Friday, October 4, 2013

Review - Genealogy at a Glance: Old Southwest Genealogy Research

The Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore has published another in its series of "Genealogy at a Glance" laminated research guides - this time for Old Southwest Genealogy Research by Dorothy Williams Potter. 

This "Genealogy at a Glance" booklet has four laminated pages on one 11" x 17" paper (folded). It is designed to give the user the basic elements of genealogy research in the allotted space. They provide an overview of the facts a researcher needs to know in order to begin and proceed successfully with research in the subject.

The description of the 
Old Southwest Genealogy Research booklet includes:

With records so sparse and far-flung, Old Southwest genealogy is the ideal subject for a research guide that can cover the basic elements of genealogical research in just four pages, giving you as much useful information in the space allotted as you’ll ever need. To begin with, the Old Southwest covered a vast territory, and genealogical research within its bounds requires knowledge of its history and geography.

Under territorial status, the Old Southwest consisted of territory east of the Mississippi, including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and parts of Louisiana and Florida. Much of this area encompassed lands of the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Indians. Settlers arriving from the original Colonies were required to obtain passports for passage through Indian country, and after the Revolutionary War, settlers holding land were required to file proof of ownership.

Thus an entire body of records grew up in the pre-statehood period, and this guide starts at the very beginning with a look at the earliest migratory paths and main travel routes through the Old Southwest. In order to locate travelers or settlers on this fast-changing frontier prior to 1820, researchers are told about the major document collections containing public land records and passport and travel documents, compiled at a time when the usual county court records or census records did not exist. Typical records might include names of residents, taxpayers, express riders, petitioners, and Indian interpreters.

In keeping with the Genealogy at a Glance series, this research guide also contains a helpful list of books and articles for further reference, a list of major area libraries, and a list of online sources. In its entirety, it is a four-page distillation of the key ingredients of Old Southwest research, which can be read at a glance and used with total confidence.

The booklet has these subject areas:

*  Contents
*  Quick Facts 
*  Settlement Background
*  Major Genealogical Sources
*  Major Document Collections
*  For Further Reference
*  Major Area Libraries
*  Online Sources

This booklet is designed primarily for the person who is not an expert, or has little experience, on finding Old Southwest ancestors.  It provides guidance and excellent ideas to help researchers to find records for their Old Southwest ancestors. Reference books, records at the National Archives, State Archives, and other repositories, online databases and websites for some of the topics are cited in the text.

For someone like me that teaches and talks about genealogy a bit, it is invaluable because I can pull it out and provide some guidance to my student or colleague interested in the subject.

The beauty of these "Genealogy at a Glance" booklets is that they are very light and portable in a briefcase or laptop case. They are fixtures in my research case.

This four-page laminated booklet costs $8.95,  plus postage and handling (4th Class Mail $4.50; FedEx Ground Service in the USA, $6.00). You can order it through the Genealogical Store, or use the link for the 
Old Southwest Genealogy Research  booklet and click on the "Add to Cart" link.  I recommend buying these at seminars and conferences where they are offered in order to avoid the shipping costs.
*  Book Review:  Genealogy at a Glance - Family History Library Research

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Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2013.

Disclosure: contacted me recently and asked me to provide a review of this booklet. They mailed me a review copy for my personal use as remuneration for this review. 

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