Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Genealogy At a Glance: Scots-Irish Genealogy

Genealogy at a Glance: Scots-Irish Genealogy Research by Brian MitchellI don’t know why the Genealogical Publishing Company keeps sending me stuff for review. I don’t have time for a lot of reading and have a bookshelf full of titles I’ve begun but never finished. And I always give their Genealogy At a Glance reference sheets a bad review because the price per page is enormous. The single sheet of paper is folded in two and laminated, yielding four pages. I don’t often see them include reference type material. You know, the stuff I’m talking about. You view it over and over and have it within reach on your desk: the dictionary, Evidence Explained, and The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy (I got to chapter 5).

However, when I received their latest offering, Genealogy at a Glance: Scots-Irish Genealogy Research by Brian Mitchell, a thought occurred to me. Maybe I’m approaching this series wrongly. Maybe I ought to see them as the perfect beginners’ manual for someone who has a bookshelf full of titles begun but not finished. I have a dead-end in my genealogy that seems to have both Scottish and Irish connections. Maybe I should give this one a try.

What I found was a helpful introduction for an absolute beginner to Scots-Irish research. I was a bit disappointed to find in the second paragraph that this guide was for pre-1800 immigrants. My brick wall is a 19th century immigrant. But I learned a lot about who the Scots-Irish are, where they came from, and what resources are available for researching them. As with any good four page introduction to a subject, this guide contains references to books for further information on different aspects of Scots-Irish research. I trust these are the best references in those areas. And it was not like those obnoxious conference syllabi that contain little else but a bibliography. I raised an eyebrow when the first book referenced was a book by the author himself, also published by the Genealogical Publishing Company. But that is to be expected assuming GPC approaches the foremost experts on subjects.

The guide began with the usual wasted space, a table of contents. Come on guys; this is a four page title. And it is bookended with 10 square inches of wasted space dedicated the equivalent of a title-page and back jacket: the name of the publisher, the copyright date, a marketing logo, and the UPC. In-between I was pleased to see the small margins and reasonable leading  befitting a four page reference work.

I’m surprised I’m giving my first positive review of an At a Glance title. Remember, I’m not an expert and can’t vouch for the choice or value of the information presented. But for an ever-so-brief introduction for someone of my attention span, I liked it.

Genealogy at a Glance: Scots-Irish Genealogy Research
Brian Mitchell
8.5" x 11", 4 pp., folded and laminated. 2014.
ISBN 978-0-8063-1996-4
Genealogical Publishing Company
$8.95 (list) plus shipping ($7.50, Fed Ex Ground).

1 comment:

  1. I just found a probable pre-1800 Scotch Irish line in my family, so I will tuck this idea away. The price is much too extravagant for something so small until I have exhausted all my leads. Thank you for the heads up about its use of space.


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