The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy

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The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy is a reference book published by Ancestry Publishing. The first edition was published in 1984 and was edited by Arlene Eakle and [Johni Cerny]]. A revised edition, edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, was published in 1997. The current edition, the third, was published in 2006 and was also edited by Szucs and Luebking.

When Ancestry published the first edition of The Source in 1984, it quickly became a standard reference in the field of genealogy and family history. That same year, it received the coveted “Best Reference” award from the American Library Association. The 1997 edition, built upon the foundations laid down by its predecessor, sold more than 100,000 copies. A poll of librarians placed The Source, sometimes referred to as “the genealogist’s bible,” at the top of the “Top 10 Genealogy Books” for the wealth of information it offers to beginning and experienced genealogists (“Top 10 Genealogy Books,” Family Chronicle 3, no. 3 (January/February 1999): 27–28).

The Source Online

In 2010, digitized the content of The Source and made it available in wiki format as one of the foundational sources for the Wiki. Each chapter has been broken into one or more series of articles, links to which are found below:

Third Edition Table of Contents

  • The Foundations of Family History Research
  • Computers and Technology
  • General References and Guides
  • Business, Institution, and Organization Records
  • Census Records
  • Church Records
  • Court Records
  • Directories
  • Immigration Records
  • Land Records
  • Military Records
  • Newspapers
  • Vital Records
  • African American Research
  • Colonial English Research
  • Colonial Spanish Borderland Research
  • Hispanic Research
  • Jewish American Research
  • Native American Research
  • Urban Research

List of Appendixes

  • Abbreviations and Acronyms
  • Family Associations
  • Genealogical Societies
  • Hereditary and Lineage Organizations
  • Historical Societies
  • The LDS Family History Library
  • The National Archives and its Regions
  • State Archives