Family Bookstore

Welcome to our Family Bookstore! Below you’ll find books about the Tyrolean culture, travel guides for Northern Italy (originally known as Tyrol or Tirol), cookbooks, historical accounts of our ancestors, and info about DNA testing. Also listed are books to help with your own family research.

All books in our shop are provided by Amazon through their affiliate program. Your purchase from our online Bookstore helps defray the costs of this website as well as support ongoing genealogy research. Mille grazie!

Special Note: Amazon prices are subject to change without notice! The book prices listed below may be different from the online sale price (over time some books decrease in price, some books increase in price due to demand). We update information on a regular basis.

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Tyrolean Culture and History:

IlPaneDellaMinieraFather Bonficio Bolognani’s follow-up book published in 1988, available in limited quantities from Amazon used booksellers. Il Pane Della Miniera or Bread from Underground (please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link) is out-of-print and only sold through third party book sellers. The paperback price is currently $45.97. This is the story of the Trentino people working in the mines of America. Written from a historical prospective, it tells of the suffering endured by many of our ancestors working as miners in North America. The book is richly illustrated with historical photographs and presented in both Italian and English.


SouthTyrolSouth Tyrol: A Minority Conflict of the Twentieth Century (Studies in Austrian and Central European History and Culture) (please click on the title for information or to purchase – paid link) by Rolf Steininger, published in 2003, is still in print and available directly through Amazon and Amazon booksellers for the current price range of $41.00 – $48.00. This is a small volume detailing the political history of Tyrol after World War I through 1998. If you ever wondered how Tyrol was transformed from an Austrian territory to an Italian province, this is the book to read. Although a bit dry with only a few photographs to enliven the text, I found “South Tyrol” answered many questions about my heritage. For example: Why my family was listed in the 1910 census as being from “Austria” but in the 1930 census their birthplace changed to “Italy”. This little book is worth the read if you are interested in the modern history of Trentino-Alto Adige (South Tyrol).



Life on a Gelato Diet: Everyday Expeditions with an American in Bolzano, Italy,  (please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link) by L. Lee McIntyre, published in 2014. I threw this one in just for fun. “Life on a Gelato Diet” is a self-published ebook detailing a typical day of an expat, living (and surviving!) in the city of Bolzano. Ebook price: $3.99 (also available as a paperback for $7.99). Lee McIntyre has traveled with her husband to South Tyrol and set-up housekeeping in an apartment at the heart of the city. Her husband has accepted a position in Bolzano, leaving Lee to figure out the details of everyday living, such as grocery shopping, dealing with handy men, and working through the bureaucracy of Italian paperwork – all while learning Italian. Yes it seems like trial by fire, but she survives and, with much humor, details her daily exploits around Bolzano. Since I have been to Bolzano and am planning a future trip back to this lovely medieval city, I found this little gem of a book entertaining and informative. I plan to use much of her advice on my next visit. And perhaps I might bump into the expat herself and invite her for a bowl of gelato!


TheHiddenFrontierThe Hidden Frontier: Ecology and Ethnicity in an Alpine Valley(please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link) by John W. Cole, first published in 1974, an updated version was reissued in 1999. Available as a new or used hardcover through individual booksellers at Amazon. You can also purchase the book directly through Amazon as a new paperback for $32.11, as a used paperback for $14.88 or as a much more reasonably priced Kindle ebook for $18.33. This book was a suggestion from Chiara Dalle Nogare, one of our Trentino cousins. It was originally published as an academic treatise based on field research comparing the peasant life of two Alpine villages: Germanic St. Felix and close neighbor, Italian-speaking Tret (a small village located close to the Genetti family’s ancestral Castelfondo and very similar in culture). During his research, Professor John Cole lived in the villages he studied, became friends with many of the residents and participated in local culture and traditions. He writes in-depth, comparing the two villages through ethnicity, identity, and nation-building, weaving within the text ethnography, ecology, culture, and politics. St. Felix and Tret reside only about one mile apart in the Val di Non, yet they differ in language, politics and in the very way each designates land usage and village design. Although this is certainly a book for those more academically inclined, the average reader will gain a deeper understanding of the history and anthropology of the old Tyrol, as well as a glimpse of how modernization is changing this isolated Alpine region. I am currently reading “The Hidden Frontier” and have found the first section to contain the best detailed historical account of the Trentino-Alto Adige region that I have ever read. From pre-Roman to modern-day, Tyrol (South Tyrol) was and still is a fascinating part of Europe. A blend of German, Italian and ancient culture; dealing with its own factions and internal politics; historically battling external governments; yet fiercely proud and autonomous by nature. If you really want to understand your Tyrolean roots, this is the book to read!



