08 February 2022

Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research 6th Edition Book Review

The Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research, 5th Edition, edited by Michael J. LeClerc is one of my most used books. I received it as a belated Christmas gift from my parents, in 2012. It's hard to believe it is ten years ago. I have ancestors that settled and/or lived in four of the six states in the book, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The other two states are Maine and Rhode Island.

I saw that a sixth edition was being published, but I didn't know if I wanted to get it or not. I decided since I use the fifth edition a lot, I better get the sixth and stay up to date on New England Research. I am glad I did. The book is a must have one for those with New England ancestry.

Browsing through the latest edition shows more color making it easier to find the information needed. The Preface of the book states that the resources, repositories, and organizations for each state were updated because a great deal has changed since 2012, especially as more resources become digitally available. An expert from each state reviewed the chapter pertaining to their state to make sure the information was factual.

Other updates included making the book user-friendly with color coding and tabs. State maps showing county boundaries is at the beginning of each state section, which I like. A table of contents was added at the beginning of the state sections showing page numbers where each record group can be found. This will help me because I had a lot of sticky notes in the previous version. The book updates the regional and statewide collections of major repositories for each state giving you the latest information. The preface says county maps show town boundaries and towns in bordering counties, but I don't see a difference from the last edition. The county information box was updated to include probate district and deeds. All these updates make for a very user-friendly book. 

The "Using This Book" pages x-xii are great. Pictures of the pages are now included. Explanations of each part of the state chapters are helpful for getting the feel of the book. The uniformity in layout from one state to the other makes it easy to find information no matter what state you turn to in the book.

Having the latest edition with up-to-date resources helps those who have New England Research. This is a must have resource for anyone researching the New England area.


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