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"If These Walls Could Talk..." An Easy Guide to Tracking Your House's Genealogy Paperback – January 1, 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 131 pages
  • Publisher: Picton Press; 1 edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897253507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897253505
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,226,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Emily Glossbrenner on April 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
As the owners of a 1790s "Federalized" farmhouse in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, my wife Emily and I are understandably very interested in learning more about its history. History, after all, is one of the reasons people are willing to put up with the expense of maintaining and modernizing an antique home.
Over the years we've collected lots of books on the subject. Unfortunately, most of these books are so dull and pedantic that they manage to leach all the joy and fun out of the activity by about page 50. *If These Walls Could Talk*, in contrast, is written with a sprightly, conversational tone by someone who is obviously a top-notch researcher and a lover of old homes.
The illustrations are cleanly drawn and informative, as are the photos. And we particularly liked the "Clue" boxes inserted at appropriate points in the text. Example: "Where can you find original nails used to build your house? Check the attic and garret floors." The style of the nails used, of course, is an important clue when dating a structure. Also, we loved the one that explained why finding charred timbers in your home does *not* mean that there was a fire at one time.
At 130 pages, the book does not present the most exhaustive treatment of the topic. But it offers exactly the level of information many people want and need. It also includes lots of pointers should you want to dig even deeper. There is an excellent bibliography and an appendix that provides contact information for historic preservation offices in every state as well as information on national organizations and leading publications in the field. If the book has a fault, it is that it's index is limited to a single page.
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