Governance and Grievance: Habsburg Policy and Italian Tyrol in the Eighteenth Century, (please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Miriam J. Levy, published in 1988. Available through Amazon as a paperback, price: $19.95.

Amazon description: Governance and Grievance touches on various aspects of Habsburg domestic policy, focusing on how the rulers influenced and were influenced by developments in both Italian and German Tyrol, and how they used to advantage the competing regional interests.



PoemsTo Invent a Life: Poems in the Trentino Dialect and English, (please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Michael F. Capobianco, published in 2013. Available through Amazon as a paperback, price: $13.95 or Kindle book, price: $3.99.

Amazon description: Translating these poems with Antonia Dalpiaz has been one of the highlights of my writing career. They are so beautiful that it sometimes seemed to me that they were translating themselves! You will find within: poems of nature, poems of love, and many which defy genre classification. Dalpiaz wrote them in the dialect of her home town of Trentino, Italy (Trentino), and if you know some Italian you should be able to appreciate the wonderful charm of this dialect. This is why we wanted to publish the book in bilingual form, each poem in the original followed by the English. Enjoy! 


TalesAndLegends2Tales and Legends of the Tyrol, (please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by A. von Gunther, published in 2014. Available through Amazon as a paperback, price: $6.99 or Kindle book, price: $0.99. This is a reprint of a classic book originally published in 1874. The tales were collected from villages in Tyrol and transcribed by Maria Alker Gunther in the mid-1800’s.

Amazon description: The Tyrol, the land of glory and tradition, the wonder-garden of the world, so often visited but so little known, forms the theme of the following volume; and in dedicating it to the public the authoress feels certain of a fair share of their approval, perhaps, even, of their thanks; for many are the dangers which have been incurred in its production, and many are the days of weary walks and severe trials that it has cost.


TyrolAndItsPeople2Tyrol and Its People, (please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Clive Holland and Adrian Stokes. Originally published in 1909, this is a classic reprint of the original text. Available through Amazon as a hardcover, price: $28.95, paperback: $13.95 or a Kindle book, price: FREE!

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web.

Customer review: Being of Tyrolean descent and also an amateur genealogist, I found this book to be an enlightening history of my ancestral home. Written over 100 years ago, the language is somewhat old-fashioned. However this little volume offers historical information of the ancient region called Tyrol that few modern descendants are aware of. It was very helpful in my personal research in finding my roots.


In the Shadow of Saint Stephen, (please click on title for information or to purchase – paid link) by Allen E. Rizzi, published in 2013. Available as eBook: $2.99 or paperback: $9.99.

Amazon Description: With beautiful photos, In The Shadow of Saint Stephen gives the reader a window into the past of the tiny village of Cloz, located in Italy’s northern Trento province. History is brought back to life through an examination of the antique cemetery located along side of the Saint Stephen’s church. Richly detailed and informative, this book delves into the history, restoration and preservation of one of Northern Italy’s most historic cemeteries.

Originally written in Italian, this new text has been translated into English for English speaking scholars, genealogists and readers with ancestors from the village of Cloz.


Tyrol or Not Tyrol: Theatre as History in Südtirol/Alto Adige (Cultural Identity Studies), (please click on the title for information or to purchase – paid link) by Nóra de Buiteléir, published 2012. Available as paperback: $10.48

Amazon description: On 19 June 1992 Austria and Italy declared the official resolution of the South Tyrol question – the dispute that had dominated relations between the two countries since the end of the First World War. While this bilingual province is today held up as a triumph of minority rights protection and a model for post-conflict societies across the world, the story of the South Tyrol since its amalgamation into the Italian state in 1919 has been a complex and often turbulent one.
This book investigates the political role of the theatre in reflecting, shaping and subverting patterns of cultural identity among the German-speaking South Tyrolese. Taking as its starting point the representation of history in a series of ambitious theatrical productions from the 1970s to the present, this study offers close readings of texts and performances and an examination of the belated development of professional theatre in the province. The role of theatre is analysed in terms of the broader historical and sociocultural factors at play in the shaping of South Tyrolese identity.


