A Bibliography for Genealogists

James A. Rawley


Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 230-234

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A Bibliography for Genealogists


This bibliography makes no pretense to completeness. It is frankly an effort to bring to the attention of the novice in genealogy a list of those works helpful to him, with a brief description of their nature. It is also hoped, however, that a few of the works included will be new to those who have been working in genealogy for some time. The emphasis is sharply limited. Only those works and magazines of general significance, rather than individual family histories or local records are listed. Further, very few foreign works are included. In any case the genealogist must, in a measure, compile his own bibliography. It is intended that this list will facilitate that end and his search. The compiler is indebted to Miss Anna Poucher, the Librarian of the Genealogy Section, Indiana State Library, for checking this list and making valuable suggestions.

Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy: First Families of America: A Genealogical Encyclopedia of the United States.Chicago: A. N. Marquis and Company, 1925–1937. (In the six volumes published by 1937 there are 45,000 lineages and 375,000 ancestors listed. Pictures and coats of arms are included.)
A Census of Pensioners for Revolutiomq OT Military Services.Washington: Blair and Rives, 1841. (This work includes names, ages and places of residence, as listed by the federal marshals of the judicial districts for the sixth census.)
Almanuch de Gotha. Gotha: Justus Perthes. (A German annual: the series has been published since 1763 to the present. It consists of the genealogies of distinguished European houses, both royal and non-royal.)
American Historical Society, Incorporated. Americana. Somerville, New Jersey. (A quarterly journal of history, genealogy, heraldry, and literature. Its emphasis inclines to substantial articles from 2,000 to 10,000 words.)
American Genealogist: Being a Catalog of Family Histohes.Albany: Joel Munsell's Sons, 1900. (A bibliography of American genealogy or a list of the title pages of books and phamphlets on family history published in American from 1777 to 1900.)
Bolton, Ethel Stanwood, and Coe, Eva Johnston. American Samplers.Boston: The Massachusetts Society of the Colonial Dames of America, 1921. (Contains illustrations of samplers bearing genealogical data.)
Boston Transcript. (This paper carries a column, Genealogical, daily until January 21, 1939. Since this date the column has appeared each Saturday.)
Burke, Sir John Bernard, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage and the Privy Council and Knightage.London: Burke's Peerage, Ltd., 1937. 95th edition. (This is the standard genealogical and heraldic history of the English aristocracy.)
Catalogue of Genealogies and Local Histories.Boston: Goodspeed's Bookshop. (Issued at intervals of two or three years, this lists those works published by this bookshop. The catalogue has the merit of recency and low cost (ten cents), but the defect of being limited to the works of the publishing house.)
Colonial Dames of the State of New York. Catalogue of the Genealogical and Historical Library of the Colonial Dames of the State of New York.New York: published by the Society, 1912.
Daughters of the American Revolution. Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine.Washington: published by the Society. (Before 1913 this was The American Monthly Magazine. It contains biographies, articles on history, historic places and ancestry, records and queries.)
Daughters of the American Revolution. Lineage Book of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.Harrisburg: Harrisburg Publishing Company. (More than 160 volumes have been published since 1890, giving the lineages of the members of the society. The first 80 volumes only are indexed.)
Doane, Gilbert Harry. Searching for Your Ancestors.New York: Whittlesey House, 1937. (One of the best works, if not the best, for the beginning genealogist. It details a wealth of valuable and sound advice, gained from a wide experience.)
Handbook of American Genealogy.Chicago: The Institute of American Genealogy, 1937. Vol. III. (This work lists genealogies in the course of compilation with the name and address of the compiler, and a "Who's Who in Genealogy". It is extremely helpful for the exchange of information between genealogists.)
Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790.Washington: Government Printing Office, 1907–1908. (With a volume for each state, these census records present so far as possible the heads of families in 1790. The records for Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Virginia were destroyed by fire in 1812. In lieu of the Virginia schedules which are missing the lists of the state enumerations made in 1782–1785 have been used. Similar census records exist for 1820 and 1830.)
Hinshaw, William Wade. Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy.Ann Arbor: Edwards Brothers, Incorporated, Volume I, 1936, Vol. 11, 1938. (A collection of the records of Friends' Monthly Meetings during the 18th and 19th centuries,)
Hughes, Thomas P. American Ancestry.Albany: Joel Munsell's Sons, 1887–1899. The twelve volumes constitute a partial list of the names and descent in the male line of Americans whose ancestors settled in the United States prior to 1776. Vol. I is for Albany; Volume II Columbia County; and Vols. III to XII for the entire United States.)
Illinois State Historical Library. Publication Number Eighteen of the Illinois State Historical Library.Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1914. (In 1919 a supplement, Number 25, was issued, and since 1919 each annual volume of the Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society has contained a list of genealogies acquired during the previous year.)
Index to American Genealogies.Albany: Joel Munsell's Sons, 1900, 5th edition. (The advantage of the Index is that it not only lists genealogical works, but it also indexes material embodied in those works, which is therefore more readily found. A Supplement was issued for 1900 to 1908.)
