Book Review: Digging Deeper: Using Essential Pre-1850 Records

10 February 2014 7:51 AM Posted by Brenda L.


Legacy Family Tree and Karen Clifford presented an excellent webinar in February of last year titled, Pre 1850 U.S. Research Methodologies.  It was at that time that I added Ms. Clifford's book, Digging Deeper: Using Essential Pre-1850 Records to my wish list.  I got her book for Christmas this past year.  I finished reading it this past weekend and found it to be an excellent genealogy resource.

Karen Clifford is an Accredited Genealogist and President and CEO at Genealogy Research Associates. She has presented webinars and written college textbooks and guidebooks. Her years of research is evident in this book.  She uses numerous research examples and guides the reader through sound genealogical research principles

Karen Clifford's website, Genealogy Research Associates, states the book is an "intermediate genealogy guidebook".  352 pages in 15 detailed chapters are filled with tips and techniques, photo's, stories, research examples, forms, review questions and answers, and helpful readings.  Online and print resources are included.  Ms. Clifford includes less common sources to look for, also. The book's chapter's are:
  • Working with Pre-1850 Census Records
  • Ancestral Paleography: The Handwriting of Your Ancestors
  • Census Substitutes – Tax Records
  • Surname Locality Approach
  • Probate Records
  • Intestate Records and Preserving Probate Clues
  • More Research Strategies
  • Locating and Working with Historical Newspapers
  • Genealogical and Historical Periodicals
  • Land Grants and Foreign Ownership
  • Land Records of the Original Colonies
  • Land Records of the United States
  • Military Pre-Service Records
  • Military Benefit Records'
  • Cemetery Records
The brick walls that I have fall in this period of research.  The time when only the head of the household is enumerated in the census.  Digging Deeper provides the reader with alternatives to census research.  The reader will learn how to use census, tax, probate, land, military and cemetery records.  You will learn how to glean information from newspapers and periodicals.  Helpful tips on reading handwriting is included in chapter two.  In depth detail about land and military records will help many researches.

If you are looking for a good reference book for your use, I recommend Digging Deeper.  I tagged numerous tips as I was reading it, and look forward to going back over those tagged spots.

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