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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - February/March 2003
Book Reviews

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Pelican Publishing Company presents their newest book on the Italians of Louisiana! It’s called Bread & Respect.

Food has always been important to the cultures of Louisiana and Italy. Similarly, hunger, both physical and metaphoric, is a strong motivation in human migration. After immigrating to America to escape Italy, many found they suffered still from hunger, but this time, a hunger to create the things they most longed for at home: bread, respect, fortune, security, art, justice, religion and memory. Bread and Respect explores Italian immigrants to Louisiana, the centrality of food in their lives and their need for respect.

Approximately 70,000 Italian immigrants arrived at the Port of New Orleans between 1898 and 1929. Louisiana became their home as the new immigrants became farmers, landowners and merchants. Strong family bonds further protected members from the whims of nature, while cooking styles and specific dishes brought from Italy became favorites, like the muffoletta in New Orleans.

There are hundreds of thousands of people of Italian descent living in Louisiana today.

Using vignettes, family histories and census as well as historical records, A.V. Margavio and Jerome J. Salomone examine how Italian culture shaped the lives of the immigrants to Louisiana and in turn, how experiences in Louisiana modified the Old World values and culture the Italians brought with them.

A.V. Margavio is a professor of sociology at the University of New Orleans. Jerome J. Salomone is a professor of sociology and scholar in residence at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

Bread and Respect is $25.00 and may be ordered from Pelican, 1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053. You may call 1-800-843-1724 to order.

If you are of Italian ancestry, you’ll enjoy A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Italian Ancestors by Betterway Books.

You don’t have to be a super detective to uncover clues to facts and stories about all the members of your family tree. The methods detailed in this book will help you discover your own Italian ancestors as far back as the 1700s – without going abroad.

This book is practical guide that will take a beginner step-by-step through the research process and includes advanced tips for more experienced researchers. You’ll learn general guidelines of genealogy that ensure success. You’ll learn how to use major American records such as census and naturalization records, ship passenger lists and passport applications. You’ll learn how to use minor American records such as family letters, church and cemetery records and newspapers. You’ll learn how to find Italian vital records like civil documents that record births, marriages and deaths…and more.

This easy-to-use reference even includes information on Italian naming traditions, how to read foreign handwriting from hundreds of years ago, ingenious tips for using an English/Italian dictionary and a letter-writing guide you can use to request data from Italian officials – in Italian!

As you do your research, you’ll learn much about the history and customs of Italy that will transform the faceless names you uncover into cherished family members.

Lynn Nelson, the author, has been successfully researching her own Italian heritage for many years, and is a regular speaker at genealogy conferences. She has authored two other books and currently enjoys her occupation as a computer programmer/analyst.

This book is $16.99 and is available from Betterway Books, 1507 Dana Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207. Call 1-800-289-0963. It is ISBN No. 1-55870-426-4.

Of course, you may call Book World in Moultrie and order it as well.

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The veteran team at Publishing has gained unique knowledge about and insight into family relationships in its many years spent helping to connect and strengthen families. This expertise has culminated in the creation of Celebrating the Family, which covers a broad range of simple strategies for strengthening our familial bonds, including: observing long-standing family traditions, or creating new ones; organizing family reunions; maintaining written and photographic scrapbooks; nurturing relationships with far-flung relatives; researching genealogical roots and diagramming family health histories.

Packed with helpful advice and authoritative information, Celebrating the Family is the ultimate guide to improving the quality of our lives by celebrating our closest personal relationships.

This is a book for everyone – not only the genealogist. The chapter entitled Decoding Genetics – Your Family Health History is worth the price of the book.

Bea Leopold, executive director, National Society of Genetic Counselors says, "Genetic disorders affect every family. There isn’t anyone who doesn’t have cancer, heart disease or high cholesterol somewhere in his or her family."

In terms anyone can understand, the relatively new science of DNA study is explained in the pages of this book. There are even questions for a health history interview.

