Top Essential Reference Books for Genealogists

Whether you are just beginning your genealogy research or have been researching genealogy professionally for years, these genealogy books are the essential references that no genealogist should be without. They are the ones I pull out the most often!

In this best single source for genealogical evidence, Elizabeth Shown Mills consisely explains the practice of genealogical analysis, and addresses how to create a citation for a source in almost any circumstance, including numerous examples. If you're the type to like everything spelled out for you, or want to keep up with the most current thinking on genealogical citations, then the newer, larger Evidence Expanded may be a better choice. For quick and easy reference, don't miss her wonderful Quicksheets: Citing Online Historical Resources and Citing Databases.

This comprehensive manual for professional genealogists is also a "must-have" for the serious "hobbyist." Twenty-three chapters, each written by a professional genealogist, cover a variety of genealogical skills and standards. Topics include every aspect of professional genealogy, from citations and proof standards, to legalities and ethics, plus family history research and publication.
Simple but effective, this book is perfect for any genealogist who can't seem to control the ever-increasing piles of papers and documents. Author Sharon DeBartolo Carmack provides an indespensable roadmap through the common organizational stumbling blocks of the family history researcher, and outlines a variety of methods for organizing research files, handling correspondence, and updating data.

This essential genealogy reference book is also available online for free from

of 11

Ancestral Trails: Complete Guide to British Genealogy & Family History

of 11

Black's Law Dictionary