"Beyond the age of information is the age of choices." Charles Eames. Hartman, Carla and Eames Demetrios. 100 Quotes by Charles Eames, p. 40.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review: Family Tree Pocket Reference

Haddad, Diane. Family Tree Pocket Reference. F + W Media, Inc. rev. ed., 2013. 205 pp. ISBN 978-1-4403-3484-9. Paper, $14.99.

This is an updated edition of the title by the same name published by the editors at Family Tree Magazine back in 2010. Characterized by minor, yet welcome, updates and format changes from the previous edition, the Pocket Reference remains a handy research guide for genealogists.

The content is compiled from articles appearing in the magazine in recent years so you will find the information accurate, reliable, and very useful. Chapters cover everything from general research skills to what to expect at libraries and archives to tips on using different record types. The chapter on census records does include a new section that conveniently lists each census with the questions asked for that year. Unfortunately, much of the information in other chapters is page-for-page the same as the 2010 edition. It was also slightly irritating that not all mentions of the footnote and newenglandancestors websites were corrected to reflect the new names of fold3 and americanancestors.

The somewhat larger format of the new edition is attractive and easy to read. With a large variety of reliable information and quick facts, it's especially helpful when you're traveling light through areas with sketchy internet access. I keep the newer edition in my research bag. It's recommended for public library collections and most genealogists who do not own the 2010 edition. If you have the 2010 edition, however, you might as well save your money.

For this review, I purchased the 2013 edition and compared it with the 2010 one I already have. Several online vendors sell the paperback with attractive discounts. A digital eBook is also available. Neither edition is widely available at public libraries.