Südtirol and Dolomites, (please click on title for information or to purchase – paid link) by Enrico Massetti, published 2016. Available as eBook: $7.55 or paperback: $17.95.

Amazon description: Alto Adige – Südtirol is a German-speaking province, where food is more similar to Austrian food than to Italian. Smoked speck is a specialty here. And… don’t forget the mountains, both in winter and in summer time there is always something to do.

In Bolzano – Bozen in German, a city where Italian and German cultures seamlessly blend, between the many architectural sites we recommend beginning from a “lesser” work, yet one which have a great symbolic interest: the Porta del Vino (the “Wine Gate”) inside Bolzano’s gothic Cathedral, artistically engraved with images of peasants at the work between the vines.

Homage to wine, which here is produced with excellent results – just one more reason for this region’s appeal. Not to be missed is the Dominican Church, with its 14th-century fresco on the “Triumph of Death” in clear Giotto style. Finally, Merano is a pretty and highly popular tourist center with ancient porticoes and a suggestive historical center.

This is a guide to the Italian mountain province of Südtirol. It describes its provincial capital city of Bolzano with its surroundings of San Genesio, Sarentino Valley, Ritten, Rosengarten, Carezza Lake, and Steinegg, as well as the Pusteria and Venosta valleys, including Merano and its surroundings of Senales Valley, Passeir Valley, Naturns, Lagundo, Schwemmalm, Vigiljoch, Ulten Valley and Naturns. It also includes the Seiseralm – Alpe di Siusi, with Kestelruth, Fie allo Scillar, and the Alta Badia Valley, as well as the Val Gardena with Santa Cristina, Selva, and Ortisei.

The guide includes extensive descriptions and photos of the localities covered.


Ötzi, the Iceman: The Full Facts at a Glance, (please click on title for information or to purchase – paid link) by Angelika Fleckinger, published 2018. Available as paperback: $13.54. No description available.






Tyrol and the Tyrolese: The People and the Land in Their Social, Sporting, and Mountaineering Aspects, (please click on the title for information or to purchase – paid link) by William Adolph Baillie-Grohman, originally published in 1877, reproduction published in 2018. Available as eBook: $7.95, paperback: $19.95 or hardcover: $26.95.

Amazon description: This is a reproduction of a classic text optimised for kindle devices. We have endeavoured to create this version as close to the original artefact as possible. Although occasionally there may be certain imperfections with these old texts, we believe they deserve to be made available for future generations to enjoy.



TrentinoAndSouthTyrolBlue Guide Trentino & the South Tyrol with Trento, Bolzano, Rovereto, Merano, Bressanone and the Dolomites(please click on the title for information or to purchase – paid link) by Paul Blanchard, published in 2014. I’m a big fan of electronic books and here is one that will give you a lot of value for your money. The Amazon Kindle price for this travel guide is only $5.99, (paperback is $9.85).

Although short at only 92 electronic pages, it contains a bounty of information, especially if you are planning a trip to this region. I was impressed by how much history the author included, along with notes on architecture, regional flora and fauna, food and wine, and ancestral families. Being a travel guide, there is also advice about hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, museums and sites to see for each city and region, as well as info on how to travel in Trentino and the South Tyrol. I particularly like the detailed information included towards the end of the book on wines of the region. This is a handy guide all by itself for any budding wine connoisseur, detailing the regions and terms used in describing Northern Italian wines.

If you’re traveling to the Italian Alps, this Blue Guide is the perfect companion. Since it is an Amazon ebook, I can easily refer to it on my Kindle, computer, digital tablet or smart phone by simply installing the Amazon app across all of my digital platforms.


