Half A Dozen Family History / Genealogy / Family Tree Books

Books Published for Family Historians and Genealogists

Are you interested in family history books / genealogy books?

Family History / genealogy - is one of the most popular hobbies in the world today.

Online research facilities and information are making data ever more available. It is becoming easier and easier to research one's genealogy from home ~ and to buy family history books / genealogy books, online, from home!

Books are still very, very useful ~ as well as being a great joy to read!

Of course, it can be great fun to browse the shelves of your local bookstore, or second-hand bookshop, but, if you would rather buy your family history / genealogy books online, then you don't need to leave the comfort of your own armchair.

Yes, luckily, the Internet can help when choosing books to aid you with your research. Many genealogy books are available to purchase online ~ either new, or used.

Book reviews can be accessed and various titles compared.

'Amazon' is one site which sells a variety of such books.You could also try ebay.

Here are six family history / genealogy books, which come up first on 'Amazon', if one seeks the 'most relevant' items on their list of genealogy publications.

These are not, necessarily, the best, or the best-selling, books in the genre. Indeed, if you search Amazon under 'family history genealogy', you will be offered a different 'top six'. This is simply a selection of what is on offer.

Let us have a look at them, and see what has been published, with family historians and genealogists in mind!

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A Half-Dozen Family History Books:

  1. How to Do Everything Genealogy by George G. Morgan (Apr 9, 2009)
  2. The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy: A complete resource to using the Web to trace your family history (Everything Series) by Kimberly Powell (Oct 17, 2008)
  3. Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History by Megan Smolenyak and Wall to Wall Media (Mar 4, 2010)
  4. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy, 2nd Edition by Christine Rose and Kay Germain Ingalls (Jan 3, 2006)
  5. True Miracles with Genealogy: Help from Beyond the Veil by Anne Christine Bradshaw (Sep 16, 2010)
  6. The Family Tree Problem Solver: Proven Methods for Scaling the Inevitable Brick Wall by Marsha Hoffman Rising (Jan 2005)

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How to Do Everything Genealogy - by George G. Morgan

Published: April 9th, 2009, by McGraw-Hill Osborne Media. This is the 2nd edition.

Paperback and Kindle currently available from Amazon.

Vital statistics from Amazon:

~ Paperback
~ 456 pages"

~ 9" x 7.3" x 1"
~ 'Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds'

~ Kindle Edition
~ File Size: 11662 KB

There are currently seven Amazon customer reviews and reviewers give this item an average score of 4.9 stars out of 5. Six readers gave it five stars.

It is currently ranked at number 2 in Amazon category: 'Books > Reference > Genealogy > Online Research'.
And it is ranked number 4 in Amazon category: 'Books > Reference > Genealogy > General'.

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Other books by George G Morgan:

~ 'The Official Guide to Ancestry.com' [2008]
~ 'Your Family Reunion: How to Plan It, Organize It, and Enjoy It' [2001]
~ 'How to Do Everything with Your Genealogy' [2004]
~ 'The Genealogy Forum on America Online: The Official User's Guide' [1998]

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The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy - by Kimberly Powell

Full Title: 'The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy: A complete resource to using the Web to trace your family history (Everything Series)' by Kimberly Powell. The sub-title is 'The About.com Guide to Genealogy'.

This is a guide to online records for the genealogist / family historian, from 'the About.com Guide to Genealogy' ~ Kimberly Powell.

Paperback and Kindle currently available from Amazon.

Vital statistics from Amazon:
Published by Adams Media, October 17th, 2008
~ Paperback:
~ 304 pages
~ Measures: 9.1" x 7.8" x 0.8"
~ 'Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds'

It is currently ranked number 19 at Amazon in 'Books > Reference > Genealogy > Online Research'.

Kindle Edition ~ 885 KB
~ Published September 30th, 2010, by Adams Media
~'Sold by: Amazon Digital Services'

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Although the 2008 edition is the second book on this Amazon list, an updated version is also now available ~ published January 18th, 2011. The sub-title of the new one is 'The About.com Guide to Online Genealogy'

Vital statistics from Amazon for the latest edition:
Published by Adams Media, January 18th, 2011. This is the 2nd edition.