Jacobus, Donald Lines. Index to Genealogical Periodicals.New Haven: 1932. (This index is continued and kept up to date in the April number of each year of The American Genealogist.)
Jordan, David Starr, and Kimball, Sarah Louise. Your Family Tree. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1929. (This work attempts to indicate some of the scientific aspects of genealogy, drawing its examples from prominent American and British Families. Many of the genealogies in it have been found to be notoriously inaccurate.)
Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress.Washington: Government Printing Office, 1919. Second edition. (The catalog included nearly 7,000 titles of American and English genealogies received up to August 1, 1919.)
Library of Congress. Naval Records of the American Revolution, 1775–1788.Washington: Government Printing Office, 1906. (The records prepared from the originals in the Library of Congress are fragmentary and references to names are occasional and scattered.)
List of Titles of Genealogical Articles in American Periodicals and Kindred Works.Albany: Joel Munsell's Sons, 1899. (This work lists the name, residence, and earliest date of the first American settler of each family.)
Long Island Historical Society. Catalogue of American Genealogies in the Library of the Long Island Historical Society.Brooklyn: Long Island Historical Society, 1935. (The catalogue lists over 8,000 books dealing with genealogy, as well as about 850 manuscripts, typescripts, and photostat copies of original wills, etc.)
Magazine of the Institute of American Genealogy.Chicago: Vol. I, 1926. (Beginning in August, 1926, the magazine has given a segment of the alphabet, as Aa-Ac, with bibliographical indexes to the surnames included. No issue has been published since 1934.)
Meade, William. Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia.Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1857, two volumes. (Bishop Meade has collected old church records, records of old families, magistrates, vestrymen, etc. of considerable value to the genealogist.)
National Genealogical Society Quarterlg.Washington: The National Genealogical Society, Vol. I, April, 1912. (Since its beginning it has published much original genealogical information of permanent value.)
National Historical Society. The Journal of American Genealogy.Greenfield, Indiana: The National Historical Society, Volume I, 1922. (Family histories, coats of arms, biographies, and vital records for all America.)
New England Historical and Genealogical Society. New England Historical and Genealogical Register.Boston: s. G. Drake, Vol. I, 1847. (This magazine publishes genealogies, transcripts, and probate, church and cemetery records for the New England area.)
Pennsylvania Archives. (Fourth Series is a publication of governor's papers. The Eighth Series is entitled The Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives of the Province of Pennsylvania, Dec. 4, 1882 to Sept. 26, 1776. The Ninth Series is entitled Executive Minutes from December 21, 1790, to May 21, 1838. Earlier minutes may be found in Colonial Records, 16 volumes. Series two, three, and five are also very valuable.)
Report of the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England.London: W. Clowes and Sons for Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1839. (These reports begin in 1839; they are valuable for tracing recent English ancestry.)
Savage, James. Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England. (This shows three generations of those who came over before May, 1692. Four volumes, Boston: 1860–62.)
Secretary of War. United States Pension Rolls, three volumes in 1835. (An indispensable work for the period.)
Sons of the American Revolution. Official Bulletin of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.Washington: published by the Society. (These bulletins include historical records pertaining to members of the Society, records, and a query section.)
Stewart, Robert A. Index to Printed Virginia Genealogies. (This is also very useful but of course pertains to a particular state. It was published in Richmond, Virginia, 1930.)
Stiles, Henry R. Handbook of Genealogy.Albany: Joel Munsell's Sons, 1899. (This is a short introduction for the beginner, written in a pious, juvenile vein, but usable when no other book is available.)
Swem, E. G., Editor. Virginia Historical Index.Roanoke: The Stone Printing and Manufacturing Company, Vol. I, 1934; Vol. 11, 1936. (This laborious and indispensible work for Virginia genealogy indexes the following volumes and periodicals: Calendar of Vir-Large, vols. 1–13 (1619–1792); Lower Norfolk Co. Virginia Antzginia State Papers, vols. 1–11 (1652–1869) ; Henig's Statutes at quaw, vols. 1–5 (1895–1906); Tyler's Quarterly Historical & Historical Register, vols. 1–6 (1848–1853); William & Mary College Genealogical Magazine, vols. 1–10 (July 1919-Apr. 1929); Virginia Quarterly Historical Magazine Series 1, vols. 1–27 (July 1892– Apr. 1919); William & Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine Series 2, vols. 1–10 (Jan. 1921-Oct. 1930).
Thomson, T. R. A Catalogue of British Family Histories.London: John Murray, 1928. (This book purports to be a complete list of British Family Histories. "I have not attempted to include biographies, printed pedigree sheets, reprints from genealogical magazines, peerage claims, or works produced in America even if they deal wholly with British families", says the compiler in the Preface.)
Tyler, Mrs. Lyon G., Editor. Tyler's Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine. Charles City, Virginia; Volume I, July, 1919. (The issues of this periodical are especially valuable for Virginia history.)
Virginia Historical Society. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.Richmond: House of the Society. (This is another periodical devoted to the history and biography of Virginia families.)
William and Mary College Quarterly.Williamsburg: published by the College, Volume I, 1892. (This quarterly includes sections on family histories, notes and queries biographies, vital statistics, an index of persons, and other records.

Published by the Indiana University Department of History.