SmartGuideSmart Guide Italy Trentino-Alto Adige, (please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Holger Reinhardt, Angela Simmons and Alexei Cohen, published in 2012. Available through Amazon as a Kindle book, price: $2.99.

Amazon description: ‘Smart Guide Italy: Trentino-Alto Adige’ is the perfect travel guide for discovering one of Italy’s most remote regions. Smart Guide provides essential background, cultural, and practical information that makes a holiday memorable. The guide is divided into the two provinces that make up the region and has been researched and written by local residents who taste the polenta (local specialty) and visit each monument before writing about it.

Smart Guide Italy is the only digital travel guide that covers all of Italy’s regions and is written, researched, and investigated by full-time residents. Each title is the series provides insights to the most important monuments and useful information for eating, drinking, sleeping and having a good time in Italy.


SouthTyrol2South Tyrol Guide: Sightseeing, Hotel, Restaurant & Shopping Highlights, (please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Christina Taylor, published in 2015. Available through Amazon as a paperback, price: $12.95 or Kindle book, price: $3.99, (click here for Kindle book link).

Amazon description: South Tyrol in Italy lies in the heart of the majestic Dolomite mountain range in the Southern Alps. The region has an interesting mixture of Italian, Austrian and German culture and this multi-cultural identity remains a large part of its fascination. In winter, South Tyrol becomes a popular ski region, and its resorts are more family-friendly and nurturing than the glamorous, yet somewhat competitive slopes of the French Alps. You can bring your kids to South Tyrol for their first ski trip and to help build their confidence on the slopes.

Information includes: South Tyrol culture, location and orientation, climate and when to visit, and sightseeing highlights such as the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Messner Mountain Museum, Castel Trostburg, Trauttmansdorff Castle, Abbey of Neustift, and Stelvio National Park. Also incuded are recommendations for the budget traveler, places to stay, farm holidays, places to eat, places to shop and Christmas Markets.


Europe Travel Facts, Tips and Tools 2019: An Insider’s Guide to Travel Skills and Knowledge for Navigating Europe, (please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by M.H. Roach, published 2018. Available in eBook: $4.99 and paperback: $8.99. (Note from Webmaster Louise Roach: in full disclosure – I am very proud to tell you that this book was written by my husband!)

Amazon description: Planning a trip to Europe? Not sure what to pack? Struggling to figure out where to stay? Uncertain about how to navigate through a foreign country? Worried about whether or not you’re actually going to be able to enjoy this trip?

From pre-trip planning to detailed information on all aspects of European travel, this book will give both novice and veteran travelers the tools they need to make informed decisions for a smooth and enjoyable trip. Recommendations, facts, tips, and detailed information are presented regarding the most common and significant issues facing all travelers to Europe. Written by an international traveler with over 30 years of experience, this book includes travel strategies used to overcome the all-too-common flight delay and lost luggage events. It also discusses the use of short-term rentals like Airbnb versus hotels; plus, it provides recommendations for phone apps to help make your travel easier.

Popular guidebooks often skip or glance over this essential, basic information, but this book organizes these concerns and offers solutions in an easy-to-read format, complete with clear pictures and charts. Before you start planning your trip, this is the book you need to read first to allay your fears and help you plan a relaxing, enjoyable European vacation!

Information in this book applies to all European countries, including: France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, and Great Britain, encompassing England, Wales, and Scotland.


Trentini American Non-Fiction:


