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Unpuzzling Your Past: A Basic Guide to Genealogy [Paperback]

by Emily Anne Croom, Argie Manolis, Leslie Meaux-Druley, Stephanie Redman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)


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There is a newer edition of this item:
Unpuzzling Your Past Unpuzzling Your Past 4.6 out of 5 stars (16)
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Book Description

September 15, 1995 1558703969 978-1558703964 3rd
From talking with people to making discoveries in public records, Croom makes genealogical research easy. In the new edition of her popular guide, Croom has expanded the chapters on public sources, including courthouse records, federal government resources, and computers in genealogy.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If you've ever thought of find your roots, Emily Anne Croom's is the genealogy guide to get you going. She's got sensible chapters on how to get started, the meaning of names, the difference between a family history of dates and a family history of stories, how to gather sources, who to interview, and how to fit it all together. Croom breaks the process into bite-sized pieces to turn it into a fun project that takes shape and grows with each new family scrap.

From School Library Journal

YA-- An excellent "how-to" book for those interested in investigating their family genealogy, and a good reference for students tracing family trees for history class. This workbook, with its reproducible forms of all kinds, will help those just starting out, as well as those who have already begun to gather material, to organize, and to extend their search. A sample interview letter and checklists of family sources are particularly helpful, as is the relationship chart--especially for answering the "second-cousins-twice-removed" kind of question. Appendix C lists addresses and phone numbers of genealogical libraries and archives, by state. Sources in the United Kingdom and Caribbean are also listed, as is U. S. state census data.
- Carolyn Henebry, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, Tex.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Betterway Books; 3rd edition (September 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558703969
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558703964
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,014,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete, concise and excellent for beginners. September 23, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Croom's book offers excellent advice for beginners and genealogists with some experience. The workbook gives helpfuls lists such as "Where Do I find That?" and gives sources for birth, death and marriage information. It also explains the censuses and Soundex very well.
The appendices list archives, libraries and genealogical societies that are very helpful and up to date. There is also an excellent list of available state censuses.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginning genealogists! December 25, 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book by Emily Croom is THE best book I've seen for the beginning genealogist. The information is very concise and well written. I am really impressed by Ms. Croom's use personal examples to explain the research concepts that she is talking about. This book is a MUST for the beginner.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent teaching (and marketing) for the lazy student January 23, 2005
Format:Paperback
Excellent information that I've found very useful as I'm beginning to learn basic research methods. My only complaint is that these editions become outdated fairly quickly and constantly require you to buy a new edition. Which might be understandable except I'm having no problem learning from the edition published in 1983. Much of the information clearly would be unchanged, so there seems little reason (aside from cynical tarket marketing) in plunking down a new $20 every few years only to get some updated appendix information or addresses easily found on the internet. Oh, and save your $16 on the workbook, stop being lazy, fire up your word processor, and create your own worksheets (Croom even generously teaches you how -- except for that cynical tarket marketing part). I really don't hold Croom responsible for this anymore than I would hold my grandmother responsible for not understanding the depths to which the marketing people for corporate publishers will stoop to suck money from both readers and authors. I've talked to Emily Croom via Barnes and Noble University and she's an excellent teacher and an obviously kind and patient woman who is very knowledgeable about genealogy research methods. Trust me, I thought I was unteachable! But do your own legwork, find another way to donate money to Croom for being the genealogy elder that she is, and keep your wallet away from what is clearly a corporate marketing scam of constant updates.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent February 1, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is by far the best book general methods book I have found. I highly recommend it to anyone beginning genealogical research and to those who are veterans, as well. I have given several to friends with a fledgling interest in genealogical research. It is indispensible for the beginner & I highly recommend it to everyone. Organized in a logical, easy to follow manner; not too technical; practical -- just plain good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unpuzzling Your Past Guide October 3, 2008
Format:Paperback
Unpuzzling Your Past is a very helpful guide to finding your ancestors if you are into genealogy. It gives basic facts of where to find names and how to trace family members through the clues you find. It is useful for all levels of research. Forms to record your information are available for copying and use in keeping track of what you find. I especially liked the section on reading the handwriting of the past. It provided incite into how letters used to be formed in old documents and made reading them much easier.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars genealogy research March 12, 2006
By Susan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this is a great book for people getting started with serious genealogy research. The new version (4th edition) gives useful tips for incorporating internet searching
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it April 18, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great resource. Unbelievably Excellent condition. Price was fabulous. Could not have asked for anything more than this. Would buy again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Will use this book. March 18, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has the right things for me to organize the information I have collected but really have not know known how to put into a useable form.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Unpuzzling your past
It's a good book. I like it. I haven't had time to read it all yet, but I will eventually.
Published 10 months ago by Marilyn Leffler
4.0 out of 5 stars Unpuzzling Your Past
This book has provided a wealth of information enabling me to break down some of the brick walls that have plagued me in my research efforts.
Published 11 months ago by Ray W. Connell
5.0 out of 5 stars thank u
thank you exelent book i love it now to start my tree every one should get one i love it
Published 14 months ago by linda.c.west
5.0 out of 5 stars Unpuzzling Your Past
I love Emily Croom's book Unpuzzling Your Past. The author helps anyone who is doing a study of their family history. Read more
Published on February 8, 2011 by Linda E Manley
5.0 out of 5 stars great
This book certainly rates far over the first edition of Unpuzzling your past.
I had purchased one years and years ago for my mother. Read more
Published on January 19, 2011 by karen
5.0 out of 5 stars Unpuzzling Your Past
Unpuzzling The Past is like a jigsaw puzzle, one piece at a time. It gives readers the information and tools to learn to research and achieve the best results. Read more
Published on September 17, 2008 by bjhuffman
4.0 out of 5 stars Genealogy Handbook or Manual
Unpuzzling Your Past is a great reference book for both novice and veteran genealogists. I highly recommend it for all beginners as it's comprehensive and easy to understand. Read more
Published on May 31, 2008 by PJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Unpuzzling Your Past: A Basic Guide to Genealogy
Some good tips, think perhaps better for a novice.
Published on March 8, 2007 by Verna G. Bungay
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