I read Heather's update to her "Top Ten Genealogy Books" back in August and I realized that I've never talked about what books I like to use! I mean, I talk about the web all the time, but certain books of mine are dog-eared, falling apart from use, and highlighted all over the place as I've used them over and over and over again,..and mine are completely different from what she uses!
I actually held off on posting this, and I'm glad I did, because my #5 book is a recent addition to my library. While sometimes you get a new book and love it because its new, #5 has been holding steady as one of my favorite books of all time, and I'm really glad I found a copy of it!
1. Descendants of Andrew Webber by Lorenzo Webber. My most used book is probably the Webber family book. It's available online, but I have a nice copy I had made just for me to write corrections into and peruse off-line. You can see it here, conveniently marked for my ancestor! :-)
2. Wills and Other Probate Records: A Practical Guide to Researching Your Ancestor's Last Documents by Karen Grannum. It's a little older now, but I still use it to research different terms in wills, reminding me what probate is, how and where to find records. In tandem, Judy Russell's The Legal Genealogist I've made great strides in finding ancestral wills and probate records in the last couple years. (my husband says to note this is the SECOND copy I've bought because the first copy I wrote all over...)
3. The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. I've got this one AND the 50th Anniversary version. I'm new to this in the past few years, and they can be a bit snoozeworthy on their own, but used in context of any genealogical problem I have, they are invaluable for helping me figure out where I've MISSED something in my quest to figure the problem out. Usually it is a missing citation or research log, but once I find it, I can keep going on the problem, and that makes this book worth its weight in gold to me.
4. The Evernote Bible - Guide to Everything Evernote, Including: Tips, Uses, and Evernote Essentials by Tyler and Brandon Collins. I am a huge note-taking fan. I have notebook after notebook of personal, professional, and genealogical notes. I've been scanning them into Evernote and organizing them into families and personal and professional notebooks. This book is great for helping me use a sometimes confusing program.
5. A Better Place: Death and Burial in Nineteenth-Century Ontario by Susan Smart. I know this sounds weird. It's not exactly genealogy, though the book does have a genealogy section. This book is a comfort to read, with the focus on the rituals and behaviors of the living around the dead. The first-hand accounts of ceremonies and rituals makes it a wonderful read, and the poetry and verse makes what could have been an extremely dull study of death rituals instead extremely enlightening and entertaining to read. I've enjoyed reading this book multiple times since acquiring it this year.