Family History Research

To Soar with the Tigers is available for purchase

My first book, To Soar with the Tigers The Life and Diary of Flying Tiger, Robert Brouk is now available!

This is the story of Flying Tiger Robert Brouk, a Flight Leader in the 3rd Squadron of the American Volunteer Group. In the months prior to Pearl Harbor, until the disbandment of the American Volunteer Group in July 1942, the Flying Tigers valiantly fought the Japanese over the skies of Burma and China.

This story contains Robert’s complete war diary. The diary outlines his dramatic experiences from the moment he enlisted in the American Volunteer Group to its disbandment.

His story also contains snapshots of the life he led upon his return to his home in Cicero, Illinois; a graphic account of his untimely death; and accounts of how Robert has been remembered through the years.

You can find To Soar with the Tigers on Lulu in hardcover or EBook, Amazon for Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s NOOK.

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Tuesday’s Tip – Book recommendation

As part of my November ProGen assignment, I had to catalog all the genealogical related books in my personal library and make a wish list of books. My wish list isn’t very long right now because I made it a point the last five months to order one book a month, but I did find a new one to add.

Numbering Your Genealogy by Curran, Crane, and Wray, available through the National Genealogical Society is new on my wish list. I knew a little about numbering as I started writing part of my genealogy for the BCG certification portfolio. Knew a little more because of how my genealogy program numbers things. But I learned a few new things I did not know by reading this book like how to deal with complex families with adopted children, multiple spouses, and international kin.

The book is only 36 pages long but absolutely worth adding to your personal library.

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Book Recommendation – Courthouse Records

Last week I hit my local library to check out what genealogy books they had because there was one I needed to check out. I found one called Courthouse Records for Family Historians Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures by Christine Rose.

I have been doing a lot of Probate research the last few weeks and wanted to see what this book had to say on that topic. Maybe it would have a few sentences or pages of something that would click and send me down a new path. The book is fantastic whether you are a beginning genealogist or more advanced. I think it is a must have book for your personal library if only because Christine gives you so many definitions and examples of different types of records!

The book is broken out into twelves chapters: Preparation is the Key; You’re There – Now What?; Property Matters; Searching for Property Records; Estates Galore; Estate Documents; Milking Every Clue from Estates; Understanding the Court System; Civil and Criminal Court; Birth, Marriage and Death; The Internet, Microfilm, and Libraries; and Strategies that work. There is so much information packed into each chapter you will learn so much.

I can tell you Barnes and Noble and Amazon have this in stock for just under $19 and I plan to order a copy soon. What a wonderful resource. This is one of those books that you will refer to over and over as your research progresses because you will read something  “new” in it each time you open it.

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Book Review – Approaching the Lectern

Thomas MacEntee, owner of The Connected Genealogist, recently gave me a review copy of his book Approaching the Lectern, which you can buy at his Lulu Storefront. If you have followed my blogs, you know I have recently made the transition from hobbyist genealogist to professional. One of my business goals is to educate. One way I am going to make that happen is to teach a Beginning Genealogy class at my local park district over the winter. It has been a few years since I did any major public speaking or developed training materials from which I could teach. Thomas’s book has given me new tools to prepare my presentation, give my presentation, and build my reputation as a professional genealogist.

His book is divided into eight chapters: Why be a Genealogical Speaker?; Take Inventory and Document Your Reputation; Building Your Presentation; Building Speaking Skills; Dealing with Disaster; Virtual Presentations; Building Your Business; and Marketing Your Business. Need some additional information on the chapter you are reading? Thomas provides reference links with more information.  Additionally, every chapter ends with a fantastic conclusion to reiterate the important points and a To-Do list!

I will not give the whole book away but there are a several points that really hit home for me.

  • Create a bio and resume for myself.  I have a resume for my career life, but did not, until recently, have one that specifically pertained to my genealogical accomplishments and education. The list of possible items to include on a resume is long and really made me see where I am lacking and what I need to focus on. That list of possible items can also be made into a goal sheet to help me keep track of what I have done and what I want to do.
  • Create presentation slides. In my past life as a database administrator/creator, report writer, and trainer, I became accustomed to having each training attendee sit in front of a computer while I navigate the main computer projected on a screen. I walked through the new features of an area we were rolling out, explained the process, and answered questions. Genealogical speaking or teaching requires a different perspective.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice! Thomas provides many excellent tips to prepare you to give your presentation.
  • The tips about disaster preparedness are important. This chapter gave me a good “heads-up” on things I have not even thought of yet because I am not that close to my first presentation.
  • Speaking for a fee or for free? As a new professional  this chapter gave me many ideas on where to begin.
  • And finally, the Marketing Chapter provides some wonderful suggestions to promote yourself and your business. Some of the suggestions I already incorporate into my business, others I need to add to my to-do list.

I encourage you to read Thomas’s book, Approaching the Lectern if you would like new tools, or a refresher on things you already knew, to become a better speaker and business person.  This is a book you can read many times as your business changes. Each time you read it you will find that one piece of “new” information you did not need last time you looked at it. This book will remain on my shelf as a reference for a long time. Thank you Thomas for providing such a wonderful resource!

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