Go to your local public library branch. Make a note of the genealogy books in the collection that may help you gain research knowledge. Don’t forget to check the shelves in both the non-fiction section and the reference section. If you do not already have a library card, take the time to get one. If you have a genealogy blog, write about what you find in your library’s genealogy collection.
I guess being in the “Twin Cities” of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois is good for something. There are two wonderful local libraries, one in each town, that have pretty good collections. Here is a list of resources from each of the local libraries.
Bloomington Public Library
- How To Research a Family With Illinois Roots, by Lowell M. Volkel, 1977. This is a little outdated, but who knows, maybe I’ll learn something new. Can’t hurt to take a look.
- Tracing Your English Ancestors, by Colin Darlington, 1989. Another source that’s a bit outdated, but it’s the only book in this library related to English ancestry, so it’s a start.
- In Search of Your German Roots, by Angus Baxter, 1987. There is a current edition (4th, 2009) available, so if this 1987 version seems to be promising, I may buy the 2009 version.
- Illinois Genealogical Research, by George Keene Schweitzer, 1997.
- Roots of the Prairie: Tracing Your Illinois Ancestors, by Patricia A. Hamilton, 1996.
- Tracing Your Irish Family History, by Anthony Adolph, 2009. Probably one of the newest in the library’s genealogical collection.
- A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Italian Ancestors, by Lynn Nelson, 1997. This could be of help with my step-father’s Italian family.
- The Handybook For Genealogists, Everton Publishers, 1999. This book’s been on my wish list for some time, but for now, the library’s holding will have to do.
- The Genealogist’s Question & Answer Book, by Marcia Yannizze Melnyk, 2002.
- The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849, by Cecil Woodham-Smith, 1991.
Normal Public Library
- Unpuzzling Your Past, by Emily Anne Croom, 2001.
- The Weekend Genealogist: Timesaving Techniques for Effective Research, by Marcia Yannizze Melnyk, 2000.
- Writing Family Histories and Memoirs, by Kirk Polking, 1995. Since my new goal for professional genealogy is on the writing side of things, any book that can offer advice is a must-read for me.
- Clans and Families of Ireland, by John Grenham, 1993,
- Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, by Lucy Mary Kellogg, 1975. Wonder if there’s information in here connecting my Hopkins to the Mayflower Hopkins. It’s worth a look!
Some of the holdings at each of the libraries overlap, however each has their own unique collection. There are many other books that are not listed, as they do not pertain to my research focus, educational plans, or I already own them.