Case histories are shared, including one of a family of seven sisters – four of whom died of cancer, as did their mother. A health history was created for the family and the children and grandchildren of these women now know that regular visits to the doctor are necessary to protect them from the deadly disease.

This hits close to home at our house. Four of seven siblings in Mel’s mother’s family died of colon cancer. His brother and sister both died at age 48 of diabetes and its complications…and his parents suffered from diabetes as well.

With knowledge, we can take precautions.

There’s a chapter on Writing Good Letters! This is useful for family and for friends!

Celebrating the Family is one of those books that belongs in every home.

If you are interested in this book, it is $19.95 in the United States. The ISBN is 1-58663-592-1. The book is by Barnes & Noble Publishing at 122 Fifth Ave., New York, New York 10011. Of course, you may simply call Book World in Moultrie and ask Jim Soos to order it for you.

Maureen A. Taylor, a genealogist and photo historian, has written three books on genealogy, including Through the Eyes of Your Ancestors. She has written articles for Daguerrian Annual, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Rhode Island History, Rhode Island Roots and the Computer Genealogist. She lectures on photography and genealogy at conferences around the country.

Her latest book is Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs – How to identify, interpret and preserve your family’s visual heritage.

One of the requirements of being a genealogist is "shade-tree detective." This book will help the latent sleuth in you come out of hiding!

You will be able to unlock the precious stories and ancestral information hidden within the details of your family photos. In this illuminating guide, genealogical photo expert Maureen Taylor shows you how to gain in-depth perspective on your family’s special history, step by step.

You will learn how to identify and verify the people in your photos, using details such as poses, props and print material to determine dates and places.

You will learn how to locate additional family photographs to build your own visual history collection and create worksheets for every photo that confirm and validate your findings.

You will learn – even if you are a beginner – how to expand your genealogical skills to include a working knowledge of the resources related to photo research.

With this book your photos will reveal more about your genealogy than ever before. Take this guide and watch your ancestors’ cherished images spring to life with detail and accuracy.

The price is $18.99, with ISBN 1-55870-527-9, from Betterway Books, 1507 Dana Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207. You may call 1-800-289-0963 for complete details or your may order from any good book store.

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Last week we were learning about Maureen A. Taylor’s book, Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs. This time, we’ll explore another one of her very useful books – Preserving Your Family Photographs.

You will be able to organize and display your precious family photographs so that friends and loved ones can enjoy them for years to come.

In this book you will learn how to organize your photographs for both family history research and for display.

You will learn how to identify the types of damage to the photos in your collection and how to create a stunning scrapbook using archival quality guidelines.

You will learn how to properly handle cased images such as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes.

You will learn how to select a conservator to repair damaged photos and protect them from future deterioration and how to select a restoration expert to restore damaged photos using airbrushing, digital manipulation or photographic enhancements.

This book will teach you photo identification techniques to answer the who, what, when, where and why of a picture.

You’ll learn to evaluate computer programs that offer organizational solutions and how to prepare for the future of photography, including electronic archives and family home pages.

You will learn to understand the legal aspects of family photography and how to take advantage of low-cost alternatives to traditional photo preservation techniques.

Most chapters end with answers to frequently asked questions. You’ll also find appendixes for sources of family photographs, along with important addresses for conservators, magazines, suppliers, societies, organizations, restoration services, archival storage facilities, Web sites and more.

Don’t you wish your grandmother had identified and archivally cared for the photographs you have today? You can do this for your family that is yet to come.

This book is $19.99 from Betterway Books, 1507 Dana Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207. Call 1-800-289-0963 or you may order from your local book store…in Moultrie, Books & More.

There’s another book that you might enjoy as a companion to Preserving Your Family Photographs. It is Crafting Your Own Heritage Album by Bev Kirschner Braun.

With this book you will immortalize your family’s cherished photos, documents and memorabilia for generations to come. Crafting Your Own Heritage Album shows you how to showcase and preserve the special people, stories, traditions and keepsakes of your ancestry.

