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Genealogy 101: How to Trace Your Family's History and Heritage (National Genealogical Society Guides) Paperback – April 23, 2003

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Product Details

  • Series: National Genealogical Society Guides
  • Paperback: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Rutledge Hill Press; 2nd edition (April 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401600190
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401600198
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Barbara Ann Renick began teaching PAF and computer genealogy classes in 1985 and has become a frequent lecturer at local, regional, and national genealogical conferences. She teaches at the Regional Family History Center in Orange, California. Barbara currently serves as secretary on the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Genealogists and as vice-president for the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She is co-author of the book The Internet for Genealogists: A Beginner's Guide.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is a dynamic and growing membership of individuals and other groups from all over the country -- and the world -- that share a common love of the field of genealogy. NGS is a portal to this fascinating endeavor with its ever growing selection of "how-to" materials, educational offerings, and premier annual conferences. The organization publishes the highly acclaimed NGS Quarterly and the NGS NewsMagazine. NGS has something for everyone!

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
The book seems like a good starting point for someone new like myself.
Reading Fan
It gives the basics for starting the hunt and suggestions for organizing all the information you acquire in your search.
This is a very good book for anyone who is working by the genealogy for their families.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Because genealogy is possibly the most popular hobby or avocation in the U.S. today, there is no shortage of how-to books aimed at the novice - though very few of them are really useful. Still, anyone publishing a new basic textbook faces stiff competition. The more expert and experienced the author, the more accurate the information presented is going to be, and Renick is certainly a widely-known and respected author and lecturer, as well as an experienced teacher. Moreover, she combines attention to the most essential lessons in fundamental genealogical instruction with an easy, informal style, successfully walking the narrow line between textbookishness and superficial offhandedness. She expects her audience to include not only complete novices, but those who attempted unsuccessfully to carry out family research without foreknowledge of methods and sources, and also those who have picked up bits of information on the Internet and don't quite know what to do with them. Of course, any well-written text can also serve as a refresher for the experienced family researcher.

For all these classes of reader, the author makes her key points early and often: Start with yourself. Record everything you find, and everything you don't find. Cite your sources for all of it. Don't throw anything out or disregard information that might be useful later, or to someone else. Don't make assumptions about names or dates or places, or anything else. There are excellent chapters on basic method (including answers to such beginners' questions as "How far back can I go?
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a great book!! And a must-have for beginning and intermediate genealogists. I wish that it had been in the bookstores when I started working on my family history two years ago. Not only the rudimentary basics of querying family members are covered but also strategies for searching online--databases, library catalogs, and repositories.
Renick assists readers in developing a research strategy and tutors in the importance of accurate documentation. Get this book!!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a member of the board of directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Barbara Renick brings a special expertise to Genealogy 101: How To Trace Your Family's History And Heritage. This handy and practical guide covers all of the steps of learning more about one's family, ranging from the tools available to a novice genealogist; to dealing with issues such as culture shock; and the good and bad aspects of using the internet as a resource. Genealogy 101 is strongly recommended as being a superbly organized and presented beginner's instructional manual. Also very highly recommended for the genealogical instructional reference shelf and published by Rutledge Hill Press is Online Roots: How To Discover Your Family's History And Heritage With The Power Of The Internet, the expert and collaborative effort of professional genealogists Pamela Boyer Porter and Amy Johnson Crow.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Reading Fan on February 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am getting into geneology to see if we are related to Cotton Mather, the famous 18th century preacher involved with the Salem witch trials. There has always been a unproven rumor in my family that he is a cousin through my maternal great grandfather Mather's side of the family tree. As a result, knowing nothing about geneology, but being retired and having time to do research, maybe now is the time. I therefore bought a book with the most logical title, Geneology 101, written by an accomplished and enthusiastic geneologist of her own family, Barbera Renick, to get some general idea of how to proceed and what the ground-rules are.

Barbera Reneck has spent the last 30 years looking into her family history and seems almost like an evangelist for geneology. As a result,I found that her book was more information than I was looking for; but, then again, I need the lay of the land, and too much information might not necessarily be bad. She cautions us how important it is to cross-check and analyze information; for example, it is a good idea to double-check dates to make sure a person's age at birth, marriage, first child, and death flow and coordinate properly. Also, one should analyze the relative accuracies of the sources. A case in point is a death certificate, which is likely to be more accurate than an article in the paper covering the death, or a note in the family bible covering the death. She also recommended hooking up with a geneology society, reading geneological articles and newsletters, taking classes, and doing whatever you can do to get connected with the subject matter you are seeking.

I was a little surprised that she seemed to want to find every distant cousin and great great uncle in every branch of the family tree.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Marchinek on February 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Genealogy 101 by Barbara Renick is a College course in a 241 page book. A perfect book for the beginner or experienced family researcher. Each chapter is full of resources like online websites and addresses for societies and other services that every researcher may need.

Barbara Renick then adds her own stories of success and frustration to help drive each lesson home. Her stories re-enforce a point plus add some entertainment. Barbara's advice will help save me time and frustration. Like the saying goes, those who do not know history are bound to repeat it.

I personally have a drawer full of photo copies, notes, letters and pictures from 20 years of gathering little tidbits of my family history from many different family members. Sometimes the thought of organizing this information seems so daunting a task. Where do I start?

After reading this book, I feel very prepared and confident of where to start. I have a plan and so many resources that my tree should rapidly grow with my ancestors and their stories. I see this book becoming a well worn tool and companion on my genealogical journey that can now begin.
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