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In every field of study there is one book that rises above the rest in stature and authority and becomes the standard work in the field. In genealogy that book is Val Greenwood's Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy.
Arguably the best book ever written on American genealogy, it is the text of choice in colleges and universities or wherever courses in American genealogy are taught. Of the dozens of textbooks, manuals, and how-to books that have appeared over the past twenty-five years, it is the one book that is consistently praised for setting a standard of excellence.
In a word, The Researcher's Guide has become a classic. While it instructs the researcher in the timeless principles of genealogical research, it also identifies the various classes of records employed in that research, groups them in convenient tables and charts, gives their location, explains their uses, and evaluates each of them in the context of the research process. Designed to answer practically all the researcher's needs, it is both a textbook and an all-purpose reference book. And it is this singular combination that makes The Researcher's Guide the book of choice in any genealogical investigation. It is also the reason why if you can afford to buy only one book on American genealogy in a lifetime, this has to be it.
This 3rd edition incorporates the latest thinking on genealogy and computers, specifically the relationship between computer technology (the Internet and CD-ROM) and the timeless principles of good genealogical research. It also includes a new chapter on the property rights of women, a revised chapter on the evaluation of genealogical evidence, and updated information on the 1920 census. Little else has changed, or needs to be changed, because the basics of genealogy remain timeless and immutable. This 3rd edition of The Researcher's Guide, then, is a clear, comprehensive, and up-to-date account of the methods and aims of American genealogy--an essential text for the present generation of researchers--and no sound genealogical project is complete without it.
"Recommended as the most comprehensive how-to book on American genealogical and local history research."--Library Journal
"Greenwood's guide has long been regarded as the best of its kind, a text and reference work for anyone who is doing American genealogical research beyond the beginner's level...Purchase of Greenwood's guide is recommended to any serious genealogist, and every genealogical library should have this latest edition on its shelves."--The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (July 2000), p. 229.
"...this work is still the single best reference and text for the serious beginning genealogist."--American Reference Books Annual (1991).
"Greenwood's book is easy to read and covers a broad enough spectrum of resources that readers are equipped to get started with a minimum investment of study time. For those who want to learn how to build pedigrees and reconstruct family groups, tying them from one generation to the next, this book is an excellent guide...This book also has value to other researchers. Historians, demographers, and sociologists studying people in the past will find that this book will provide important guidance in assessing which records will provide the facts needed. Government document librarians will appreciate having this book to refer to in answering questions about censuses and other sources created by national and state government. It is still one of the best guidebooks on genealogical research available. It is an important title to include in collections of libraries with patrons interested in genealogical research."--Government Publications Review, Vol. 18(1991).
"Seventeen years ago this Reviewer wrote: 'It is impossible to recommend this book too highly. It is indispensable for anyone interested in genealogical research.' The verdict stands."--The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 34, No. 3 (July-September 1990).