Family Tree Pocket Reference

fnw6Ever been working on your genealogy and needed a quick reminder on a date, a definition, or what questions were a given year’s census? Well, to quickly answer those little nagging questions, and to keep the work going, Family Tree has created an easy to use, and carry, companion for all genealogists. The Family Tree Pocket Reference is a “convenient, timesaving, handy collection of genealogy reference material” full of the “best resources, tips, lists and need-to-know facts from the experts at Family Tree Magazine.”

Originally published in 2010, this second edition of Family Tree’s popular “Pocket Reference” has been updated for 2013. This is one of those books that you will want to keep at hand when you do your research – at your desk or on the road. It’s loaded with information that can help you “as you research.” The guide was written by Diane Haddad and the Editors of Family Tree Magazine.

Here is just some of what you will find inside:

  • “Definitions for unfamiliar terms and acronyms
  • US state fast facts
  • Family Tree software at a glance
  • Genealogy data websites
  • Surname origins
  • Naming practices by culture
  • Census dates and questions
  • US immigration ports”
  • and much more…

Here is what Leland Meitzler had to say about this book when he first got his hands on it:

“I’ve had a copy of the new updated edition for about two weeks, and I find that I’m turning to it regularly – and I’ve been doing genealogy research for over 30 years. I recommend it.”

You may just find yourself turning to it more than you might think, no matter what your skill level as a researcher.


Table of Contents


How to Use This Book

Chapter 1: Research Basics

  • Genealogy Glossary
  • Insider’s Guide to Genealogy Acronyms
  • Genealogy Abbreviations
  • Court Records Lingo
  • Filling Out an Ancestor Chart and Family Group Sheet
  • 20 Must-Ask Oral History Questions
  • Spotting Errors in Your Family Tree
  • Major US Genealogical Societies
  • 10 Go-to Genealogy Records
  • 6 Genealogy Myths to Avoid
  • Using a Relationship Chart
  • Old Handwriting Styles
  • Genealogy Records Checklist

Chapter 2: States

  • US State Fast Facts
  • US State Archives
  • US Map

Chapter 3: Libraries and Archives

  • 11 Key Genealogy Libraries and Archives
  • Nationals Archives and Records Administration Regional Locations
  • Tips for Requesting Genealogy Records
  • Searching the Family History Library Catalog
  • Sample Record Request Letter
  • Online Digitized Family Histories

Chapter 4: Names

  • Types of Surnames
  • 16 Most Common US Surnames in 2000
  • Tips for Researching Common Surnames
  • Cultural Naming Traditions
  • Nicknames and Variations for Popular Female Names
  • Nicknames and Variations for Popular Male Names

Chapter 5: Online Genealogy

  • Major Genealogy Research Sites
  • Genealogy Social Terms
  • Boolean Search Terms
  • Google Search Hacks
  • Google Quick Links
  • FamilySearch Database Tricks
  • Hot Keys

Chapter 6: Computing

  • Computer Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Computer File Format Guide
  • Genealogy Desktop Software Guide
  • Genealogy Computing Resources
  • Genealogy Smart Phone Apps

Chapter 7: Census

  • Most Common Ancestries in the 2000 Census
  • Historical US Population in Millions
  • US Census Record Websites
  • Online Census Search Tips
  • Questions in the Census
  • Census Questions by Category
  • Non-Population Censuses
  • Official Census Dates
  • The Soundex Key
  • The Lost Rule of Soundex
  • Census Abbreviations

Chapter 8: Immigration

  • US Immigrants by Country (1820 to 1975)
  • Timeline of Immigration Laws
  • Passenger List Availability for the Busies Ports
  • Passenger List Notations and Abbreviations
  • Records Available Through the USCIS Genealogy Service

Chapter 9: Military

  • Timeline of US Military Conflicts
  • War Records to Search for
  • Major Genealogical Records Generated from US Wars
  • Where to Look for US Military Records
  • Military History Organizations

Chapter 10: Cemeteries

  • Tombstone Symbolism
  • Cemetery Research Dos and Don’ts
  • Tombstone Materials Timeline
  • Types of Cemeteries
  • 4 Cemetery Search Tips
  • Cemetery Research Resources
  • 3 Steps to Photographing a Tombstone

Chapter 11: Genetic Genealogy

  • Genetic Genealogy Testing Companies
  • DNA Test Results Databases
  • Types of Genetic Genealogy Tests
  • Genetic Genealogy Myths
  • DNA for Men and Women
  • Genetic Genealogy Resources

Chapter 12: Geography

  • Rectangular Survey System
  • US Territorial Acquisition Timeline
  • Major US Population Migrations
  • Major US Migration Routes
  • 10 Online Mapping Resources

Chapter 13: Social History

  • Timeline of Inventions
  • Timeline of Disasters
  • Glossary of Archaic Occupations
  • Glossary of Archaic Diseases
  • Timeline of US Epidemics
  • Typical Prices of Everyday Items
  • Gregorian Calendar Adoption Dates by Country

Chapter 14: Photography

  • Historical Photo Formats
  • 6 Photo Preservation Tips
  • 6 Photo ID Tips
  • Sources of Family Photographs
  • Writing Photo Captions
  • Photo-Editing Tools
  • Digital Photo Resolution Guide

Chapter 15: My Favorite References



Family Tree Pocket Reference, 2nd Edition is available from Family Roots Publishing. Get a copy for yourself or as a gift.

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