Genealogy and family history are fascinating disciplines that can be learned and practiced by anyone. There are several ways in which you can deepen your knowledge. We’ve previously covered academic options and online courses, so we thought we would now introduce some books you can read to practice genealogy and family history on your own.

The following are not in any particular order, they are all 100% recommended resources that offer invaluable information. 

Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist's Guide

Author: Diana Elder & Nicole Dyer

Available in: Kindle, Paperback

Publisher: Family Locket Books; 1 edition (May 19, 2018)

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In Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide Diana Elder and Nicole Dyer help you discover the process that a professional genealogist uses to solve difficult cases. 

This book shares the author’s step-by-step methods using real-world examples, easy to understand by any level of genealogists. It’s an ideal companion for the researcher ready to take their skills to the next level and those who are stuck in their genealogical research and wondering how to make progress on brick wall problems.

Learn how to form an objective, review your research by creating a timeline analysis, construct a locality guide to direct your research, create a plan, style source citations, set up a research log to organize and track your searches, and write a report detailing your findings and ideas for future research.

The book includes samples and templates.

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Who Do You Think You Are?: The Genealogy Handbook

Author: Dan Waddel

Available in: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback

Publisher: BBC Books (11 Jan. 2018)

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If you are interested in genealogy and lived in the United Kingdom, you’ve probably heard about the BBC hit “Who Do You Think You Are?“, which began in 2004 and ignited an extraordinary boom in researching family history.

This book is a practical, easy-to-use guide where the team of the series share their experience and expertise in order to help those looking to discover their family’s history.

The pocket guide provides hints, tips, and practical step-by-steps uses and cites celebrity stories to illustrate and inspire those interested in genealogy.  An ideal companion for amateur sleuths starting out on their own journey of discovery.

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Genealogy: Essential Research Methods

Author: Helen Osborn

Available in: Kindle, Hardcover

Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd; 1st ed. edition (31 Oct. 2012)

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The book Genealogy: Essential Research Methods is the ideal companion for those researching their family tree. The book includes advice on methods and inspiration to help the amateur family historian understand how to get the most from documents, analyze problems and build research plans.

The book examines the various themes that affect the success or failure of all genealogy research and is organized in ten chapters that begin with an overview of common challenges and continues with an examination of how to both search effectively and find the right documentary sources.

Genealogy: Essential Research Methods uses examples from the author’s own family history as well as client work. Although it’s focused mainly in England and Wales, the skills taught are easily transferable to research in other countries. 

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How to Trace Your Family Tree in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Author: Kathy Chater

Available in: Paperback

Publisher: Southwater; Reissue edition (December 5, 2017)

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The book How to Trace Your Family Tree will take you on an exciting voyage of discovery into your family’s past. The book offers a complete introduction to the subject of genealogy, beginning with the basics of starting your own research and offering guidance through every developing stage.

The book includes lessons on how to look for clues in old photographs, certificates and documents, as well as lists of organizations and websites that will help you go further. 

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Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA: A Guide for Family Historians

Author: Graham S. Holton

Available in: Kindle, Paperback

Publisher: Pen and Sword Family History (July 11, 2019)

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The book Tracing your Ancestors Using DNA is one of the few British publications in the field of DNA research, an important and rapidly advancing area of modern science.

The book is an accessible, wide-ranging introduction and offers a clear and practical way into the subject. It covers the latest scientific discoveries and techniques and uses case studies to exemplify their use by genealogists who are looking to get an insight into their ancestry.

With the aid of this book, novices who are keen to take advantage of DNA analysis will be able to interpret test results and use them to help answer genealogical questions. The book will also appeal to those with some experience in the field, as it places the practical application of genetic genealogy within a wider context.

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