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New Genealogy Book at the Library

genealogy_quickstepsThis new, full-color book, Genealogy QuickSteps,  by Marty Matthews and Bobbi Sandberg is meant for those just beginning their genealogy research as well as a nice review for the more experienced researcher.  There is a great chapter on how to organize your documents, photos and other papers - and then how to analyze each item to see what kind of information may be found in them.  Online resources are examined and tips for generally searching the Internet for family history is given.

While none of these topics are examined in great detail, this is a easy-to-understand overview of researching genealogy that won't overwhelm those new to the hobby!

Find this book in the Genealogy section on the Upper Level with with call number 929.1 M.

More New Genealogy Books!

W. Daniel Quillen has written an entire series of handbooks called Quillen's Essentials of Genealogy Tracing Your European Roots istracing_european_roots Volume 5 of this set. The author starts with the basics of research common to all countries but then moves on to the various individual countries in the British Isles and continental Europe.  Chapters are dedicated to research in Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Ireland, Germany, France, Portugal and Spain.  There is a chapter combined for Czech and Slovak research. Find this book in the Genealogy Collection on the Upper Level with the call number of 929.107 Q.




family_history_detectiveFamily History Detective: a step-by-step guide to investigating your family tree by Desmond Walls Allen is a basic "how to" beginning genealogy book.  Although brief, it includes hints for planning a family reunion, how to cite your sources in papers, and some smaller examples of commonly used forms. Find this book in the Genealogy Collection on the Upper Level with the call number of 929.1 A.






discover_your_family_history_onlineThere are quite a few books published on finding your ancestors on the Internet.  Nancy Hendrickson has written a new one called Discover Your Family History Online.  Although she covers all of the standard topics such as census records, military & land records, births & deaths, and the ever-popular subscription databases, I especially enjoyed her coverage of how to use Google, especially Google Earth in conjunction with other maps, to research your family history.  At the end of her book, she devotes a chapter on using social media sites to connect with distant relatives.  Included in the appendix are examples of various forms used to organize genealogy data.  This book is located in the Genealogy Collection on the Upper Level - 929.102 H.

New Genealogy Books at the Library

Several new genealogy books have recently been added to our circulating collection on the Upper Level.

censuspocketreferenceThe Genealogist's Census Pocket Reference from Allison Dolan and the Editors of Family Tree Magazine is a small, fact-filled book that covers all Federal Censuses, including the newly-released 1940 Census.  It includes chapters on Census Maps; questions asked on each census; the instructions given to the enumerators; census abbreviations; state and territory censuses and special schedules.  It also gives information on various censuses from Canada and several European countries along with web links to those available online.  Find this handy guide in the Genealogy Collection with the call number of 929.2 D.





Mastering Online Genealogy by W. Daniel Quillen is one in a series called Quillen's Essentials of Genealogy.  As the title indicates, this book introduces the reader to the various tools researchers use when finding their ancestors online.  Recommendations for computers are given and there are chapters on fee-based subscription services as well as free ones.  There is an entire section of the book set aside for online government records, and the final chapter is a review of various genealogy software programs.  This book is on the Upper Level in the Genealogy Collection with the call number of 929.102 Q.

1940 Census Index Complete on Ancestry

I am reposting this article from the Site.  It was created by Paul Rawlins on August 3, 2012.

1940 U.S. Census: 50 States, 134 Million Names, 1 Index

"Today is all about numbers.

The first is 100, as in 100 percent of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census is now indexed. That means all 50 states are available to search to your heart’s content.

Our indexing came up with 134,395,545 people counted. Most reports on the 1940 census give the U.S. population as 132 million and change, so you may be wondering where the extra 2 million people came from. Two words: Puerto Rico. OK, and Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Panama Canal Zone. They were all included in the 1940 U.S. census and add another 2.1 million or so records to the final count."

Using Indexes for the 1940 Census

When the 1940 Census of the United States was released this past April, researchers had to browse the various locations to find their relatives' names.  However, indexers were already at work to make searchable indexes for all states.  Right now, there are two distinct searchable indexes for genealogists to use.  The first one is a joint effort by The National Archives, Proquest, FamilySearch,, and  Volunteers are used for this project and have already completed 96% of the country.  You may see the progress and search the census on their web pages - or

The second index is being done by  So far, approximately 50% of the states have been indexed and are searchable through their site -

What is interesting for researchers is that different states have been completed for each index.  For example, Michigan may be searched online at Ancestry, but is only 69% done on the National Archives Joint Project.  Thus, if you can't find the state you need on one product, please try the other index.  Also, if both indexes have completed the state you need, be sure to check both of them for your ancestor.  I already found several mistakes in name transcription on one index that were not present on the other one.

New States Added to Ancestry's 1940 Census Index


This past Friday, July 13th, Ancestry added an additional fifteen states to their database of 1940 U.S. Census indexed states.  Happily, Michigan is included in this latest group!  Other states recently  indexed for 1940 include: 

  • California
  • Washington
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • Oregon
  • Alabama
  • Indiana
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Arizona
  • New Hampshire
  • Wisconsin
  • Montana
  • Hawaii

This now brings the total of states indexed to 25.  View Ancestry's site for the 1940 Federal Census at free of charge.

New Resource for Free Online Genealogy Books


I found a great resource on Dick Eastman's Genealogy Blog today.  It is a new list of Genealogy Book Links put together by Mollie Lynch, a librarian from Clarkston, Michigan.  Here is a portion of the announcement from Mr. Eastman:

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

"This is a great new online tool! Mollie Lynch of Clarkston, Michigan, is a retired librarian who decided to assist people wishing to find genealogy books. She knew that thousands of American biographies, genealogies and history books have been digitized and made available on the Internet, usually free of charge. However, there was no single resource of "what is available and where." Mollie decided to create that resource.

Mollie's new web site,, provides links to freely available digital books, focusing on American biographies, genealogies, and history books. The site now contains more than 30,000 links from more than 35 sources (only the top sources are listed on the site). New books are bing added to the list daily. The current focus is on surnames, directories, vital records, and identifying smaller sites with local area-specific books."

Click on the newletter link above to read the entire article - and then try Mollie's great site!

Genealogical Collection at Library of Michigan to Move to Archives of Michigan

Dick Eastman announced in his blog posting today (May 12, 2012) that the Genealogical Collection at the Library of Michigan will be moving to the Archives of Michigan.  This move will take place in mid-July, according to his sources.  To read his complete article, please see this posting.  State Librarian, Nancy Robinson is quoted as saying "The library’s Michigan materials will remain available to all interested in using them. Both library and archives materials will continue to be available to researchers through a common catalogue."

Progress on the 1940 Indexing


Volunteers as well as paid employees are making great progress in indexing the 1940 Census on a state-by-state basis. Here is the progress as of May 31st:

 Ancestry Library Edition: (In-Library use only!) You can search name indexes for Delaware, Maine, Nevada and Washington, DC.  You can search 14 states/territories by your ancestor's name: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Kansas, Utah and Wyoming.

To help index the census at Family Search, visit their special website - and sign up today!



New PBS Series on Genealogy

Henry_Louis_GatesWith the continuing popularity of the NBC show, Who Do You Think You Are, another series of interest for those researching their family history is due to start this Sunday evening, March 25 at 8:00 pm on PBS (Detroit DPTV.)  This ten-part program is called Finding Your Roots and is hosted by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., prominent American genealogist .  He will be tracing the ancestry of 25 notables, including Samuel L. Jackson, Linda Chavez, John Legend, Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Cory Booker, Barbara Walters and Condoleezza Rice.  Sunday's premier episode studies the family history of Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr.