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PUBLISHED ARTICLES and REVIEWS
 by Elissa Scalise Powell, CGSM

Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly

REVIEW: The Family Tree Guide Book by the Editors of Family Tree Magazine, APG Quarterly 18, no. 2 (June 2003): 79-80.

"Keeping It All in the Air: Juggling Descendants and Antecedents," APG Quarterly 20, no. 4 (December 2005): 157-160

REVIEW: "Evidence Explained," APG Quarterly 22, no. 4 (December 2007).

 

Board For Certification of Genealogists OnBoard newsletter

"Spotlight" column, every issue from 8, no. 1 (January 2002) through 13, no. 2 (May 2007)

"Standards for Genealogical Instructors," OnBoard 7 (May 2001): 13-14.

 

Digital Genealogist
www.DigitalGenealogist.com

REVIEW: "Getting Started in Genealogy Online," Digital Genealogist 1, no. 1 (November 2006).

REVIEW: "Map My Family Tree," Digital Genealogist 1, no. 2 (January 2007).

REVIEW: CD "Buffalo City Directory," Digital Genealogist 1, no. 6 (September 2007).

REVIEW: "The Official Guide to Rootsweb," Digital Genealogist 1, no. 7 (November 2007).

REVIEW: "The Official Guide to Ancestry.com," Digital Genealogist 2, no. 1 (January 2008).

 

Footnote.com

Published Pennsylvania Archives article

 

Genealogical Computing

REVIEW: "Pennsylvania Retrospective Series: Allegheny County—The 19th Century and Before," Genealogical Computing 21, no. 3 (Winter 2002): 42, 44.

Cover Story: "Memorials for the Future," Genealogical Computing 22, no. 3 (January–March 2003): 7-10.

REVIEW: "Genealogy via the Internet, 2nd edition," Genealogical Computing 23, no. 1 (July—September 2003): 43-44.

"The Benefits of Online Images," Genealogical Computing 23, no. 2 (October—December 2003): 7-10, 12.

REVIEW: "Pennsylvania Archives Retrospective Series: Third Series, Volumes XI thru XXII: Pennsylvania Tax Lists," Genealogical Computing 23, no. 2 (October—December 2003): 44.

REVIEW: "1930 U.S. Federal Census Index: Pennsylvania, Allegheny County, Deluxe Edition," Genealogical Computing 23, no. 4 (April—June 2004): 42.

Software Review: "Ancestral Quest 11," Genealogical Computing 24, no. 1 (October—December 2004): 31-33.

Software Review: "LifeBio Memory Journal vs. Mended Memories Family History Journal," Genealogical Computing 24, no. 3 (January—March 2005): 42-44.

REVIEW: "Ephemera Collection CD and Family History Resources," Genealogical Computing 25, no. 2 (October—December 2005): 43-44.

REVIEW: "CemEditor and Cem to Book," Genealogical Computing 26, no. 1 (2006).

 

National Genealogical Society NewsMagazine

"My Report about NGS in Portland," NGS NewsMagazine 27, no. 4 (July/August 2001): 214.

"Messages from the Grave: Listening to Your Ancestor's Tombstone," NGS Newsmagazine 30, no. 2 (June/July 2004): 40-44.

"Messages from the Grave, Part II," NGS Newsmagazine 30, no. 4 (December 2004): 43-47.

"Discovering the Benefits of Conferences," NGS NewsMagazine 31, no. 1 (January/February/March 2005): 16-18.

"Roads, Walls, and Paths Not Taken," NGS NewsMagazine 32, no. 1 (January/February/March 2006): 42-44.

"Of Dog Shows and Standards," NGS NewsMagazine 33, no. 2 (April/May/June 2007)

 

National Genealogical Society Quarterly

REVIEW: "Family History Made Easy: A Workbook on How to Discover Your Family History and Use the Internet to Help," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 90 (June 2002): 150.

REVIEW: "The Genealogists' Question and Answer Book," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 92 (March 2004): 69.

REVIEW: "Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 92 (December 2004): 316.

REVIEW: "Fields of Stone: Cemeteries of Jones County, Georgia," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 92 (December 2004): 317.

REVIEW: "Finding Your Family on the Internet: The Ultimate Guide to Online Family History Research," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 95 (March 2007).

 

The North Hills Genealogists Newsletter, Pittsburgh, PA

"Woodward Case Study," North Hills Genealogists Newsletter, November 2006.

REVIEW: "Only a Few Bones," North Hills Genealogists Newsletter, February 2007.

 

Ohio Genealogical Society News

Book reviews for 7 books and 6 CD-Roms (2006)

Reviews for the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly

"Ancestors in German Archives: A Guide to Family History Sources," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 31, no. 1 (2004): 51.

"The History of Clinton: Clinton Our Hometown, Vols. 1 & 2," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 31, no. 2 (2004): 64

"Royal Families: Americans of Royal and Noble Ancestry, Vol. 2," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 31, no. 2 (2004): 64-65

"Church Records: Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church, Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 31, no. 2 (2004): 65

"Locating Your French & Indian War Ancestor: A Bibliography,"Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 31, no. 3 (2005): 53.

"Ships from Scotland to America 1628-1828 Volume III," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 31, no. 3 (2005): 54.

"The Johnson-Moehring Family History," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 31, no. 3 (2005): 54-55.

"Boneset Tea and Beaten Biscuits: Heritage of the Shaffer-Zimmerman and Devore-Cuppage Families," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 31, no. 3 (2005): 55

"Scrapbooking Your Family History," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 31, no. 4 (2005): 59-60.

