The Last How-To Book You Read…and Thought About

Many genealogists are self-taught for a variety of reasons. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as a person realizes that there may be gaps in their knowledge–of sources, methods, local history, culture, sociology, etc. Even genealogists that are not self-taught have gaps in their knowledge if they are willing to admit it.

It never hurts to read a book or guide to the area you are researching in, even if you skim it quickly–especially if it has been a while since you have read such material. You may pick up a new thought, idea, source, or suggestion–or may even think of how you would have done the book differently.

And if you find a suggestion or reference in the book that you think is wrong, double check before you assume the author was incorrect. It may be that the reader had just discovered a gap or error in their own knowledge. I also use pencil to annotate reference books in my collection as well as that helps with my learning and retention of material

This page on our site has a list of books that are on my genealogy bookshelf.

Try a GenealogyBank Genealogy Search to see what you find.