The Tyroleans: A Journey of Hope, A true story of a remarkable people and their emigration to America, (please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by David A. Prevedel, published in 2010. Available as a paperback through Amazon, price: $20.56. The minute you open this book, you know it’s a labor of love and a tribute to the author’s Tyrolean roots. David’s grandparents, (Giuseppe and Ester Rauzi, Floriano and Angelina Prevedel), all emigrated from the Val di Non in Austria (Italy). They, along with many other families from the villages of Brez, Castelfondo, Traversara, Fondo, Cloz and Tret, settled in Wyoming. At first they worked the coal mines in Superior and Rock Springs. After saving enough money, many families moved to Utah, becoming farmers and opening businesses. The author draws inspiration from in-person interviews conducted over the years with his Tyrolean relatives, friends and their descendants. Mr. Prevedel weaves family stories together with historical details, to create a lively and sometimes, humorous portrayal of Tyrolean immigrants building a new life in America. He touches upon the origin and history of Tyrol, as well as the affect World War I had on the people of the Val di Non. Continuing to Wyoming and Utah, the author provides a glimpse into life during the 1920’s and 30’s, Prohibition, the Great Depression, becoming an American citizen, the role World War II played in the lives of Tyrolean immigrants, and the post war years. Not only did I find Mr. Prevedel’s book warmly human and heartfelt, but this small volume truly captures the reality our Tyrolean ancestors experienced in a new land. Sprinkled throughout “The Tyroleans“, I recognized many surnames from my own research and from our Genetti family tree: Corazza, Menghini, Anselmi, Rauzi, Segna, Cologna and yes, even Genetti! Matter-of-fact, I believe David Prevedal’s book has provided a new clue to another branch of our family I have yet to research. I thoroughly enjoyed this touching memorial to a Tyrolean family and highly recommend it to anyone with ancestral roots in the Val di Non.


OurFirstYearOur First Year: Sketches from an Alpine Village, (please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Allen E. Rizzi, published in 2013. Available through Amazon as a Kindle ebook for $2.99 or paperback for $9.99. I thoroughly enjoyed this little book by fellow Tyrolean American, Allen Rizzi. Each chapter is a “slice of life”, a peek into the culture and customs of the tiny village of Tret, nestled in the upper Val di Non region of Trentino. After many visits to northern Italy and the home of his ancestors, Allen and his wife  take a leap of faith, moving from Washington state to rustic Tret. “Our First Year” offers the reader a glimpse of the couple’s joys and struggles making a new home in a strange land. With deep ancestral roots planted in the villages of Tret, Cloz and Merano, Allen’s Tyrolean heritage and knowledge of several languages help acclimate this American to Alpine living. There are many humorous moments, as well as a few tearful times, as Allen struggles to understand the village’s customs, dialect and people.

I particularly enjoyed this book, since Tret is but a stone’s throw from our family’s ancestral home in Castelfondo – about a 15 minute drive. I’ve visited many places Allen describes in the book and have even had lunch in the village of Tret at the charming resaurant Le Ciaspole (by the way, excellent food!).


Family Legacy:

ToOurChildrenTo Our Children’s Children: Preserving Family Histories for Generations to Come(please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Bob Greene, published in 1993. Available as a hardcover on Amazon, price: $11.99 or through used booksellers for about $5.00. A warm, accessible, step-by-step guide to creating precious personal histories from the memories of older people. Amazon Customer review: “I bought this book for my Father in November for a Christmas gift but gave it to him as soon as I received it. And he got busy right away on his computer and wrote a 13 page history of his life. He passed away December 29th. My gift for him turned into a gift for me, my siblings and others. I can’t express my appreciation for this book!”


LegacyLegacy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Personal History(please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Linda Spence, published in 1997. Available as a paperback on Amazon, price: $12.51, used paperback: $5.91 or eBook: $9.99. Linda Spence’s Legacy proves to be just that: the creation of a family heirloom that money couldn’t buy. Through a series of thought-provoking questions about each phase in human life, Spence helps readers record their personal history, think back to feelings that any number of snapshots could never capture, and reflect upon their lives. What events occurred during your childhood? What did you like most about school? What do you wish your parents had done for you? The text includes sample essays by the author and quotations by other writers to encourage your muse.


TheLegacyGuideThe Legacy Guide: Capturing the Facts, Memories, and Meaning of Your Life(please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Carol Franco, published in 2006. Available through Amazon as a paperback, price: $18.95 or Kindle book, price: $7.99. The ultimate guide and companion for anyone who wants to record the story of his or her life or that of a loved one. Have you ever wondered about an ancestor you know only as a compelling face in a faded family photograph? Imagine discovering an entire book on this ancestor’s life – one that described the world in which he lived and detailed his dreams, accomplishments, disappointments, and the accumulated wisdom of a lifetime. The Legacy Guide helps readers create such a book. Designed for writers and non-writers alike, it outlines a simple, intuitive, and highly flexible framework for turning your personal history-or that of a loved one-into a treasured family heirloom.


