James M Beidler is best known for his books and lectures on German Genealogy research. However, did you know he writes a syndicated Family History column for newspapers called “Roots and Branches” which can be read in Pennsylvania? A column full of advice, quips, humor, and thoughtful insights into the world of family history.
The 4th edition of his book The Best of Roots & Branches: Pennsylvania’s Only Syndicated Family History Newspaper Column came out in April of this year and is a great read. The columns are broken into sections by subject so it is easy to find topics you are interested in reading about quickly. Everything from research and methodology to DNA is discussed in the book. In addition there is a full index which includes subjects, people, and places that are covered within the articles.
With nearly 15 years of articles to choose from I am sure it was hard to figure out what “the best” was. I know I am having a hard time deciding which of the articles I enjoyed the most. Never one to beat around the bush, Jim’s straight to the point attitude and wry sense of humor on the subjects he writes about comes through loud and clear. The personal family history discoveries sprinkled through the articles makes the stories personal and come alive to the reader. Since I enjoy telling my stories on my blog, I can appreciate the excitement felt by these discoveries and the need to share them with the world.
If you want to read his articles as they come out check out the Lebanon Daily News and Altoona Mirror for upcoming articles. You will not be disappointed!