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The Sleuth Book for Genealogists Paperback – September 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Betterway Books (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558705325
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558705326
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Veteran genealogy author Croom has done it again.
Barbara L. Neilon
The author makes a point early in the book about the importantance of reading the footnotes, but most of them are noting fictional detective quotes!
TTop
There are so few intermediate genealogy instruction books out there.
dinska

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Barbara L. Neilon on April 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Veteran genealogy author Croom has done it again. She's produced a "strategy" book for genealogy detective work that is a sure-fire winner for beginning searchers, a delight for mystery lovers, and a valuable learning tool for advanced genealogists.
She sustains the detective theme throughout with quotes from both familiar and famous literary sleuths ranging from Sherlock and Hercule to Mark Twain and Margaret Truman. Best of all, her quotes are not simply window-dressing to begin or end a section, but are carefully woven into her discussion of various topics. Furthermore, her bibliography not only contains a remarkably up-to-date genealogy list, but also the sources of her "detective" quotes and further reading about detective work.
Genealogy is detective work, and Croom makes it fun. Her carefully planned strategies are solid research techniques which all family historians would benefit from implementing.
A glance at the table of contents reveals the wealth of solid information about the research process: defining the problem, developing a plan, broadening the scope, documenting research, gathering information, examining the evidence, arranging ideas in progress reports, completing the project. Additional chapters are devoted to three model searches including one for finding slave ancestors and another for tracing a female line.
The appendices alone are worth the price of the book, Appendix B is an excellent guide to documentation style which incorporates the guidelines of the best available, and current citation information from the MLA Handbook, the Chicago Manual of Style, Elizabeth Mills' Evidence, and Lackey's Cite Your Sources.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Courtney L. Lewis on February 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Emily Anne Croom is an undisputed expert in the field of genealogy but this book is for intermediate to advanced researchers. Based on the premise that you will encounter brick walls in uncovering your ancestors, Croom attempts to give you ideas and strategies using proven techniques. She assumes you have read the basic books (including her own).
Another unfortunate assumption is that she tailors her book for genealogists who are not utilizing one of the numerous software databases and therefore much of her text is spent with helpful hints about organizing your group family sheets and documents. I actually found the numerous "sleuth" quotes from Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie to be very distracting (and I'm a huge mystery fan at that!). Final thought, a good book for the non-computer using, intermediate genealogist.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By dinska on December 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Excuse me while I gush, but if I could give this book 6 stars, I would. Why? There are so few intermediate genealogy instruction books out there. Most books are of either the reference variety or of the beginner variety, even if they are broken down into specialty topics. How many times do publishers think we need to see the same old information? Apparently a lot. However, we do have this gem.
This book mainly introduces the concept of cluster genealogy and shows you several plans of attack as well as case studies. Cluster genealogy, being the approach that you focus on non direct family members of your ancestors as well as direct so that you can fill gaps and find pieces of information that lead you to new ancestor discoveries or provide much needed context to family relationships.
Although the author does accept that you the reader has a basic knowledge of genealogy already, she does start her case studies from the beginning of a genealogical problem, gives you a research outline and follows through. In the end, she gives you the ability and power to apply logic properly toward methodical family research.
She covers a large amount of kinds of records as well as introducing skills in breaking down the facts from them so that they can be applied to research. There are very few genealogical books that once you have acquired information asks "what does this mean?"
Too many genealogy books act as if genealogy is a tidy, pat thing. Sometimes it may be, but mostly it is not. Everytime you find a new piece of information you will have a question about it. Following up on these questions is how you make discoveries.
This book does not cover online genealogical databases. It covers how to apply original source material only.
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