Here’s a list of the Tomes I find useful when writing~researching and generally “puttering”


General and Peripheral Topics Handy for Genealogists and Family History Writers:

A Victorian Flower Dictionary by: Mandy Kirby–details flowers and their unspoken messages according to popular Victorian lore.

How to Archive Family Keepsakes by: fellow blogger  Denise Levenick. Super book, available in print or for your e-reader

Caring for your Cherished Possessions by: Mary Kerney Levenstein and Cordelia Frances Biddle–from fine silver and china to mahogany tabletops and vintage textiles and photographs, learn all sorts of ways to help preserve your precious items and heirlooms

 A little known treasure, writhe with the doings of everyday life, setting and society: Rock Crystal by Adalbert Stifter — a great read for those wishing for a very visceral look into small village life in late 17th to early 18th century Germany/ Austria /Hungary. A review I did of the book can be viewed by clicking on the title.

A surprising volume on some of the things commonly accepted as science and “right nature” by many of our forefathers:                          Eugenics and Other Evils by: G K Chesterton (this was published in 1922 and is now available on the Internet Archive)–Famous essayist, writer, and social commentator examines the world trends framing his lifetime and weighs them against moral and religious standards. Quite telling of what was happening then and what was about to happen to our entire world

Need a boost in the writerly arts or in organizing the stories in your head into a readable compilation?  Try one Mom’s favorites:

Read like a Writer by Francine Prose–love this one for learning to use our beautiful langue in an artful way to make your sentences into pictures for your reader’s mind. You can see my review of this must-have book by clicking the title

Memories of Me by Laura Hedgecock–I had the pleasure of beta reading for this author.  This is an exceptionally well thought out book with chapter after chapter of useful info.  It’s available on Kindle or Regular copy.  I prefer having the actual book in hand for referencing as I go.  It’s available on Amazon

On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner–At first glance, this one may not seem to belong on the shelf, but if you start to feel like this “writing gig” is for you…read Gardner’s book and see what scares you and what rings true. This one truly separates the on-track pros from the dabbling wanna-bees. I’ve reviewed it on GoodReads

Seeking John Campbell by John Daffurn–here’s one to put on yourself for inspiration! Author Daffurn takes up a curiosity for a woman he knows only from a newspaper clipping. What he finds leads him across time and oceans through war and peace and births of new nations. All while trying to determine the parentage of a quiet little woman who died without heirs. Read it and you may find yourself thinking…wow, if John could do this much with a stranger’s story, what could I do with a branch from my own tree? Buy it on Amazon if you don’t win the free copy on my blog!

Interested in creating your own Coat of Arms?  Want to dig a little further into the art and history of family Heraldry?  Browse through these selections:

A Guide to Heraldry by: Ottfried Neubecker

Concise Encyclopedia of Heraldry by: Guy Cadogan Rothery

The Manuel of Heraldry a Concise Description of the Several Terms Used and Containing a Dictionary of Every Designation in the Science with 350 Illustrations by: Sir Francis James Grant

Heraldic Designs for Artists and Craftspeople by John M Bergling~ a great guide for the artistry and common symbols for those wishing to create an authentic family crest

2,100 Victorian Monograms by Karl Klimsch ~ a good one that goes hand in hand with the above to create a rather Old World family mark

Books to search out that are especially helpful for those researching and writing on people from Indiana

Marjie Gates Giffin writes books of local interest to Hoosiers. You’ll find stories of the land, the people, the society and the transitions and changes of a growing city in her books. If Tables Could Talk, Water Runs Downhill and A Walk Through Time: A History of Wayne Township are all invaluable. Look for these on the shelves of the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, eBay or occasionally on Amazon