My Genealogy Books

This is my page of genealogy reference material. I’m sharing this with you because you might be thinking about building your own reference library and want to know what’s available. Updated 19 Feb 2022.

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.

General Genealogy

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.

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.

Joseph, Bob. (2018). 21 things you may not know about the Indian Act: helping Canadians make reconciliation with Indigenous peoples a reality. Port Coquitlam: Indigenous Relations Press. If we ever hope to understand Canadian history, we cannot examine it without understanding the Indian Act.

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.

Mills, E. M. (2017). Evidence explained: citing history sources from artifacts to cyberspace. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. 3rd edition revised. This is one of the manuals of genealogy and a must have for citation references.

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.

BC Genealogy

Barman, Jean. (2010). The West beyond the West: a history of British Columbia. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. If you buy only one history reference book for the province, make it this one. I have been borrowing and re-borrowing it from the library and have finally taken the plunge to buy my own copy. It’s so good I’m thinking to do a book review.

Kilian, Crawford (2020). Go do some great thing: the Black Pioneers of British Columbia. Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing. I am working on a project about a Black pioneer of BC who was so prominent and successful he was elected to office in the early 1900s. Do you know his story? I didn’t. In researching him and his family, I looked for authored works about black history in BC. Kilian’s book might be the first standalone publication on this subject, and it was published in 2020. As I write, that’s only two years ago and in my opinion the word overdue isn’t strong enough.

Saskatchewan Genealogy

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.