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Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 2nd Edition (Red Book: American State, Country & Town Sources) Hardcover – 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0916489472 ISBN-10: 0916489477 Edition: 2nd rev.

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Product Details

  • Series: Red Book: American State, Country & Town Sources
  • Hardcover: 858 pages
  • Publisher: Ancestry.com; 2nd rev. edition (1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0916489477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0916489472
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.7 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,373,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Organized by state, Ancestry's Red Book helps you find information-rich resources for all kinds of records all across America.

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Customer Reviews

While this book is a bit pricey, it is worth it.
Rebecca Neilson
I have found its seemingly inexhaustible supply of information as to how to obtain records for genealogical research invaluable.
Gary Biggs
This book is a must-have resource for anyone researching their genealogy!
Carol Anderson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

131 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 9, 1998
Format: Hardcover
So you're making a little progress in your family history research, having interviewed most of your older relatives. NOW you need to begin looking at the records created in the localities where your ancestors once lived! For US researchers, the RED BOOK is an essential reference book!
NEED TO KNOW -- WHEN a county was created? WHERE the probate records are kept? WHAT the migration patterns were? IF there are surviving church records of christening, marriage and burial? HOW the county boundaries changed over the years?
The RED BOOK has the answers! I always turn to it when helping someone at our local LDS Family History Center. The RED BOOK gets you quickly up to speed on what to expect when researching a particular state.
This one is on my "A" list!!! Myrt
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75 of 77 people found the following review helpful By K J Bedford on December 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book by accident, actually. I already had the Handybook for Genealogists and considered the two to be too close in content to justify the expenditure. I received an offer for the purchase of the Red Book at a discount and jumped on it, only to realize later what I had done. I thought about returning it, once it arrived.
However, after sitting down and doing a side-by-side comparison of the two books, I realized that there is some very different information between the two. Both are quite useful, and if I ever question information in one (come on, that's what we DO) I have a second source to confirm the first. I find myself reaching for this book time after time, and not just to confirm info from the Handybook. There are certain things I find easier to understand in the Red Book, not to mention the different perspective offered.
This book is, simply put, indispensible!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Genealogists receive initial contact addresses for records in all 50 states and an idea of what information is kept where! I have used mine to pieces. However it's due for an update to include emails and websites.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By L. Schultz on April 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Even though the Internet contains a wealth of genealogical information, this book is still a valuable asset. There are so many states and counties that do not have information on-line that to ignore this resource is like ignoring road signs when you're lost.
Jan 2010: Still true. The Internet is catching up with many local municipalities. But money restrictions keep many counties on the far end of the digital spectrum. Please use this guide to get you in contact with many genealogy resources. The price of a stamp and four weeks may be all that stands in your way of discovering a long lost relative.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By FieldstoneReader on March 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a book I keep at my fingertips. When I need to research a state I am not familiar with this is my first stop. It has maps and provides an outline of all the resources available. I only wish they went one level deeper and provided information on when towns were incorporated.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Garner on July 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is loaded with facts. If a researcher needs information from several states to track down an ancestor, this book has it all. The book is organized by state and gives the sources in each state for specific local records. One of the most useful features is its bibliographic reference on background sources for more detailed information on individual states.
Casual researchers who need information from only one state would probably find this book to be "too much information".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must have for the family historian. Gives all the details needed to figure out not only the place, but where it legally was in time. Book in excellent condition, well organized.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christine Sharbrough on June 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do not let the publication date deter you from ordering this book. It is one of the top five I personally recommend for all levels of family historians and researchers. On the plus side, the book is comprehensive in scope, covering all fifty of the United States alphabetically, even though they may not have been states when record keeping began. The chapters are written by authors specializing in that state's records.

Each chapter begins with a brief (less than two pages) essay on the formation of the state. The remainder of each chapter is broken down into topical headings: Vital Records; Census Records (Federal/State/Territorial and associated schedules; Background Sources (there is very little in American genealogy that someone has not written a book about); Maps; Land Records; Probate Records; Court Records; Tax Records; Cemetery Records; Church Records, Military Records; and a section on Periodicals, Newspapers and Manuscript Collections. The chapters conclude with a listing of Archives, Libraries and Societies with substantial holdings, a section on Special Focus Categories (immigration and special ethnic groups), and County resources.

Finally, a map of the current county boundaries for that state is included with addresses of the county seats, date formed/parent county/ies; birth/marriage/death and land/probate/court beginning dates.

Now, for the downsides. Unfortunately, almost as soon as a book goes to press with web addresses and emails, they are outdated. Such is the case with this book. However, this is a minor point since the institutions listed within the book are major ones with substantial holdings and easily "Google-able." In addition, the state essays that are at the beginning of each chapter are not consistent in their coverage or quality.
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