Even if you have never attempted a heritage album before, you’ll create elegant, timeless pages as you learn to use archivally safe materials to preserve your family photos, records and heirlooms.

When you read this book you’ll know how to mount and protect three-dimensional mementos and to organize and restore old photographs.

You will be able to incorporate journal entries and anecdotes that personalize and commemorate each layout.

You’ll be able to weave bits of genealogy, family lore and tradition into a cohesive family portrait.

You’ll be able to fill in many missing pieces of your ancestral history and you will be able to create a unique and colorful family tree…and involve the entire family in your special heritage album project.

Besides all of the above – you’ll have a great time with this project!

In the United States, this book is $23.99 from Betterway Books, 1507 Dana Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207. Call 1-800-289-0963 or you may order from your local book store…in Moultrie, Books & More. The ISBN is 1-55870-534-1.

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Just because the information you need is far away doesn’t mean it’s out of reach!

When the distance between what you need and where you are is two hundred miles or two thousand miles, every genealogist faces the challenge of gathering information from sources that they can’t visit in person. Long-Distance Genealogy by Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer, MLS, librarian, archivist, genealogist, author and lecturer – is designed to help "armchair researchers" access records and publications from afar, while providing techniques for overcoming problems associated with the process.

Ms. Crawford-Oppenheimer shares her insights and expertise, ensuring that your own search starts off on the right foot.

You’ll begin by learning basic techniques for locating and obtaining documents through correspondence, library research, inter-library loans, Family History Centers, archival repositories, microfilm and even the Internet.

You’ll learn how to get birth, marriage and death records and to obtain federal and state census records, estate files, land records, military records and more.

You’ll learn how to acquire copies of original documents and locate others who are researching your family lines.

When you do make a trip for research, this book will help you get maximum results from your trip.

With this book you will learn where your ancestors might be buried.

You’ll be able to conduct interviews…and you’ll learn when it is the time to consider hiring a professional genealogist.

Long-Distance Genealogy will show you how to make the world a smaller place – one in which the information you need waits no further than a post office, library or just a keystroke away.

This book is $18.99 from Betterway Books, 1507 Dana Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207. Call 1-800-289-0963 or you may order from your local book store…in Moultrie, Books & More. The ISBN is 1-55870-535-X.

If you are working on your family history, you probably have become a little overwhelmed by the mountain of papers, books and other materials you have accumulated. There is a new book that will help your organize all of your genealogical research so that you can spend more time researching and less time hunting for information lost somewhere on your desk or computer!

Organizing your Family History Search – Efficient & Effective Ways to Gather and Protect Your Genealogical Research by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack is just what you have been looking for.

Following Carmack’s advice, you’ll save time, money and space as you learn to organize everything from filing cabinets to research trips. Whether you have a whole room dedicated to your family history search or just a few storage boxes, you’ll find a system that puts information right at your fingertips. Easy-to-copy charts, forms and checklists take you through every step.

You’ll learn to create a filing system that not only will keep your research straight, but can also grow with your genealogical needs.

You’ll learn to get a handle on correspondence, so you can eliminate duplicate requests and locate your findings quickly and easily.

You’ll learn to plan productive research goals and establish projects around those goals.

This book will help you develop a storage system for CD-ROMs, discs, books, conference materials, microforms and other miscellaneous research necessities.

With the advice from this book you’ll be able to prepare a "bag of essentials" for special trips to gravesites, interviews, repositories and more.

You’ll also be able to protect delicate family artifacts including documents, photos, diaries and other materials.

You’ll be able to organize and preserve your research for future generations by publishing your genealogy, making provisions in your will or donating your work to an archive.

Whether genealogy is your part-time hobby or full-time obsession, you can get organized and stay that way. This guide will have your family history research neat and accessible in no time. Get started today and see what a difference it can make.

This book is $17.99 from Betterway Books, 1507 Dana Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207. Call 1-800-289-0963 or you may order from your local book store…in Moultrie, Books & More. The ISBN is 1-55870-511-2.

Return to Feb/Mar 2003 Index


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