TenaciousGenealogy’s 2018 Holiday Guide for Genealogists

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Woohoo! The Holidays are upon us and with that (for most people) gift giving. So here I am with this year’s holiday guide from Tenacious Genealogy. Listed below are 10 items that any genealogist or family historian in your life would love. These are items that either I’ve received and loved as a genealogist/history buff or would get a kick out of if I did receive them. So, enjoy and hopefully you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Fun fact: I read somewhere recently that there are something like 30 major religious holidays between November and January, which is pretty intense. For those curious, a decent list of these can be found here.


Disclosure: I received a free copy of Chicago Eternal in exchange for adding the book to my gift guide. That said, my opinion of the book down below is strictly my own.

Chicago Eternal

By Larry Broutman

Price: $55
Publisher: Lake Claremont Press: A Chicago Joint
ISBN: 978-1893121-74-4
Page Count: 336 pp.
Format: Hardcover, 9″ x 13″

Publisher’s blurb:
Chicago’s rich history comes alive through stirring photographs of grave markers, headstones, monuments, tombs, chapels, mausoleums, and war memorials. This elegant coffee table book explores over thirty Cook County cemeteries, featuring striking images of the final resting places of the Windy City’s most illustrious leaders, entrepreneurs, entertainers, artists, athletes, and gangsters. Each beautiful photograph is accompanied by text detailing the deceased’s historical and cultural significance.

This is a GORGEOUS book and even if I hadn’t received a copy to look over for myself, this is the kind of book I would love to have and flip through on my coffee table. The photographs on the inside are beautiful and the captions both fascinating and at times, heart-wrenching. Given that I have ancestors who lived in and around Chicago (and along the Great Lakes), I found this book to be engaging and made me more curious about the cemeteries that my own ancestors were buried in.

A few other cool things about this book:

  1. It came with 3D glasses. While I have yet to find the picture that you would need 3D glasses for, it is definitely an interesting twist and makes me curious to see why I need those glasses and for which picture(s).
  2. All author proceeds go to the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and Access Living Chicago. So not only is this a cool book but the money spent on it goes to charitable causes.
  3. If you purchase the book through the publisher (Everything Goes Media – down below) and put in the promo code: TenGen45 – you will get $10 off. Sweet!

Everything Goes Media (Link to publisher’s website)

Amazon (Amazon page for Chicago Eternal)

Genealogy Mug

Given how much time late at night I spend searching after hard to find ancestors (or dealing with ‘gene-somnia’), a genealogy mug like this would be an awesome gift. And I know plenty of other genealogists and family historians who would love it as well. Genealogy can be thrilling, frustrating, and humorous, so it’s always good to be reminded that you needto have patience when dealing with your ancestors and to document everything. This mug has a quote on it that I have to remind myself of every day:

‘God grant me the serenity to accept the ancestors I cannot find, the courage to find the ones I can, and the wisdom to document thoroughly.’

Genealogy Shirt

Another humorous genealogy gift that any genealogist or family historian would love. As anyone who has researched their family tree will tell you, there is always more to research and no family tree is truly ever ‘complete’. At the same time, there are always new documents that pop up and a variety of ways to organize them.

‘My work is done. I found everyone in my family tree and all my documents are organized. – said no genealogist ever.’

The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy


A perennial favorite. Geared toward those who are just beginning and those who know a little bit more about DNA testing, this book is great for those family members who have either done a DNA test and are having a hard time figuring out what it all means or are thinking about getting one in the future and aren’t sure about what they are getting into. The author is Blaine Bettinger, who also blogs at thegeneticgenealogist.com (which I have referenced many times in my research), so you know that this book is written both plainly and authoritatively.

Customizable Family Tree Chart

Different types of charts

A favorite of mine – a Family Tree chart from Family Tree Prints. I created one for myself last year and I’ve received plenty of compliments on it since then. You can see my review of their product here. It is a great product that looks beautiful, is affordable, and easy to make and give. These charts come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, so there is no need to worry that it will be anything but unique.

Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards

The 2018 update to the 2001 classic. The original edition, I received for Christmas a few years ago when I was starting to get serious about doing genealogy professionally. It is a BIG book (as is this one), chock full of information on going into the professional genealogy field. The only thing that I found frustrating was the fact that by 2016 (when I got the book), it was in need of updating. A lot had changed in the genealogy field since 2001 (cassettes and floppy disks were no longer standard material and genetic genealogy was becoming ever more important). So when this edition came out, I was excited to check it out. Simply put, it was worth the wait and cost. If you or someone you know is looking into becoming a professional genealogist, I highly recommend this book. It’s one that I refer to frequently (even though I’m not a professional genealogist yet) and is incredibly handy to have around.

