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The Book Shelf - page 4
                                              (Recommended Reading from Earl Ross)

Everything You Wanted to Know
  — by Leonard R. N. Ashley
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  9780806312613

            This book will tell you the facts behind the names of persons, places and things: about how names are chosen for business and for success; how they are used for everything from tracing settlement patterns to telling forturnes; how forenames have their fashions; where surnames had their origins; all about names in the U.S. and around the world.  This newly revised expanded edition includes everything you wanted to know regarding name origination and meaning.

Softcover, 265 pages     Published 1989 revised & reprinted 2000     Cost: at this date — $20.00
Available from Genealogical Publishing

Gotham gangsters and gonuvim (Yiddish: "thieves")
  — by Ron Arons
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  1569803331

            Sing-Sing prison opened in 1828 and since then  more than 7,000 Iews have served time in the famous correctional facility.  The Jews of Sing-Sing  is the first book to fully expose the scope of Jewish criminality over the past 150 years  The author shares the history of his own ancestry as well as other Jewish  prisoners who spent time in this famous New York prison.  The author shares the methodology , resources and history that he used in his research which will be useful to family historians.

Hardcover, 360 pages, Published by Barricade Books 2008     Cost: at this date — $19.58
Available from

A Social History of Forced Emigration to the Americas of Felons, Destitute children,
Political and Religious Vagamonds, Beggers and Other Undesirables

  — by Peter Wilson Coldham
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  97808063117786

            By the time America made her Declaration of Independence in 1776 the prisons of England had disgorged some 50,000 of their inmates to the colonies, most of them destined to survive and, with their descendants to populate the land of their exile.  This book  focuses on the emergence and use of transportation as a means of dealing with this unwanted  populatiion , dwelling  at length on the processes involved , the men charged with the administration of the system of transportation or engaged in transportation as a business, then proceeding with a fascinating look at transportees themselves, and lives and hapless careers, and their reception in the colonies.

Softcover, 196 pages, Published in 1992 and reprinted 2007     Cost: at this date — $21.00
Available from Genealogy Publishing

The Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family 1818-1877
  — by an Ulster Quaker shop-keeping family
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  978-1-908448-00-2

            The editor (Bill Jackson) presents more than 200 letters and three generations of the Greeves, O'Brien and Sinton family of County Tyrone and upstate New York.  You'll discover the story of a family separated by an ocean, plus social history in Ireland and America.

Softcover, 925 pages, Published in 2011 by Ulster Historical Foundation     Cost: at this date — $9.99
Available from

An American Family in the 20th Century
  — by John Paul Godges
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  9781451508017

            The author portrays 100 years of family history in this book. He was descended from early 20th Century Italian & Polish immigrants.  He weaves history with oral history to chronicle his family through assimilation, Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War II and more.

Softcover, 532 pages, Published in 2010 by CreateSpace     Cost: at this date — $19.99
Available from


  — by Maude Spelman
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  9780810127128

            Using letters, diaries, interviews, medical records, and other sources, this children's author unravels the mysteries of her mother's life and the fate of her long-lost older brother.  The story unfolds like a mystery novel as readers join the author on her search for her mother's past.

Hardcover, 176 pages, Published 2010 by Northwestern University Press     Cost: at this date — $18.42
Available from Barnes and Noble

A Story of Science , the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe
  — by Glynis Ridley
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  978-0-307-46353-1

            In 1766, 26-year-old Jeanne Baret disguised herself as a teen-age boy and joined a French  expedition as an assistant to botantist Philibert Commerson - who also happened to be her lover.  The book unravels conflicting accounts of the pioneering journey.

Hardcover, 304 pages, Published 2011 Crown Publishing     Cost: at this date — $15.00
Available from Random House


  — by Megan Smolenyak
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  978065344466

            This book is about the author's searches.  She discovered President Obama's Irish roots and the fate of Ellis Island's first immigrant Annie Moore

Softcover, 288 pages, Published 2012 by Kensington Publishing     Cost: at this date — $15.63
Available from Family Roots Publishing

a 21st Century Guide to exploring Your Roots and Creating Connections
  — by Jennie Worick
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  97815847975

            What makes this book different from other oral history guides is its approach to online tools, digital recorders and webcam to explore your living family history.

Softcover, 192 pages, Published 2010 by Abrams     Cost: at this date — $15.95
Available from Abrams Books

Genealogy, Identity & Community
  — by Eviatar Zerubavel
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  9780199773954

            The author is a Sociologist who investigates the motivation behind our need to construct an ancestry.  The concepts are insightful , but while the author recites a long list of disciplines he consulted, it s troubling that his sources contain no reference to works by well known genealogists.

Hardcover, 240 pages, Published 2011 by Oxford Press USA     Cost: at this date — $17.70
Available from Anglo-Celtic Connection

The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked Tabloid Wars
  — by Paul Collins
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  9780307592200

            When pieces of a body began to surface on New York City shores in June 1897 officials first challenge was to identifying the remains. The author tells the true story of a sensational trial ordinarily using rich local newspaper accounts.

Hardcover, 336 pages, Published 2011 by Crown Publishers     Cost: at this date — $26.00
Available from

a Short History of Private Life
  — by Charles Fanning
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  978-0-7679-1939-5

            Best known for his travel narratives the author takes a walk through his Victorian house.  He fills us in on the ordinary aspects of the history associated with each room:  hygiene in the bathroom, eating and nutrition in the kitchen, - even the hall had a purpose beyond linking rooms.

Hardcover, 544 pages, Published in 2011 by Doubleday     Cost: at this date — $28.95
Available from Random House

An Irish American Memoir
  — by Charles Fanning
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  1588498109

            The author maps out his family history and its impact on his life.  Along with his own coming of-age story in Norwood, MA, he examines three ancestors including one who disappeared in the late 1880's and a post-Famine Irish immigrant from County Monaghan.

Softcover, 328 pages, Published in 2010 by University of Massachusetts Press     Cost: at this date — $26.95
Available from GoodReads


  — by Geraldine Brooks
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  9780670021048

            Based on a true story of the first American Indian to graduate from Harvard College in 1865.  It is a tale  of crossing cultural barriers in the mid-17th century.  Narrator Bethia Mayfield wanders from her Puritan settlement and befriends Caleb, the son of a Wampanoag chieftain. Bethia's  minister father sends him to study among the Colonial elite.

Several Formats, 306 pages, Published by Viking Press     Cost: at this date — $16.00 to $39.95
Available from

The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West
  — by Dorothy Wickenden
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  978 143 917 6589

            In 1916 Smith College graduates Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood left their homes in Auburn, NY to teach in the wilds of northwestern Colorado. The author is a granddaughter of Woodruff discovered their letters and reconstruct their journey and lives,

Hardcover, 204 pages, Published 2011, by Scribner     Cost: at this date — $13.98
Available from GoodReads


  — by Ruby Coleman
Bookseller's listing
ISBN:  (none provided)

            This book was written specifically for genealogists who have ancestors or relatives who may have settled in Nebraska. Heavily illustrated with photos and documents, this volume may give the researcher clues as to records that may be available that they hadn't even considered.

Softcover, 108 pages, Published 2011, Family Root Publishing     Cost: at this date — $19.95
Available from GenealogyBlog

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