Posted on

Genealogical Forum of Oregon Reviews Three Recent Books

Genealogy Book Reviews

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon, based in Portland, is one of the leading family history societies on the Pacific Coast. It’s journal, The Bulletin, contains well written, considered reviews on new books in our field.  Following are excerpts of reviews of three books published in The Bulletin in 2020.

Tracing your Irish Ancestors

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors. 5th Edition, by John Grenham

“Genealogical research in Ireland has always depended on records that are more fragmented, localized, and difficult to access than almost anywhere else. The internet is changing that, and more and more records are coming online. Tracing your Irish Ancestors is an indispensable guide to what the records are, where they are, and what they mean. Grenham’s well established and detailed guide has thorough descriptions of all the relevant sources and county-by-county reference lists, expanded, updated, and indexed to make the book easier to use than ever before. He includes detailed guides to Irish online records throughout the book, discussing the idiosyncrasies of the digital versions of sources and outlining research strategies.”—reviewed by Shannon Moon Leonetti, Volume 69, No. 4 (June 2020). View Book Details

How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records

How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records: A Genealogist’s Guide, by Sunny Jane Morton and Harold A. Henderson

“The best way to approach this book is to read the first five chapters carefully and completely. They are so useful that I took pages and pages of notes. Sometimes I even put the book down and looked up the resource being discussed right then and there. Imagine my surprise when I found a handwritten record of an early church that I had not previously known about. I didn’t know that this denomination had a national library! . . . The advice on how to search for records, such as ‘town state church records’ or ‘denomination state [or county] history’ were terrific tools to stay abreast of new reference materials as they are uploaded to the internet or published either in print or digitally.”—reviewed by Margaret McCrea, Volume 69, No. 4 (June 2020). View Book Details

“Virginia Makes the Poorest Figure of Any State.” The Virginia Infantry at the Valley Forge Encampment, 1777-1778, by Joseph Lee Boyle

“. . . Boyle’s intent in this and upcoming volumes is to document a greater understanding and appreciation for the Valley Forge Encampment . . . He goes on to say: ‘This was where the American Continental Army with at least 11,000 soldiers made camp. The winter of 1777-1778 was particularly severe and hundreds died from weather-related diseases. The suffering troops were held together by loyalty to the cause and to General Washington because he stayed with his men. The winter at Valley Forge turned American forces into a true fighting unit.’”

“ . . . Boyle scoured the National Archives and more than twenty state archives, university libraries, and historical societies in his search for these rare papers. An index to full names, places, and subjects adds to the value of this work. With this book, Boyle has succeeded in giving us a huge amount of information in a small, accessible volume  . . .  Genealogists, historians, and novelists owe him a debt of gratitude for the work he does to make their lives easier.

“[Joseph Lee Boyle’s] 32 years as a historian at Valley Forge give him a unique perspective on the lives of the people who lived around the time of the American Revolution.”—reviewed by Shannon Moon Leonetti, Volume 70, No. 1 (September 2020) View Book Details