Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub -

Book Review – What’s in a Name? History and Meaning of Wyckoff

Title:  What’s in a Name? History and Meaning of Wyckoff

Author:  M. William Wykoff

Format:  Paperback

Published:  2014

Synopsis: (from Amazon) The cumulative evidence presented here proves that the origin of the surname Wyckoff is Frisian and refers to a household or settlement on a bay, although many uninformed American descendants of Pieter Claessen Wyckoff continue to believe the name to be Dutch. Frisian was only one of the many languages spoken by early settlers of New Netherland. In the Northern Germanic linguistic area of Europe, the surname occurs principally in the Lower Saxony area of Germany which includes East Frisia from where our American ancestor emigrated. Amid the proliferation of costly false and inaccurate information being disseminated on popular interactive genealogy websites, the author suggests corrective measures that could be taken by professional genealogical societies and family associations such as the Wyckoff Association of America.

My Rating: 

For those studying the Wyckoffs descended from Pieter Claessen Wyckoff, who settled in New Netherland, this is a book you should order pronto.  This comprehensive study disproves long-held beliefs that Pieter Claessen and his adopted surname of Wyckoff were of Dutch origins, by showing evidence that the origins of both are East Frisia (Ostfriesland).  The author also clears up the mistaken identity of Pieter Claessen’s parents and supplies a meaning behind the surname Wyckoff.  Between the references, records, and experts consulted, no stone has been left unturned.

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Book Review – Guide to Genealogical Writing

GuidetoGenWritingTitle:  Guide to Genealogical Writing

Authors:  Penelope L. Stratton and Henry B. Hoff

Format:  Paperback

Published:  2014

Synopsis:  (from NEHGS website)  Whether you are new to genealogy or have been researching for years, this improved edition of our bestselling “writing guide” will help you present your findings in writing.  Using examples from NEHGS’s award-winning publications, our experts show you how to write your family history clearly and accurately—from building a genealogical sketch to adding images to indexing.  An appendix on genealogical style covers alternate spellings of names, when and how to use lineage lines, how to include adopted children and stepchildren, aspects of double dating, and other issues faced by genealogical writers.  This update of Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century is a must-have for anyone interested in sharing their research!

My Rating: 

This book caught my attention before it was even published and I of course had to get my order in early so that when it was published, I’d be among the first to receive a copy.  Although this is considered an update to Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century (second edition published in 2006), I tend to disagree, only because I feel it is its own book.  While there is some topical overlap between the two books, each is written and organized differently. 

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Book Review – The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide

FTGerGenTitle:  The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide

Author:  James M. Beidler

Format:  Paperback, Kindle, Nook

Published:  2014

Synopsis:  (from book cover) Follow your family tree back to its roots in Bavaria, Baden, Prussia, Hesse, Saxony, Wurttemburg and beyond. This in-depth genealogy guide will walk you step by step through the exciting journey of researching your German heritage, whether your ancestors came from lands now in modern-day Germany or other German-speaking areas of Europe, including Austria, Switzerland, and enclaves across Eastern Europe.

My Rating: 

I have read (or perhaps I should say, in some cases, tried to read) other German genealogy guides.  Most of the time, while informative, the writing is stilted and the content is very overwhelming, especially for those new to the idea of researching German ancestors.  The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide is written more casually and conversationally and allows the reader to absorb the content a little easier; I appreciate that.

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Book Review – Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques

AdvGenTitle:  Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques

Authors:  George G. Morgan and Drew Smith

Format:  Paperback, Kindle, Nook

Published:  2013

Synopsis:  (from book cover) Learn how to use innovative methods to unearth hard-to-find ancestors. Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques shows you, step by step, how to uncover elusive details by taking advantage of specialized tools and software programs and using proven best practices for breaking through the brick walls that have hindered your progress.

My Rating: 

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Book Review – 13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories

Title:  13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories

Author:  Dr. Bill Smith

Format:  Paperback

Published:  2013 (second edition)

Synopsis:  (from the author)  Do you have family history and ancestor stories collected and researched?  Do you want to share them and tell your stories, but don’t know how or what venue to use?  This book has your answer.  Preservation and interpretation of your ancestor stories will occur most effectively if you use multiple approaches to telling your ancestor stories to your family and interested others. Showing you how to this is the purpose of this book.  The content of you telling of ancestor stories includes your life as well as the lives of your two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great grandparents, etc., and their siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. Ancestor stories include the social context in which these folks lived, their clothes, their farms or ranches, their religion (or not), their occupations, their loves and antagonisms, their education (or not), their friends and neighbors, and the mundane details of their daily lives. 13 sections suggest a variety of ways to tell your ancestor stories; each section has a Planning Worksheet to assist you in doing it most effectively.

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Book Review – Time Traveller’s Handbook: A Guide to the Past

Title:  Time Traveller’s Handbook: A Guide to the Past

Author:  Althea Douglas

Format:  Paperback and Kindle

Published:  2011

Synopsis:  (from Amazon)  Do you know how long it took to sail across the Atlantic Ocean? Was it faster from east to west or west to east? Imagine sailing to India, a five-month trip around the Cape of Good Hope! No wonder late Victorians valued the steamship and the Suez Canal. What difference did the inventions of the telephone or steam engine make to our ancestors lives? Do you know what a rod or a chain is and what they measured? Time Travellers Handbook considers documents and how to look at papers and artifacts that have survived over the years, as well as those family legends and mythinformation handed down by word of mouth. This sort of information can be found on the Internet somewhere but the researcher can waste a lot of time hunting for it. In an entertaining yet useful manner, Time Travellers Handbook brings together for family historians a lot of facts our ancestors once knew, took for granted, and used regularly.

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