Blog post

Saturday, May 20, 2017

(Up to) Five Faves Geneameme

Jill Ball at Geniaus has kicked off another geneameme – Five Faves.

To participate, just share a blog post “sharing details of five books written by others that you have found most useful in your geneactivities” and let Jill know about it.

The types of books that I find useful are the ones that give me ideas or provide essential reference material.

I found the first two easy to pick:

Family History Nuts and Bolts:
Problem-Solving through Family Reconstitution Techniques
by Andrew Todd, third edition

This little book was an instant favourite on my first reading. Don’t be put off if you think the title sounds advanced, or the subject matter dry. I would recommend it to genealogists with any level of experience.

The book is readable and provides practical methods for both tracking down elusive family members, and making sure you have it right. It’s helpful for projects as ambitious as a one-name or one-place study, or as simple as learning who your ancestor’s siblings were.

Writing Interesting Family Histories
by Carol Baxter

I’ve read a few how-to-write-your-genealogy books, and this is my favourite. Family history narratives (no matter how well structured and researched) can be dull. If you’re not one for a fictionalised account (for the record, I’m not), what can you do?

Carol’s book is choc full of ideas to enliven a family history narrative while keeping it factual.

Then it gets harder to choose. This post had several alternate endings until eventually I decided that I had spent enough time on it and simply wasn’t going to be able to make up my mind!

I will be reading other lists submitted with interest. I think my growing genealogy book shelf is about to expand even more.


  1. I like the look of nuts and bolts must seek it out (and sneak it into the house).

  2. Ooh - two new to me books Shelley...thanks !

  3. Its an oldy but goody!! Some good hints for genies.

  4. I'm in the trail of nuts and boots..thanks Shelley!

  5. No, bolts, nit boots, but then the latter is helpful in genealogy as well.

  6. Would you post an image of the table of contents? The book looks interesting, but seems to only be available in Australia. Thanks.

    1. Hi Linda, it's a UK publication. I found new copies selling on Ebay.

      Chapter headings are:
      1 Family Reconstitution: Why do it?
      2 Family Reconstitution: What is is?
      3 Family Reconstitution: How to do it
      4 Sophisticated use of the census
      5 Parish Register Purple Patches
      6 Reconstitution and Blockages
      7 Sophisticated Reconstitution Tools
      8 Reconstituting Complex Families
      9 A Greater Whole: the Benefits of Record Linkage
      10 Civil Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths: a Prophecy