Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Family History Trippin' Book Review

As part of the Parmenter Adventure, I read the recent ebook (in Kindle book format) on my iPad mini to help me become better organized and focused as a researcher. 

Family History Trippin' by Thomas MacEntee can be purchased at (This book was given to me to review by the author.)

Review by Midge Frazel, 23 October, 2013 (review located at and Goodreads)

Genealogists and family historians are alike in that they know that researching families is a never ending adventure. Planning these adventures brings out the travel agents in all of us and forces us to become organized and planned before we pack the suitcase. With so many kinds of family history trips, it is difficult to give sage advice about the preparation or should I say, it used to be difficult to help others. Armed with a studied copy of Thomas MacEntee's ebook, Family History Trippin', my tie-dyed bandana and my mobile technology, I set out an adventure with a fellow genealogist. Putting what you read and study into practice is the only way to measure how valuable a book purchase can be.

MacEntee's book gives a good overview of the process of looking before you leap with  suitcase in hand. No longer can you grab your cell phone, cord and charger and just bolt out into the world. Libraries and other repositories, (town halls and historical societies) are low staffed and have irregular hours. Many people working in them have not enough experience with the public. You must know where you are going, when they open and close, whether you need an appointment and what equipment you can or can't use.

In addition to the answers to these question, you need to consider the people you are researching with and what information (directions, maps and phone numbers) you need to bring with you. This ebook gives many app lists, travel ideas and pre-trip ideas for consideration. Is your trip local (library, historical society, local conference or meeting) or many miles away (genealogy conferences and cruises)? What lodgings and places to eat are nearby? What is going on at home and other kinds of distractions will there be?

Case in point. MacEntee suggests making your own genealogy packing list and provides advice about leaving no stone unturned before you pack for your trip. The local library a fellow genealogist and I visited suggested an appointment and asked if we were going to need help from a librarian. They made us leave our tote bags with them. Did we each have a pencil?, they asked. We answered their questions and armed with our tablets, and a camera we joyfully entered the secured historical room. My pre-visit and a map of the local area helped us a lot.

Even experienced researchers can benefit from reading this ebook. I would not have thought that a planning and packing list would be needed and that an app would be so, so useful. Thank you Thomas, for making the details of a trip be so pre-organized that so the information could be gathered, have time for a enjoyable lunch and visit a graveyard all in a six hour period without stress.

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