~ Paperback: 304 pages
~ 'Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds'
~ Measures: 9.1 x 7.9 x 0.8

It is currently ranked number 6 at Amazon in 'Books > Reference > Genealogy > Online Research'.

The original 2008 version has 16 Amazon customer reiews, who gave it an average score of 4+ stars out of 5. Eleven readers gave it five stars.

Another Kimberley Clark genealogy book is: 'Everything Family Tree Book: Research and Preserve Your Family History'. The second edition was published, 'completely updated', in 2006.

Kimberley Powell

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Who Do You Think You Are?- by Megan Smolenyak

Full Title: 'Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History' by Megan Smolenyak and Wall to Wall Media

Hardcover and Paperback currently available from Amazon.

The hardcover version of the book, published by Viking Adult on March 4th, 2010, is being sold, by Amazon, at a 'bargain price'.
Amazon explains: 'This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such.'

Current pricing information:
List Price: $24.95
Current Amazon Bargain Price: $9.98.
There are also, currently, some third party sellers:
~ 12 new from $8.15
~ 13 used from $6.72

Vital Statistics from Amazon:
~ Hardcover
~ 224 pages
~ Measures: 9.2" x 6.2" x 1.1"
~'Shipping Weight: 1 pound'

The paperback, published by Penguin (Non-Classics) on December 28th, 2010, is currently being sold, by Amazon, for $9.63 (list price:$15.00)

It is also now available from 3rd party sellers:
~ 26 new from $7.99
~ 10 used from $5.91

Vital statistics from Amazon:
~ Paperback
~ 224 pages
~ Measures: 8.1" x 5.4" x 0.7"
~ 'Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces'

There are currently 24 customer reviews and the average score given is 4.9 stars out of 5. Twenty-one readers gave it five stars. It is ranked, with Amazon, at number 7 in 'Books > Reference > Genealogy > General'.

The Amazon 'product description' states:
"There is no such thing as an ordinary family. Each one has its own stories ...." and "With the 'Who Do You Think You Are? companion guide', you will learn how to chart your own journey into your past and discover the treasures hidden in your family tree".
Describing the author, it notes:
"Megan Smolenyak is the chief family historian and spokesperson for Ancestry.com, the largest genealogical company in the world". 


Also by Megan Smolenyak

Who Do You Think You Are? - Hardcover / Paperback

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy - by Christine Rose and Kay Germain Ingall

This is the second edition and it was published on January 3rd, 2006 ~ the first was published in 1997.

Paperback currently available from Amazon.

Vital statistics from Amazon:
Published by Alpha on January 3, 2006. This is the 2nd edition.
~ Paperback
~ 384 pages
~ Measures: 9" x 7.3" x 0.9"
~'Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds'

There are currently twenty Amazon customer reviews, which give an average score of 4.7 stars out of 5. Fifteen readers gave it five stars.

It is ranked number 11, by Amazon, in 'Books > Reference > Genealogy > General'.

The Amazon 'product description' calls it 'user-friendly'.
Elizabeth Shown Mills, editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, calls it 'The single best ‘beginner’s guide’ in the genealogical field'.

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Other 'Complete Idiot' books relating to 'family history':

~ Online Genealogy
~ Writing Your Family History

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Other books by Christine Rose:

~ Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures [Paperback] 2004
~ Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case [Paperback] 2005
~ Courthouse Indexes Illustrated [Paperback] 2006
~ Nicknames: Past and Present [Paperback] 2007
~ Genealogical Proof Standard [Paperback] 2009

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Related 'Complete Idiot' Guides

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True Miracles with Genealogy - by Anne Christine Bradshaw

Full Title: 'True Miracles with Genealogy: Help from Beyond the Veil' by Anne Christine Bradshaw

Published by Createspace; September 16th, 2010.

Paperback vital statistics:
134 pages
9" x 6" x 0.3"

Paperback and Kindle currently available from Amazon.

This is not your average family history book!

Amazon's 'product description' mentions 'extraordinary experiences', 'spiritual moments' and 'a world of spirits'.

I have heard of people using mediums as part of their genealogical research. This is the book for them ~ or for others, who have considered such an idea, or those with minds open to new ideas.

