A book by Dr. Trina Boice and Dr. Tracey Long
Towards the end of her life, my mother was very interested in genealogy and was able to take one branch of our family back pretty far using one of the subscription-based genealogy programs. I wish I somehow could get the ability to recover her account, because I guarantee there was an incredible treasure trove of information that is now lost to me. Perhaps one day I will gather up the motivation to dive in, and you couldn’t ask for a better starting point than Ancestry – How to Research Your Family History and Climb Your Family Tree: Genealogy Tips That Honor Your Heritage & Celebrate Family by Dr. Trina Boice and Dr. Tracey Long. While not an exhaustive look at how to do genealogical research, this is a perfect “beginners book” for somebody that would like to take the plunge with no idea on how to get started.
“Use These Powerful Genealogy Techniques to Immediately Begin Finding Information About Your Family Tree! You’re about to discover how to…Learn more about yourself when you learn about your ancestors! This book will help you know what to do with all of those old family photos sitting in a box and how to connect them to real names and dates. You’ll learn how to use popular and free websites to gather information and build your personal family tree. Find and meet living relatives who can help you research and share more information, including stories, photos, and vital documents.In addition to the helpful tips and “how-to” information, you will also be inspired as you read true stories from people just like you who witnessed miracles as they researched their own family information. There are pages filled with fun and creative ways you can celebrate your family and honor your heritage. Even kids will become interested in helping you search for more information about your family!”
This book is a light-hearted series of topics related to genealogy as told through anecdotes, poems, testimonials, and personal stories. Most of the information is based on the experiences of the authors, a pair of twin sisters (both doctors), that became hardcore aficionados of genealogy in College. The main gist of the book is that in our modern world we often forget about our ancestors, and by doing research one can tap into information that could even affect the reader in their current lives. The book dabbles in the idea that heritability of talent is possible, with the example of finding out you are a descendant of a famous military man or artist could inspire the reader, but I have no idea what the scientific consensus of that is. It’s an interesting idea though, and I honestly see it more as an inspirational thing. I’d feel pretty good if I found out I was a descendant of a great historical figure, and I’m sure many others would as well.
One thing I can imagine would turn off some readers to this book is an almost spiritual aspect that the authors interject into the narrative. For me, this was fine as I am a practicing Pagan and ancestor veneration is a large part of my practice. I’m sure they authors came at this from a diametrically opposed worldview to mine, and perhaps would not enjoy my co-opting of a spiritual message intended for others, but I feel like it stands for many and not just Christians. If you are looking for a dry scientific textbook on genealogy, this is very much NOT the book for you.
This book honestly reminds me of the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul books and is a perfect book for somebody to read before bed. There are even little “end of chapter” assignments that, once worked through, I’d imagine would give you a general idea of the whats and whys of what you are looking for with your own geological research. It’s a novel idea and makes this quite the digestible and easy read (considering the page count). I’m probably not the real target demographic of this book in any way for many reasons, but it was well put together and didn’t over-stay it’s welcome.
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I was provided with access to a free version of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all that were involved.