Everton’s Handybook for Genealogists

Everton’s Handybook for Genealogists  is available in one or more editions in many personal genealogical library collections and in almost every library—including those which do not have a genealogy collection. Over 1,000,000 copies are in print–the all-time best-selling genealogy book ever! In my own collection, I have 10 editions. Some of them well-worn, some with multiple copies so I could have one at each desk in my office and one at home.

In the 8th edition—my favorite edition by the way (1999), there are 8 pages of maps with migration trails in color!, These maps show the current county boundaries with the marked trails coded in color. And this is one of the valuable extras in the Handybook. Each trail is identified with its historical names. There is also a stand-alone map of the United States showing current boundary lines for the whole country. (Used copies are usually missing this stand alone map.) Boundary changes are not included, although the county-data charts give counties of origin so you can trace the lineage of any county.

Since the 8th edition, it is no longer a handybook–its too big, too heavy to be handy. No matter. Every genealogist needs an own copy. The current edition is the 11th (2005). With more than 900 pages, 8 1/2 x 11, in hard-cover and searchable CD-Rom:

  • Full color maps for each state–color-blocked maps are recommended by printers so that the eye can locate counties and details of interest easily. The color does not have genealogical significance.
  • Information on counties and independent cities.
  • Names and addresses for genealogical and historical societies.
  • Libraries with genealogy collections.
  • Were to write for genealogy data.

Extensive bibliographies for eight categories: General Sources; Atlases, Maps, and Gazetteers; Census Records and Substitutes; Court Records, Probate and Wills; Emigration, Immigration, Migration, and Naturalization; Land and Property; Military; Vital and Cemetery Records. These bibliographies include some key original records on microfilm through the Family History Library (does not include film numbers). No annotations accompany the entries.

Authors of Chapters or Sections are not Identified. No individual authorship is given for the states nor the categories. We do not know who compiled the data nor under what circumstances. Items included in one edition and omitted in the next are not separately identified nor are reasons described for omitting them.

The details included for each state and country must be examined on their own merits. And while the average number of pages devoted to each is around 25 pages, there is no effort made to be comprehensive.

BIG IDEA for your genealogy research: review the details for your states of interest, each time a new edition appears. Every single genealogist can benefit from such a review–beginner, seasoned researcher, or professional. To take advantage of the lists of sources. One author’s experience may just supply what you need most.

http://amazon.com  has multiple editions of several editions of the Handybook for sale at reasonable prices, if you want a copy of your own. Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com

PS With so many sources available, it is easy to overlook the very item that has your ancestors named in it. Lists of records and other resources are welcome reminders that tunnel-vision defeats genealogy success.

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