Maybe this is not for everyone, but many people will be intrigued by it..

A video, related to this book, may be viewed below ~ title: 'True Miracles With Genealogy'

Of the six customer reviews, currently on Amazon, five gave it five stars out of five and one gave it four stars.

A couple of quotes from the reviews:

' ...a truly inspired idea to compile those 'goose bump' moments in genealogy research ... ' [Tessa Loyd]
' ... dozens of personal accounts of individuals who have received divine help ... ' [soutahmom]


'True Miracles With Genealogy'

The Family Tree Problem Solver - by Marsha Hoffman Rising

Full Title: 'The Family Tree Problem Solver: Proven Methods for Scaling the Inevitable Brick Wall' by Marsha Hoffman Rising

Via Amazon, this book is currently only available from third party sellers. At present, prices are from $36.95, for a used copy, and from $39.97 for a new copy.

This is for a paperback, published by Family Tree Books in January 2005.
Vital statistics:
~ Measurements: 10.8" x 8.4" x 0.8"
~ The 'shipping weight', provided by Amazon, is: 1.3 pounds

There are currently 20 Amazon customer reviews. Of these, 13 gave this book 5 stars out of 5. Three gave it 4 stars. Two gave it 3 stars and two gave it only 2 stars. It did not receive any one-star reviews. On average, it earned 4.3 stars out of 5.

Some comments from customer reviews:
'A first-rate textbook'
'Valuable strategies for novice and experienced researchers alike'
'Inspired me to keep trying'
'A book serious genealogists should own'


The two least satisfied customers said:
'No Index'
'Too narrow in focus, and dated'

The 'too dated' comment was made in 2006.
However, what appears to be a new version is due to be published, by Family Tree Books, next month (April 27th, 2011), which should improve matters in that area.

The 'product description' on Amazon announces that this volume will help 'readers find proven methods for overcoming ... 'brick walls'.'

Disclaimer and Advice

Please excuse any errors that I may have made ~ thank you.

I cannot guarantee, or take responsibility for, any of the details in this article. If you decide to buy books - or any other item - online, then it is your responsibility to check information, availability, prices, quality, sellers' details, etc, etc.

Please be sure that the item you order is the right item for you.

If buying 'used' and / or from a third party, do check out the seller's reputation and check the description of the condition of the book, before ordering and before parting with your money.

Remember that you may be able to find some very useful books at second hand stores or charity shops ~ though some information might be out of date ~ and you should be able to borrow some great ones from your library, too. So you may buy some bargains, or borrow some books for free!

However, if you want your own copies, at hand, to refer to whenever you need them, then it is a good idea to have just a few good quality, up-to-date, reference publications to hand and there are plenty of 'Family History' books / 'Genealogy' books, available to choose from, and to buy, online.

The books described in this article are just the tip of the iceberg ~ there are many, many books available on the subject of family history / genealogy.

I personally like the 'Who Do You Think You Are?' publications.

It is always worth checking which books are popular and then seeking out the most recent version, as they can become outdated quite quickly.

On the other hand, by purchasing a slightly older version, you may sometimes acquire a real bargain.

Happy hunting!!!


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Comments 6 comments

Garnetbird 5 years ago

I sell books everyday on the Amazon website as an authorized seller; Amazon has everything! I love ancestry research and have gone to many of the site you have mentioned. Good hub! ( I found out, among other things, that one of my ancestors came to the East Coast in 1642; another came from Prussia years later). So fascinating.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Garnetbird :)

Thanks for visiting!

Family History is addictive and fascinating. I love it. And I love reading family history books ~ whether they are 'how to' books, or stories of other people's research and discoveries. Fantastic!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Thank you, Trish. My maternal grandmother wrote a wonderful genealogy on her side of the family; but I have often wondered how I could obtain information on my father's side. Excellent hub.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Genna :)

One day something will suddenly reveal itself, I'm sure :)


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 4 years ago from Central Virginia

What a great resource this hub is. As an amateur reesearcher (for 30 years), I wish I had been gifted such a list many years ago. Great job!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi lrc7815 :)

Thank you! I have been working on my tree for 30+ years too. It's a great hobby!

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