Friday, January 1, 2016

Genealogy Books and a Happy New Year

It has been two months since my last post. During that time my focus has been on genealogy books. Our local society, the Genealogical Forum of Oregon, had a book sale that was irresistible. The email announcement notifying of a sale of 50% off the list price certainly caught my attention. The accessible list of books in PDF format was 41 pages. When I finally got around to looking at the list I was up most of the night. Using a copy and paste system a list of 42 books, some multiple sets, was created as a word document.

Before sending the list to the society a review of online sales of the books was made. Using mostly to compare the prices made it clear that the prices of the society were fair and often quite reduced at 50% off.

Then a review of the list of my personal genealogy books, over 700 books, and 14 pages needed to take place. Gratefully a reorganization of my books, checking to verify they were included in the list had just taken place. In the process of moving the books had been placed on shelves randomly, but in groups of types of books. Now all the books are on the shelves in an order that matches the list and finding a book is so much easier. There were also a few books that had not been included on the list, probably acquired during the moving process. After including those books and reviewing the list once more a list of seven books not found on the shelves was made. Some of them may have been overlooked, some may have been read and given away, and others may be hiding in the six boxes of genealogy materials that need to be gone through.

Now it was time to send the list of books wanted for purchase to the society. The wonderful volunteers emailed me back providing suggested times for picking up the books. Before our arrival they gathered up the books that were still available and had three boxes ready and waiting. While there the books were looked over and reviewed once more with my list to ensure they were not ones that were already in my collection. Four books had been sold, one could not be found, one was a duplicate, two were decided against, and one was already in my collection.

One of the books that sold prior to our visit was for the Mayflower Families Five Generations Volume Six Stephen Hopkins. In discussing the book with the volunteers one disclosed that her husband purchased it for her. That revealed that we are related somewhere in the descendants of Stephen Hopkins. We could have talked genealogy all afternoon. Another interesting part of the experience was noticing a box, marked for Judy Russell, with books ready to be shipped to her. It is a small genealogy world and genealogists are always in the market for good books.

In preparing for the New Year I reviewed my blog and the page for Reference Books for the Genealogist Wish List, which I compiled in 2011. There were 45 books listed and at that time there were eleven that were still on my wish list. As of today there are only three books on my wish list, plus a few added since then, They are the following:

The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers by Chicago Editorial Staff, 14th Edition, 1993, 933 pgs. (Editions 15 and 16 available online at

Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007, 885 pgs.

The Family Tree Problem Solver: Proven Methods for Scaling the Inevitable Brick Wall, by Marsha Hoffman Rising, 2005, 240 pgs.

You may be wondering how I, a writer, can get along without the first two. The last one was used for a book review I wrote long ago, and is a great read for any genealogist.  This will be the year that I purchase these books. Two other books that came up in our genealogy discussion while picking up the 33 books from the GFO are:

Here, Shall I Die Ashore by Caleb Johnson, about Stephen Hopkins in Bermuda.

Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England 1620-1650 by Charles Edward Banks.

What books are on your wish list? Do you have a plan for organizing and setting up a personal library?

Let's just say that I love books. They are treasures and gold mines of information. In moving my access to books locally is not quite the same. While my previous Family History Center had many, our current Family History Center does not. When friends and genealogy societies are downsizing or selling duplicates my arms are open to receive their cast offs. The few duplicates found in my reorganization have been passed on to others. Knowing what you have and books of interest to you will greatly help when you are presented with a list of available books. Happy book hunting.

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