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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.