From Library Journal
A companion to Croom's Unpuzzling Your Past: A Basic Guide to Genealogy (Betterway Bks., 1989), this volume offers a beyond-the-basics guide to tracing family history. Croom explains how to research, locate, and use church and funeral home records; government records at federal, state, and local levels, including the U.S. Serial Set and the Territorial Papers of the United States; court records; newspapers; and maps. She joins other recent writers in her "cluster genealogy" approach of including the broad family, neighborhoods, and the historical context in the research strategy. Chapters on African American and Native American genealogy provide timely information for the library reference desk and individual research, and librarians will applaud the inclusion of material on libraries and archives and how to use them. Appendixes include forms, dates, Roman and Arabic numerals, and a list of publishers, while an essential index helps to bring the book together. Despite several omissions and errors, Croom's latest volume is as useful as her earlier handbook. Recommended for all libraries providing genealogy guidance and for the home market.
Judith P. Reid, Library of Congress
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Croom is a genealogist of excellent repute and the author of six genealogical volumes dealing with her own family roots in Kentucky and Tennessee, plus the much respected publication, now in its second edition, Unpuzzling the Past (Betterway, 1989).
Croom's latest endeavor, The Genealogist's Companion, is an intermediate-level how-to genealogy book that explains and details diverse collections and libraries within the U.S. and the records that may be found within them. It is a companion to Unpuzzling the Past and does not repeat basic research sources or methods from that book. In addition to covering government records, cemetery records, newspapers, city directories, and other sources, there are chapters on African American and Native American genealogy. Appendixes include lists of National Archives branches, libraries (including rental libraries), and publishers of genealogical materials.
The Genealogist's Companion must be compared with Greenwood's Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy (2d ed., Genealogical Publishing, 1990). Greenwood (three times the length of Croom) is much more detailed, provides forms, and gives essential information on all major sources of research, while including valuable explanations on probate, land, and court records. Croom is written in a conversational tone so that the reader seems to be receiving guidance from a close friend who has already trodden the path that the reader is about to start. Because the volume is easy reading and instructive at the same time, it will be a very popular choice for public libraries.