"Plugging Into Your Past,"Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 1 (2005)

CD: "Genealogists Address Book," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 1 (2005)

"Settlement and Conflict Along the Susquehanna," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 2 (2005)

"Ancestry of Eleanore & Ann Louise Miles of Shenandoah, PA." Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 3 (2006)

"Outposts of the War for Empire: The French & English in west PA," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 3 (2006)

"Images of America: Beechview." Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 3 (2006)

"Images of America: Squirrel Hill," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 3 (2006)

"Map Guide to German Parish Registers: Grandduchy of Baden," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 3 (2006)

"Images of America: Oakland," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 3 (2006)

"West View Borough: Centennial Anniversary 1905-2005," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 3 (2006)

"Front-Page Pittsburgh: 200 years of the Post-Gazette," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 4 (2006)

"300 Years of Joseph Olin and His Descendants, Vols. 1 & 2," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 4 (2006)

"Jacob's Sons: A Historical Perspective of the Jacob Barnhart Family 1715-2003," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 32, no. 4 (2006)

"The Mason-White Family History," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 33, no. 1 (2006)

"Alford-McCurdy and other related families of Lawrence County,"Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 33, no. 1 (2006)

"Let's Talk Puckey," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 33, no. 2 (2006)

"Coming to America: Hublein/Hepline," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 33, no. 3 (2007)

"Beltzhoover family history by Gayle Kamp," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 33, no. 4 (2007)

"Images of America: Pittsburgh's Immigrants," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 33, No. 4 (2007)

"Descendants of Caleb Luse by Loretta Evans," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 33, no. 4 (2007)

"It Started with a Photo Album: Descendants & Ancestry of Rinscheid," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly 33, no. 4 (2007)

The Family Tree Guide Book By the Editors of Family Tree Magazine, 336 pp. $19.99
Published by Betterway Books, January 2003. www.familytreemagazine.com

This collaborative effort of several editors of the Family Tree Magazine reads in parts as a beginners' how-to book, an address resource book, and a travel guide for both the United States and Canada.

The foreword by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, CGSM, debunks myths commonly held by novice family historians: that genealogy is free, easy, and fast. Sharon's discussion of genealogy as being time-consuming, not always cheap, never-ending, and a rewarding hobby is well worth reading. It is a reminder to everyone that "genealogy is about constant learning."

Emily Anne Croom's chapter on "Getting Started" goes through the basics of vital records, charting, and getting organized. Along with a discussion of folders vs. notebooks to aid in organization, it would have been appropriate to discuss source citations as part of the research notes being filed instead of making this the very last topic, and possibly missed by those not reading through the entire chapter. "Family stories," "Networking," "Sources and evidence," and "Plan, research, and review" are all topics that caution against taking things at face value. This is good advice to beginners who may not realize that the whole story is not told in one document, in one county history, or from one Internet cousin. Being prepared to think "outside the box" reduces our encounters with brick walls. As Emily states "Genealogists who are focused, organized, cautious, thorough, continually learning, thinking as they research, explicit in documenting their work, and patient are more successful."

"Seven Steps to Success" are outlined in David A. Fryxell's chapter on "Finding Your Family Tree Across the U.S. and Canada." These steps fall into the categories of writing down what you know and can find out from relatives, focusing your research, using the Internet, and discovering your local Family History Center. David also gives advice on planning the inevitable research trip, and a list of what to bring. As with any other kind of trip, researching what you want to see before you go avoids arriving at a distant courthouse on the one day that it is closed.

The majority of the book is a resource guide to each state and province in the United States and Canada. It concludes with chapters on African-American and Native American roots, each providing five pages of advice followed by resources and web sites as aids for further research on these ethnic groups. Most of the resources for all the areas can be found through Internet searches and genealogical portals such as www.Cyndislist.com, www.rootsweb.com, and www.FamilySearch.org.

The chapters on the U.S. states are divided into six regions with information about that region at the beginning of the chapter, along with discussions of its major cities in the style of a tourist guide. The highlights of what to visit, where to eat, and where to stay are listed so that a research trip can be interesting for both genealogists and their non-researching companions. Canada is not broken out into regions but details of each province follow a general section of suggested resources.

Following a discussion of the predominant influences of its region, each state is illustrated in a map showing counties and major cities. A sidebar gives the year of statehood, vital records dates and addresses, available censuses and indexes (although no mention of the 1930 census is made), and city directories found at the Family History Library. In these respects it is reminiscent of Ancestry's Red Book and the Everton's Handy Book for Genealogists, but without the county level details.

Information is organized under five categories for each state: "Organizations & Archives," "Resources," "Periodicals," "Web Sites," and "Family History Centers." Organizations and archives are listed with their contact information including website. Resources can be books, audiotape lectures, or CD-ROMs. Periodicals are named along with their publisher, but caution should be used with some of these contacts as the address for the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly is outdated, but the address given for the Society under "Organizations and Archives" is correct. The Family History Centers section gives the city, address and phone number of each Center in the state. This information can also be found at the website <www.FamilySearch.org> and could have been omitted with a reference to that site used instead.

The Family Tree Guide Book is a book for beginners who want a "CliffsNotesTM" version of how to start their search. It is a general North American resource for anyone who is unfamiliar with an area and does not know how to query the Internet for information. The traveler's guidebook to major cities is very useful if going to the cities mentioned. But if a researcher wants quick, easy, and cheap access to the same information, using the Internet directly through a genealogical portal would yield similar results.

    This page last updated 26 December 2007.

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