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Black Roots: A Beginners Guide To Tracing The African American Family Tree [Paperback]

Tony Burroughs

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Book Description

6 Feb 2001
Trace, document, record, and write your family's history with this easy-to-read, step-by-step authoritative guide. Finally, here is the fun, easy-to-use guide that African Americans have been waiting for since Alex Haley published Roots more than twenty-five years ago. Written by the leading African American professional genealogist in the United States who teaches and lectures widely, Black Roots highlights some of the special problems, solutions, and sources unique to African Americans. Based on solid genealogical principles and designed for those who have little or no experience researching their family's past, but valuable to any genealogist, this book explains everything you need to get started, including: where to search close to home, where to write for records, how to make the best use of libraries and the Internet, and how to organize research, analyze historical documents, and write the family history. THIS GUIDE ALSO INCLUDES: real case histories that illustrate the unique challenges posed to African Americans and how they were solved more than 100 illustrations and photographs of actual documents and records you're likely to encounter when tracing your family tree samples of all the worksheets and forms you'll need to keep your research in order a list of the traps even experienced researchers often fall into that hamper their research

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About the Author

Tony Burroughs is an internationally known genealogist, and author, who teaches genealogy at Chicago State University. He lectures throughout the United States on all aspects of genealogy, serves on the Board of Trustees for the Association of Professional Genealogists as well as other national boards, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the National Genealogical Society. He has traced two family lines back seven generations. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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Genealogy is the study of family history. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Trapped"- One Way or Another 9 Mar 2001
By Barbara K.Hughes Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Black Roots delivers far beyond the stated expectations. Not only is it a one of a kind comprehensive guide for the new genealogist, but serves as a corrective resource for the more advanced researcher. Unlike traditional guides, Mr.Burroughs'largely first person, experiential accounts are so genuine, that he effortlessly, fervently and even humorously, challenges the reader to explore self, family and the human experience in general. He sets forth thirty-four(34) "traps" that the beginning genealogist should avoid, which is a unique feature to a genealogical guide. Traps are interspersed throughout the chapters and reviewed together in the appendix. One can surmise that some of these traps evolved from Mr. Burroughs' early personal blunders. Although the Book's title addresses African American research, his expert advice transcends culture/ethnicity.
Black Roots borders on over-kill; so, readers who shy away from intensity may not get beyond the first twenty-five pages. Mr. Burroughs states that his book is limited in scope, yet he leaves no stone unturned. His dictate for scientific methodology, discipline and tenacity throughout, may be somewhat intimidating to the faint hearted new researcher who thinks genealogy is "merely a hobby". Although he shares plenty of motivational lifts such as "Have fun and Don't give up", some may not see any amusement in the phrase,"the study of..." On the other hand, it would be difficult not to be trapped by Mr. Burroughs' fire and passion for the study of...genealogy.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Genealogy Classic in the Making 26 Feb 2001
By Robert L. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Black Roots," by renown Black genealogists Tony Burroughs is without doubt the best "how-to" book on getting started in African American genealogy that has been written for the beginner. Bringing to bear his wide experience as a teacher, lecturer, and researcher, Mr Burroughs addresses in detail all of the traditional, as well as non-traditional, elements that make for searching, researching, and documenting a genealogy as well as family history. This book is extremely well written, illustrated, and organized; suitable for use for individual study as well as classroom use. In addition to containg numerous clear examples for his narratives in its twenty chapters, the book also has a set of excellent appendixes covering: a glossary, acronyms, traps, a short biography of Robert Elliott Burroughs (one of the "skeletons" all genealogists find, and the author's uncle), a directory of sources, and an excellent bibliography. If one buys only one book this year, I strongly recommend: "Black Roots," by Tony Burroughs.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless info 26 Feb 2001
By Dorian C. - Published on Amazon.com
Having researched my own family history for the past two years, I anxiuosly read Mr. Burroughs' book after meeting him at a book signing. And it is through my own experiences that I can reccommend this book for the beginning and advanced genealogist, and even for those with a passing interest in family history.
The book validated many of the steps that I had already taken, and offered guidelines for increasing the depth of my research. Moreover, the book walks you from the research gathering stage into the synthesis and publication stages, which seem to be the toughest for all.
As far as African-American genealogy, Mr. Burroughs focuses on the importance of oral history and the special problems of tracing family history through slavery.
I WISH THAT I HAD THIS BOOK WHEN I STARTED! But, I am glad that I have it now.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Black Genealogical Book Written 3 Jan 2002
By "sgrassi1" - Published on Amazon.com
This is the best source for black genealogy that I have read. It was an easy read and hard to put down. Mr Burroughs gave good explanations and used interesting examples. When he introduced a new concept, he explained it thoroughly and gave an example of why or why not to do whatever he was explaining. I learned a lot of good habits from this book, especially about documenting sources. If you are planning to become a professional genealogist, this book is a good beginning and an excellent reference for your genealogy library. I know I am going to buy it and have already referred several others (who are beginners to genealogy) to read it and/or purchase it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! 14 Mar 2002
By Renita Sanders - Published on Amazon.com
Tony Burroughs shares an exilirating experience of his journey regarding genealology research and findings. This book will lead you to greater heights! I found the book to be one of the most valuable pieces of information regarding my genealogy research. It lead me to find my family in Washington, Louisiana back to 4 generations. It was the most rewarding project that I ever encountered! What an awesome journey!
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