Family Memories: A guided questionnaire journal to preserve family history, (please click on the title for information or to purchase – paid link), by Old Soul Publications, published 2019. Available in paperback: $14.99

Amazon description: At Old Soul Publications, our goal is to help bridge the gap between generations through interactive journaling. Let us help you tell your stories.The perfect way to gather family history is through a guided journal. For years, I’ve been urging my family and friends to tell their stories and to get their family history before it’s too late. But, I understand that it’s sometimes hard to get those conversations started – even for me. That’s where this journal comes in. Think about your parents and grandparents. I’m sure you can think of things you wish you’d known about them. Think about your children, grandchildren, or family friends. What are the things you’d like them to remember about you? Maybe this journal is about preserving memories for yourself for one day when your mind gets tired. Regardless the reason, this prompt journal will become a priceless possession to you and your family. One more thing – family dynamics are different; I came up with these prompts with that in mind. Not everyone has a relationship with their parents. Not everyone has a spouse or significant other. Not everyone has children. And not everyone should have to dread a book like this because of it. I get it. I tried to focus on the individual as much as possible. In the prompts where family is mentioned, I tried to give alternate options to answer instead. No one can tell your story like you can. Happy Journaling . . .


Cook Book from Tyrol


Cook Book from Tyrol, (please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by M. Exenberger and F. Breit, published in 1982. Available through Amazon third party bookseller as a hardcover, price: $18.93. This a translated book, no Amazon description is available.






Traditional Cooking Tyrol, (please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link). No author or book description available. Hardcover: $42.82 or through Amazon third party booksellers: $34.00.




Tyrolean cook-book: Minibochbuch, (please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Maria Drewes, published 2010. Available as hardcover: $11.49 or through used booksellers: $8.00. No Amazon description is available.




Tyrolean Specialties: Die beliebtesten Rezepte der Original Tiroler Küche, (please click on the title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Maria Gruber, published 2012. Available as hardcover: $10.89 or through used booksellers: $6.89. No Amazon description is avialable.





Trentini American Fiction:



Willow Vale(please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link) – by Alethea Williams, 2015, publisher  C. A. Williams, Available in Paperback: $4.42 and Kindle eBook: $3.99. This wonderful little tome tugged at my heart, begging to become a part of our Tyrolean heritage library. Using her grandmother (Nona) as inspiration for the lead character, Francesca Sittoni, the author paints the world of a beautiful young widow with a precocious toddler from the Val di Non in Trentino just after WW I. Her little village in the Tyrolean valley has changed hands from Austria to Italy. After Francesca’s beloved husband dies, she must find another spouse as soon as possible to support herself and her young daughter. She is soon sold off as a war bride, boards a ship to America and joins her new husband in the coal mining region of Wyoming. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the story for you, but let’s say that the tenacious and stubborn Francesca refuses to give up in a new land even when her second husband is no longer in the picture and she fears being deported back to impoverished Northern Italy.

I fell in love with the story of fictional Francesca. Since many of the Genetti family set down roots in Wyoming, working the dangerous coal mines and eking out a living from the dry, dusty land – this was a story that echoed our own journey to America. I think any Tyrolean American will find “Willow Vale” captivating and heartwarming – a wonderful gift for a grandparent or elder. Younger generations will experience an eye-opening glimpse into the struggles of our first generation ancestors as they experienced a new life in America.


No Steady Job for Papa, (please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Marion Benasutti, published 1966. Available as hardcover through third-party booksellers only: $20.00.

Review by Lynn Serafinn, Trentini Genealogist: A rare insight into the lives of immigrants in the early 20th Century, particularly those who came from Trentino, in northern Italy. Trentino was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (and was also considered part of the Tyrol) at the time this family left it, and it became part of Italy after World War 1. This book chronicles one family’s journey from life in a coal mining town of Pennsylvania, through dire social and economic hardships in the 20s and 30s, and their eventual assimilation into American culture. While telling a story of her family and her own “coming of age”, the author also addresses issues around ethnic identity and social bigotry she and other immigrants faced in the early 1900s. Written in a charming, personal style that reads like a novel (but is based on actual events), the author infuses elements of culture from the ‘old country’ with the hardships of American immigrant life to give us a snapshot of what many of our European ancestors experienced in the early decades of the last century.


