This is my page of genealogy reference material. It’s one part library and one part book review. I’m sharing this with you because you might be thinking about building your own reference library and want to know what’s available. Here’s my offer: if you think one of these books might be something you’d like to add to your own library but can’t do a virtual page flip, ask me. I’m happy to help.
And if you do decide to click a pic and buy a book, please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. (This website costs hundreds of dollars annually – it’d be nice if one day it might pay for itself.)
Atlases and Maps
Burpee, L. (1927). An historical atlas of Canada. Toronto, ON: Thomas Nelson and Sons, Limited. Contains maps of the railways of Canada, among other things.
Harris, R. (1987). Historical Atlas of Canada, Volumes I, II, III. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press. Oversized, full colour maps of Canadian history from 1800 to present day. A must have resource for the Canadian genealogist.
Berry, K. D. (2018). The family tree toolkit: a comprehensive guide to uncovering your ancestry and researching genealogy. Skyhorse Publishing. This is a great beginners book for USA-based research. What I liked about it were the special sections on Chinese, African American, and Japanese American, and Native American ancestry records.
Board for Certification of Genealogists. Genealogy standards – 50th anniversary edition. A must-have reference guide for all serious genealogists.
Hey, D. (1993) The Oxford guide to family history. Oxford: Oxford University Press. This should actually be titled “the guide to British family history” but other than that quibble, it’s a thorough, dense book with chapters on family names, mobility and stability, family and society, and a guide to English records.
Hull, L. (2006). Tracing your family history: the complete guide to locating your ancestors and finding out where you came from. Pleasantville, NY: Reader’s Digest Association. This is good for beginner genealogists.
Levenick, D. M. (2015). How to archive family photos: a step-by-step guide to organize and share your photos digitally. Cincinatti: Family Tree Books. This is the all in one guide to archiving family photos with sections on Organize, Digitize, and Create.
Obee, D. (2010). Destination Canada: a Genealogical guide to immigration records. Altona, MB: Friesens Corporation. Dave Obee is a legend in Canadian genealogy – this is his highly understandable and comprehensive guide to immigration records.
Renick, B. (2003). Genealogy 101. Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press. A great resource for beginners and experts, but could use some updating in the digital section.
Smith, D. (2016). Organize your genealogy: strategies and solutions for every researcher. Cincinatti: Family Tree Books. I was pretty pleased to see Drew and I agree on nearly everything about organizing genealogy!
Ulrich, K. (2006). How to write your life story. Pleasantville, NY: Ivy Press Limited. I like how Karen’s organized this book into three parts: generating ideas, organizing and expressing your ideas, and then finishing touches.
Barry, B. (2000). People places: The dictionary of Saskatchewan place names. Regina: People Places Publishing Ltd. Where did the name “Lac Vert” come from? OK, Green Lake, but did you know the hamlet was located on land owned by George Porterfield? How about “Gravelbourg”? (Named for Father Louis-Joseph-Pierre Gravel, d. 1926.) A fun book with clues you might not find in other places, even with mighty Google.
Duerkop, J. (2009). Saskatoon’s history in street names. A fascinating book, filled with the history of the people who lived in Saskatoon and some of the quirks that always happen in street naming.
Flaman, B. (2013). Architecture of Saskatchewan: A visual journey 1930-2011. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center. A beautiful coffee-table book with multiple plates of historic buildings in Saskatchewan, from quonset huts to distinctive family homes. In genealogy, I’m not just interested in people’s basic facts – I want to know what they saw, who they were, what they experienced, and it’s books like this that give me visuals.
Hanowski, L. M. Tracing your Aboriginal ancestors in the Prairie Provinces: A guide to the records and how to use them. 2006. Regina, SK.: Saskatchewan Genealogical Society. This comprehensive text is a rich resource, filled with clearly written and logical advice on tracking down sources, with hints on how to ask for information that’s not available online. This isn’t just for Aboriginal roots – I found Chapter 1 – How to begin family history research valuable. We all need more tools in the toolkit, and this book would be a great addition to the Canadian researcher’s library. NOTE: This book is hard to find. Try the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society.
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society. Tracing your Saskatchewan ancestors: A guide to the records and how to use them. (2000). Like Tracing your Aboriginal ancestors in the Prairie Provinces, above, an essential guide to SK genealogy. NOTE: Also hard to find. There’s a link above. Also try the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society to see if they may be able to direct you.