain. A book of specialized interest and use, but -- so far as we know- there is nothing else like it.

Pub Date: Dec. 2nd, 1960
Publisher: Doubleday