Format: hardcover
Imprint: GPC
ISBN: 9780806320724
Pub Date: April 2018
Print Pages: 678 pp.

Description blurb:

In 2001 twenty-three genealogists collaborated to produce the first-ever textbook outlining professional standards and practices in the discipline of genealogy. Edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills, the groundbreaking Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers & Librarians (ProGen) addressed not just genealogy sources but also strategies and analytical skills, best practices and standards for historical research, and how to conduct a genealogical business. It remains a go-to manual for genealogists.

Now a new generation of genealogical educators have given the field an entirely new guide to the profession of genealogy–offering fresh insights and new specialties, grounded in more-solid standards and wider experiences and applications. In twenty-six chapters, written by twenty-two experts and edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards (ProGen PPS) is an invaluable resource for professional genealogists and students, as well as all family history researchers. “From genetic and forensic genealogy to ethics and contracts, business structures, marketing, writing, editing, and preparing books for press, ProGen PPS promises to inspire thought processes and ignite new discussions”(Billie Stone Fogarty, M. Ed. President, Association of Professional Genealogists).


Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace

Another incredible handy reference book for genealogists. One of the biggest, most important parts to doing genealogy is to cite sources. But genealogy sources can be from all over the place. How do you cite something that isn’t necessarily in a textbook or other ‘scholarly’ source? What information do you record so others can follow your genealogy trail? That’s what this book is for. I use it frequently when I have a question on how to cite a source or what information I need to record.

Format: hardcover
Edition: Third Edition Revised
Imprint: GPC
ISBN: 9780806320403
Pub Date: 2017
Print Pages: 892 pp.

Description blurb:
Evidence Explained is the definitive guide to the citation and analysis of historical sources–a guide so thorough that it leaves nothing to chance. While countless websites now suggest ways to identify their offerings, few of those address the analytical needs of a researcher concerned with the nature and provenance of web material, whose numerous incarnations and transformations often affect the reliability of their content. 


NEHGS Membership

NEHGS (New England Historic Genealogical Society) is one of the preeminent genealogical societies in the United States and membership in their society affords access to numerous collection, both offline and online, from around the United States and abroad. Even if your ancestors never lived or stepped foot in New England, the NEHGS likely has records or access to records about them. They currently have 450 databases and a variety of learning resources including webinars and online courses. Memberships start at about $90 a year, so if you are or know of a genealogist who would benefit from access to NEHGS’s collections and resources, this is a great gift.

Ancestry DNA

Another great gift for the genealogist in your family. AncestryDNA has one of the biggest DNA databases among the ‘Big 4’ companies who deal with genetic genealogy. Right now through Christmas Eve (12/24/2018), their DNA tests are on sale starting at $59. Because AncestryDNA has such a large database (over 10 million at the current time) it is a great way for genealogists to find relatives and grow their family tree.

Association of Professional Genealogists

Do you have a family member who LOVES genealogy and might be interested in becoming a professional genealogist? (Or are you that person?) If so, the Association of Professional Genealogists is a great professional association to join. They have tons of resources and webinars to help genealogists of all levels improve their skill, learn how to start a business, or even explore the different career fields open to genealogists. They also have plenty of benefits in regards to professional development and courses that genealogists can take, as well as conferences and other ways for genealogists to connect and network with others. The annual dues are also reasonable compared to other associations ($100 per year and $50 for members under 30 who agree to get just the online version of their newsletter/ members over 74 who have been members for 20 or more years).

Comments? Questions?

Have any comments or questions about these gifts? Other genealogy or history related gifts you’d love to see or get for the holidays? Let me know in the comments! And if you like what you’ve been seeing here on Tenacious Genealogy – please subscribe to our email list. Not only will you stay up to date with the latest blog posts, but you’ll also get access to freebies such as ’10 Tips for Starting Your Genealogy’ and other fun ‘subscriber only’ items!

2018 Holiday Guide



One thought on “TenaciousGenealogy’s 2018 Holiday Guide for Genealogists

  1. Linda Fielding says:

    What an insightful list! My only problem now is deciding what my favorite genealogist would want (or doesn’t have already). Thanks!

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