About "Good to Know: A Genealogist's Guide"

A multi-discipline approach to genealogy - A genealogist's way of working generally encompasses several different fields of study at once, thus the more well-rounded your genealogist is concerning various disciplines of study, the better that genealogist will be able to locate your ancestors, and maybe even tell you a little about what they were like.

This blog will discuss what types of things are "Good to Know" for a genealogist or for anyone researching his/her own family tree.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Recommended Reading List

I've been reading quite a bit lately, seeing what I can learn about the time periods I research. A knowledge of history is so important in the field of genealogy. The more you learn about the way people lived their day-to-day lives, the better able you are to understand the choices these individuals made and why.

Amongst the mass of books I've ordered in the past year, I found a wonderful series that focuses on the day-to-day life of people from various time periods in America. They are a treasure trove of information. I'm currently on the third book in the series and it's just as good, if not better than the one before it.

Even though they are written by different authors, the three I've read so far are all very well written, informative & not easy to put down. I highly recommend the "Everyday Life in America Series".

1) "Everyday Life in Early America" by David F. Hawke
2) "The Reshaping of Everyday Life: 1790-1840" By Jack Larkin
3) "Expansion of Everyday Life: 1860-1876" by Daniel Sutherland

If you're interested in Colonial Medicine and Doctors, here's a good book on that topic.
"The Doctor in Colonial America" By Zacharry B. Friedenberg

This book is full of information about how they practiced medicine in the colonial period, which includes the Revolutionary War. It's not one of those books that's filled with medical terms, but accessible & simply understood language by an author who is also a doctor himself. He writes about amputations without anestesia, war wounds, sanitation controversies, bleeding, scurvy (and it's somewhat accidental treatment), dysentary, smallpox, inoculations, strange diagnosis, probable misdiagnosis, treatments that include such things as mercury and so much more...

Happy Reading!


  1. Hi Heather, thanks for reminding us to remember the time and circumstances in which our ancestors lived through. I was reminded of this after watching WDYTYA? for Rosie O'Donnell - looking at her ancestors and what they went through in Ireland and why they left their Mother country. These look like some great resources!

  2. Oh, yes, these are excellent books. I've read or use as resources the first 5 on your list. The last twoe I haven't seen before - and so appreciate the suggestions. Thanks.

  3. Sorry about the typo. It should have read "The last two...."

  4. Thank you for your suggestions, as I will definitely have to check them out.

  5. These books look great; just the kind of thing I like to use to 'flesh out' my family history. I will be reading them. Thanks for the suggestion.