I wasn’t sure what to think when I decided to read this book. I have been tracing my roots for a very long time and I don’t seem to be learning anything. At least I wasn’t. I was also frustrated with books claiming to be help guides, but only touch on the most basic things and mostly irrelevant.
Since buying this book I have added an entire branch to my tree that had previously been tormenting me with its elusiveness.
Ms. Collins opened up doors for me regarding things I should have known, but didn’t. Her down to earth style of writing is more like having a pleasant conversation with her than reading a book. She gives you the facts, then backs it up with practical experience. She explains important things in a manner that any beginning tree climber can understand and offers useful information for people who have been at it for a while but need more guidance.
I didn’t find any slow spots and I even figured out how to highlight and bookmark on my Kindle so I could refer back to things. I think the best thing about this book is that it made learning fun and it had earned its retail price before I even got half way through.
I strongly encourage newbies and even others like me who have some skill under their belt, but need to fine tune it, to add this book to their library. I have read several other books on this subject that were so dry I could not even finish them. But this is going in my book log of favorites right along with my W. Daniel Quillen titles.
Thank you, Ms. Collins for a delightfully educational guidebook.
My aunt’s father-in-law had a similar experience. His grandfather was from Stropkov. At various times, the same man was classified as “Slovak,” “Czech,” and “Hungarian.”
Detroit would be well represented in the Sanborn Maps. See if your library offers them in their reference section, or has online access to the database. It would be interesting to see when the tunnel first appeared.
I have not read this book but I did learn that in order to obtain information on my ancestors I had to learn how to read and understand ancient maps and world history. When I uncovered my grandparents immigration papers I didn’t understand why they had to travel on a ship to go from Hamilton, Ontario to Detroit. The answer was that the tunnel between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit had not been built in 1916. I also didn’t understand how my grandparents could have lived in the same town but have been citizens of two different nations. I found the answer in the map room of the Metropolitan Library in Toronto. The “Pale of Settlement”, the walled in area where they lived, was an area that was conquered by one nation after another. At the time they lived there, Russia had conquered the eastern side of the town and Poland the western side. Another problem I had to solve was why I could not find the names of the members of my family who had perished during WWII. My maiden name was Splaver. There were no Splavers in any listings of the dead. I had to find a Russian translator to learn that Splaver in Russian was Aleksandr. And I had to have knowledge of Hebrew in order to find out why, if I was named after my grandfather whose name was Sam, I was named Elaine. The most baffling questions my research had to answer were my parents spies? To find out read “Daughter of Spies”. E.S. Abramson @ http://www.ElaineAbramson.com.