16 Best Books on Family Genealogy, Family Trees & Heritage


More and more people are setting out to answer the question of where they come from. There are countless resources to help narrow down the search. But it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Fortunately, we have a few books that could be helpful in your search.

While some of these may not pertain to your family's history, they may inspire you. With a little searching, you may be able to find something similar that is more appropriate for your research. We hope that these books will provide more insight into the history of your family.

1. The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried-and-True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Family Members by Marsha Hoffman Rising 

Researching your family tree can be complex, and at times, overwhelming. If you've hit a wall in your search, this book may be able to help.

You'll learn research techniques to help you with your project. This is an excellent resource for any stage of family genealogy research. 

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2. Marriage Law for Genealogists by Rebecca Probert

This book serves as a primary guide for individuals interested in their English and Welsh heritage. The book traces genealogy in this region back as far as 1600. Marriage Law for Genealogists is a compilation of years of research. It includes the location and time of marriages for many families.

This information has helped identify the missing pieces of family histories for many people. And it has helped people complete their family trees

3. Book of our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov, Nachman Dulman, and Dovid Landesman 

This three-volume book series explains the Jewish holidays, festivals, laws, and customs. For anyone who wants to have a deeper understanding of Jewish culture, this book is a great resource. It provides a thorough explanation of the meaning and history.

The Jewish calendar is also discussed so the reader can understand its significance. This book is produced as a pocket-sized booklet. It is a great quick reference guide. 

4. The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine T. Bettinger 

If you've ever been curious about what DNA means for your genealogy research, then this book is for you. It discusses what you can learn from DNA testing. And it provides an unbiased analysis of the pros and cons of the different tests available.

For people who are feeling overwhelmed with all the choices, this book can provide you with the information you need to decide your next steps. It also includes information to help you understand your DNA test results.

Reviewers say this book provides clarity and information about available resources, and that knowledge helped tremendously in their genealogy research. 

5. Native American Heritage by Merwyn Garbarino and Robert F. Sasso 

This book provides a deeper understanding of Native American heritage. It examines different tribes and their diverse customs. Additionally, there is a discussion about communication between Native Americans and non-Native Americans.

Garbarino and Sasso investigate how this communication helped shape other cultures. The book includes a variety of visuals, including photographs and charts, to better explain the complex data. 

6. Our Family Tree: A History of Our Family by Chartwell Books 

It is incredible how many people are gathering information about their family and their genealogy. But, it is important to make sure all that information has somewhere to be stored.

That way other family members have access to it for years to come. This booklet allows you to compile all your research into one easy-to-understand record. 

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7. The Family Tree Scandinavian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Ancestors in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway by David A. Fryxell 

You can trace your Scandinavian ancestry with this easy-to-follow guide. It provides excellent resources and outlines the best research practices for this ethnicity.

If you've run into roadblocks, this book will help kickstart your search. And hopefully, help you find valuable information about your family. 

8. Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com by Nancy Hendrickson 

Many people use the popular genealogy site, ancestry.com, to help with their search. But, the site can be overwhelming. It has a ton of resources. It can be difficult to know if you are getting everything you can out of it.

This book offers insight into how best to use the website. These tips and tricks will help you figure out the best way to find information about your family. 

9. 300 Questions to Ask Your Parents Before It's Too Late by Shannon L. Alder 

When we consider our family's history we often only focus on our ancestors. But, you have a wealth of historical information available to you. Your parents know much more about your family’s history than you would think!

This book offers 300 prompts for questions to ask your parents. From their answers, you can create a family resource for later generations. The types of questions range from careers and education to interests and hobbies. 

10. Me and My Family Tree by Joan Sweeney 

This children's book provides a concise explanation to young readers about their place in a family. It discusses how people are related to each other. And helps children learn the importance of kinship and what makes a family.

Consider using this book as an introduction to what a family tree is. It can help children understand how all the branches of a family come together to create its history. 

11. The Family Tree Irish Genealogy Guide by Claire Santry 

For those that are looking to connect with their Irish roots, this book is a great starting place. It provides insight into the best practices to research Irish genealogy. It goes a step beyond online sources and provides other ways to find useful information.

It includes an extensive list of resources and historical timelines that may be relevant to you. 

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12. Family Trees: A History of Genealogy in America by Francois Weil 

American’s are currently very fascinated by the study of genealogy. Because America is a melting pot of cultures, it can be a feat to identify genealogy. Especially if your family was among some of the earlier immigrants to the United States.

The history of how genealogy was tracked in the United States is explored in this book. It would be an interesting read for anyone trying to understand their family’s journey to American citizenship. 

13. The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy by Kimberly Powell 

Online resources have made it easier for people to research their family history. But, the vast number of resources can be overwhelming. This book simplifies the online genealogy resources available. And it explains how you can get the most out of each one. 

14. The Family Book by Todd Parr 

This children's book is about understanding families and what a family can look like. It explains the different makeup of families and how people are related to one another.

This book is ideal for explaining to younger children how every person in a family is connected. 

15. His Testimonies My Heritage by Kristie Anyabwile and Kim Cash Tate 

This book provides a blend of heritage and faith. It explores cultural expression through the lens of women of color.

It's a unique perspective of how heritage can influence everything--including faith. 

16. 31 Days to Better Genealogy by Amy Johnson Crow

Researching genealogy can be a huge feat. It may feel like it's impossible to devote enough time to the project. This book breaks it down into manageable chunks.

It can help you make progress with your research without feeling overwhelmed. 

Understanding Your History 

Books can do a lot to help you understand your family's history. Each of these books offers something different to help you. Some will reveal the path your family traveled. Others will help you simplify the genealogy research process.

Choose one of these books as a tool to explore and understand your family's history. Regardless of which you choose, it’ll help you understand your family’s history a little better. 

If you're interested in reading more about your family tree, check out our guides on family tree ideas and how to plan a family reunion.

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