Thursday, March 14, 2024

Women's History Month 2024: The Red Book Revisited

Here's a book that is easily overlooked because of its age but is a must-have for American genealogical research. Even if you don't own it, bookmark where it is found online (see below).

Title: Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources

Author:  Alice Eichholz, Ph.D., CG

Available online at the RootsWeb Wiki


"Red Book is designed to help family historians learn where to find information about their ancestors by taking an approach focused on localities. It is an expansive guide to the most useful resources in each of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia. Organized by state, the content easily directs the user to information-rich resources in areas including:

  • Vital Records
  • Census Records
  • Internet Resources
  • County Resources
  • Background Sources
  • Land Records
  • Probate Records
  • Court Records
  • Tax Records
  • Cemetery Records
  • Church Records
  • Military Records
  • Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
  • Archives, Libraries, and Societies

Major highlights of the content are the county resources published in table format for each state. Information in these tables often includes county name, when the county was formed, which counties the new county was created from, and dates for when each county started recording information such as birth, marriage, and death records or land, probate, and court records. Each state also has a county, town, or parish map."

Why You Need This Book: First, published in 1989 it is easy to ignore this valuable book. I highly recommend you bookmark the RootsWeb wiki page where you can find this work. Click on your state of interest. Now check out the various pages associated with that state including "county resources." This provides a chart of each county and when different types of records started in that county (if applicable). Yes, some must-have genealogy books are older. But the information they provide can be timeless. Don't use this book to find the address for the county seat, instead use it for the information it provides about when records began.

Original Source:

Women's History Month 2022: Red Book

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