Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy Resource

Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy Resource
The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood is a great resource for all serious researchers to own or have access to. Although the 3rd edition came out in 2000, there is still a lot of great information within it’s pages that are relevant for today’s genealogist to learn from.

The book has the following chapters:

Part 1 – Background to Research
  • Understanding Genealogist Research
  • Familiar Record Practices: Problems &Terminology
  • Analyzing the Pedigree & the Place
  • Evaluation of Evidence
  • An Introduction to Research Tools: The Library
  • An Introduction to Research Tools: Reference Materials
  • Organizing & Evaluating Research Finding
  • Successful Correspondence
  • Computers in Genealogy
  • Family History: Going Beyond Genealogy
Part 2 – Records & Their Use
  • Compiled Sources & Newspapers
  • Vital Records
  • Census Returns
  • Using Census Returns
  • Understanding Probate Records & Basic Legal Terminology
  • What about Wills?
  • The Intestate – Miscellaneous Probate Records – Guardianships
  • Government Land: Colonial & American
  • Local Land Records
  • Abstracting Wills & Deeds
  • Court Records
  • Property Rights of Women as a Consideration
  • Church Records
  • American Aids to Finding the Home of the Immigrant Ancestor
  • Military Records: Colonial Wars and the American Revolution
  • Military Records: After the Revolution
  • Cemetery & Burial Records
  • Illustrations & Charts

There is a group in the virtual genealogy world of Second Life that has meetings to discuss this wonderful resource. Some of the PowerPoints used in this discussion are online at Here are those links:
A few times during the last few years I have heard a couple questions asked, "1)What resources should I look for when researching my ancestor?" and "2)What should I include in my portfolio when I am preparing for certification?". The answer I hear from experienced genealogists are to refer them to Val D. Greenwood’s “The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy.” The information within these pages are full of valuable informative information still relevant for today’s genealogists. I have read this book and refer to it often to get ideas to help me research my families and educate myself on topics I may not be familiar with.

So, as you decide what books you need to add to your genealogical library, “The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy” is definitely one to consider.

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