Reviews for The researcher's guide to American genealogy

Choice
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Neagles presents LC's genealogical collections first by describing their organization, then the resources (like records of residence--city directories, land records, census records, etc.; records of family activity--church records, newspapers, and periodicals; and records of military service). A third section arranged geographically by region and state identifies their similar records. The aim is to point out not only the holdings of LC's Local History and Genealogy Reading Room but to identify other departments where genealogists can find information. A scanning of various lists suggests a question: will the less experienced question what seems to be incomplete information? For example, several published indexes are cited for specific years only but are actually available for other periods. There are a number of similar cases where more complete and exact information should have been supplied; the material is undoubtedly in LC's collections. (On p. 181, under "Manchester" is "Suborn" really correct? On p. 88, is the Boston newspaper titled the "Evening Transfer?" really the Transcript?)There is much that is helpful about the volume, including the listing of city directories, but the user must be alert. Greenwood carries over much of the material from the earlier edition of The Researcher's Guide. . .(CH, Jan'74) but has dropped the Canadian chapter and added three others: genealogical evidence, personal computers and programs, and the genealogist as family historian. Though the book is described on the jacket as completely revised, some of the material has been but slightly changed and a number of the references have not been updated to reflect the existence of new editions. Still, the descriptive treatment will supply beginning genealogists with the kind of helpful background they need. The best single volume remains, for this writer, A. H. Eakle and J.Cerny, The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy (1984). Small libraries with limited funds will find Greenwood a good choice and for larger collections both Greenwood and Eakle-Cerny would be useful. Neagle's volume is for the library with needs beyond those guides. -V. L. Close, Dartmouth College


Library Journal
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This classic handbook has been completely updated to include all major developments since the original edition ( LJ 6/15/74). Three new chapters cover genealogical evidence, personal computers, and family historians. The bibliographies have been updated as well. Greenwood's pioneering contribution offers a detailed examination of primary records: vital, census, probate, land, court (adoption), church, military, cemetery, and wills. Librarians will appreciate chapters on other types of research, especially library research. Ronald A. Bremer's Compendium of Historical Sources: The How and Where of American Genealogy (Progenitor Soc., 1986. 3d ed.) and Arlene Eakle's The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy (Ancestry Pub., 1984) are similar all-in-one genealogy handbooks. With this edition, Greenwood has reaffirmed his book's position as the outstanding text in American genealogy, and it remains the benchmark against which others will be judged. This modestly priced core collection reference tool should be in every genealogical library and in other libraries where there is an interest in genealogy.--Judith P. Reid, Local History & Genealogy Reference Specialist, Library of Congress (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

This is the second edition of what appears to be the textbook for serious students of American genealogy. Although it has been re~vised to include new sources and current technology, i.e., the personal computer and computerized databases, the 17-year-old work still cautions the researcher to rely on "basic pick-and-shovel work in original records." To Greenwood, genealogy is a science that must be conducted with precision. Three chapters have been added with suggestions on selecting computers and software, discussion of the possibilities of genealogist as family historian, and the importance of evidence and proof. Other chapters introduce research tools, discuss the evaluation of findings, and detail the changes in census returns since 1790. Illustrations, charts; index. --Cynthia Ogorek

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