SHAKING YOUR FAMILY TREE: A Basic Guide to Tracing Your Family's History by Ralph Crandall

SHAKING YOUR FAMILY TREE: A Basic Guide to Tracing Your Family's History

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A detailed (possibly overly detailed) guide for those thinking of digging up family roots and producing a near-professional genealogy. The quest begins, says Crandall, with one's own family. He recommends interviewing older relatives with a tape recorder for everything they can recall. He also suggests checking out their Bibles (for records of births, marriages and deaths) as well as their attics and other likely places for letters, photographs, diaries, family histories and so on. He also advises that you verify everything--birth, death and marriage dates, even anecdotal memories if possible. Armed with this information, one turns to libraries and historical or genealogical societies in towns where ancestors lived. Here you might find mention of forebears in county or town histories, old maps or atlases, local historical or genealogical society publications, histories of local churches, banks or charitable or patriotic organizations, town records or even old telephone directories. Then you must visit a library with a genealogical collection with bibliographies and indexes to the collections of such major genealogical libraries as the Library of Congress, the Genealogical Society Library of Salt Lake City, and the archives of the New England Historical Genealogical Society. Most would-be genealogists would consider their work done after exhausting these resources, but Crandall also includes advice on how to obtain and interpret church, cemetary, tax, military and census records as well as old wills, deeds and intestacy documents. As a passing tip of his hat to more recent immigrants, Crandall includes advice on how to track down passenger lists and naturalization records. He concludes with advice on publishing the genealogy, whether it be by simple photocopying, acceptance of all or part of it by a genealogical or historical magazine or by more expensive private vanity publishers. In sum, a complete guide that leaves few procedural questions unexamined.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Yankee