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The Family Tree Polish, Czech And Slovak Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Family Tree in Eastern Europe Paperback – February 12, 2016
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About the Author
Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A., is a freelance writer, instructor, and internationally recognized lecturer, specializing in Slovak/Eastern European genealogical research. Lisa is the author of nine books, including the award-winning Three Slovak Women, and hundreds of magazine articles. She has been published in Ancestry Magazine, Discovering Family History Magazine, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy Magazine, Family Tree Magazine, Reunions Magazine, NGS Magazine, Western Pennsylvania History Magazine, and The Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. Lisa is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine, and teaches online courses for Family Tree University and The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. She is a frequently invited speaker for national conferences, genealogical and historical societies, and webinars. She has appeared on radio and TV shows in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has had numerous presentations videotaped, and was selected for a live-streamed session at RootsTech 2014. An avid genealogist for 25 years, Lisa also chronicles her family history adventures on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist
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Top Customer Reviews
After an introduction to Polish, Czech & Slovak heritage in Chapter One, Alzo moves on to information that I found applicable in my search for Prussian and German ancestors. For example, Chapter 2 presents a helpful graphic process map for searching for immigrant ancestors:
From “Step 1: Establish the date of arrival for your immigrant ancestor” through “Step 7: Write to archives, churches, or registrars.” The author gives detailed examples for creating timelines and chronologies to help determine that elusive “date of arrival,” followed by charts and forms for analyzing information about collateral relatives and working with cluster research.
When you arrive at the final step and are ready to contact foreign repositories, you’ll find customizable fill-in-the-blank letters for requesting information from Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
Anyone researching immigrant ancestors will find useful techniques applicable to all levels of genealogical research: using research logs, citing sources, organizing data and working with name changes and name variations. Specific sections highlight record groups of interest in immigrant research, such as immigration records, naturalization records, passport applications, newspapers, and immigrant fraternal organization records.
Genealogists with Polish, Czech or Slovak ancestors will find a useful overview of each country’s history, geography, and culture. In addition, the extensive section, “Getting to Know the Old Country,” offers a broad look at Eastern European geography maps, atlases, and gazetteers, which can be puzzling for new researchers.
I especially like the clear examples with callouts that explain the format and foreign language for records used in each country. Additional information on locating and understanding military records is featured in a separate chapter. Seasoned Eastern European researchers will find challenges in the author’s case studies and and advanced research strategies for breaking through Polish, Czech, and Slovak brickwalls. Extensive material in the book’s appendix supplement understanding for the foreign languages, and present a comprehensive listing of useful research repositories in the United States and in Europe.
When I finally do travel to the Old Country, I plan to pull out this book and review the suggestions for a successful research trip In a chapter devoted to “Heritage Travel and On-site Research.” I only wish I could take the author along as a tour guide. I've heard Lisa Alzo speak at genealogy conferences, and she has a great knack for explaining concepts clearly and directly. I highly recommend this book.
Lisa Alzo knows her subject well and has written several other useful books. Disclaimer: I am not related to Lisa, just a fan.