Book Review: Genealogy at a Glance. Revolutionary War Genealogy Research, by Craig R. Scott, CG.

Prepared by Gena Philibert-Ortega.

The "Genealogy at a Glance" series published by Genealogical Publishing Company provides the genealogist with a short reference guide (4 laminated pages measuring 8 ½ x 11") with the information they need to start a research project. These guides serve as a a nice introduction and reference tool. According to the publisher, Genealogical Publishing Company, website, these Guides are, "Designed to cover the basic elements of genealogical research in just four pages, the 'Genealogy at a Glance' series attempts to give you as much useful information in the space allotted as you'll ever need. In less than a handful of pages (specially laminated for heavy use), it provides an overview of the facts you need to know in order to begin and proceed successfully with your research. It boils the subject down to its essence and allows you to grasp the basics of research at a glance!"

Craig R Scott, CG, a genealogist with expertise in military research provides the researcher with everything from the basics of what you need to start researching your Revolutionary War ancestor ( a name helps but in the absence of a name "pull out pedigree charts and look for ancestors born prior to 1765 and living in the colonies from 1776 and 1783) to actual websites that might be helpful such as Cyndi's List. Major record sources including lineage societies, pension records and compiled military service records are addressed. Others records sources like muster rolls, settled accounts, bounty land, manuscript collections, loyalist records and the U. S. Federal Census records are also mentioned.

As one would expect the collections of the National Archives are prevalent in this guide. There is some discussion of online digitized records collections such as those found on Ancestry.com and Footnote.com (now called Fold3). While this guide was published in 2011 there are some updates that might benefit readers such as the change in name from Footnote to Fold3 (Fold3 even has a link for the Revolutionary War collection that could be provided) as well as a new book by genealogist Christine Rose, "Military Bounty Land 1776-1855" that would be a wonderful update to the paragraphs on bounty land.

Does this guide have everything you need to know to research Revolutionary War soldiers? No. But it is a guide, not a full length treatment on the subject. Yes, there are a few things missing like a longer discussion on non-U. S. participants and Loyalists (the section on Loyalists is only two sentences plus a reference to a CD). However, this guide provides all researchers with some background knowledge that they need to start their Revolutionary War project. This is a good resource for those who are researching their patriot ancestor. I also like the fact that it is laminated which means that it will survive trips to research facilities, frequent usage and even the accidental spill. This guide should be one that you refer back to when you complete one record search and need to refresh yourself on what's next.

Genealogy at a Glance: Revolutionary War Genealogy Research, by Craig R. Scott. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2011.

<< Genealogy Book Reviews

click to view original photo