Tyrolean Communities in USA:

Around Hazleton (PA) (Postcard History Series), (please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Richard W. Funk, published 2005. Available as paperback: $21.99.

Amazon description: Once called the jewel of Pennsylvania’s middle anthracite coal fields, Hazleton grew up on a solid foundation of black diamonds and prospered in the coal industry. The city quickly became the financial, industrial, shopping, transportation, and entertainment center of the region. Mining gave rise to other businesses, many established to supply machinery to the numerous collieries. Silk mills and garment factories provided work to scores of people. By the close of World War II, the days of coal mining as a major industry were numbered. Slowly, the towering coal breakers fell silent, their machinery grinding to a halt. Not a single example remains standing today. Around Hazleton is an informative trip through this city and nearby towns.


Remembering Lattimer: Labor, Migration, and Race in Pennsylvania Anthracite Country (Working Class in American History), (please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Paul A. Shackel, published 2018. Available in eBook: $9.99 or paperback: $28.00

Amazon description: On September 10, 1897, a group of 400 striking coal miners–workers of Polish, Slovak, and Lithuanian descent or origin–marched on Lattimer, Pennsylvania. There, law enforcement officers fired without warning into the protesters, killing nineteen miners and wounding thirty-eight others. The bloody day quickly faded into history. Paul A. Shackel confronts the legacies and lessons of the Lattimer event. Beginning with a dramatic retelling of the incident, Shackel traces how the violence, and the acquittal of the deputies who perpetrated it, spurred membership in the United Mine Workers. By blending archival and archaeological research with interviews, he weighs how the people living in the region remember–and forget–what happened. Now in positions of power, the descendants of the slain miners have themselves become rabidly anti-labor and anti-immigrant as Dominicans and other Latinos change the community. Shackel shows how the social, economic, and political circumstances surrounding historic Lattimer connect in profound ways to the riven communities of today. Compelling and timely, Remembering Lattimer restores an American tragedy to our public memory.


Growing Up in Coal Country, (please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, published 1999, available as paperback: $8.87 or hardcover: $19.80.

Amazon description: Inspired by her in-laws’ recollections of working in coal country, Susan Campbell Bartoletti has gathered the voices of men, women, and children who immigrated to and worked in northeastern Pennsylvania at the turn of the century. The story that emerges is not just a story of long hours, little pay, and hazardous working conditions; it is also the uniquely American story of immigrant families working together to make a new life for themselves. It is a story of hardship and sacrifice, yet also of triumph and the fulfillment of hopes and dreams.


Ironwood, Hurley, and the Gogebic Range (Images of America), (please click o title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Matthew Liesch, published 2006. Available in eBook: $9.99, paperback: $21.99 or hardcover: $28.99.

Amazon description: Situated on the south shore of Lake Superior, the Gogebic Iron Range of Michigan and Wisconsin exudes a strong sense of place. During the 1880s, a mining boom lured settlers, investment, and controversy. Investors from Milwaukee, Chicago, and Cleveland hoped to become rich, but many were pulled into scams or poorly managed mines and ended up losing their money. After iron stocks crashed, mining investors were more cautious. Many mining locations were abandoned, but towns such as Ironwood, Bessemer, Wakefield, and Hurley grew. For over 80 years, iron mining gave the Gogebic Range distinctive ethnicity and settlement patterns resulting in its unique cultural landscapes. The physical setting enhances the drama of the Gogebic. Lake-effect snowfall results in picturesque yet harsh winters, and thundering waterfalls have long attracted visitors.


Rock Springs, (please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Russel L. Tanner, published 2008. Available in eBook: $9.99, paperback: $21.82 or hardcover: $28.99.

Amazon description: An ancient inland sea, surrounded by lush vegetation and inhabited by dinosaurs, helped create the mineral-rich landscape where Rock Springs, Wyoming, now sits. French trappers first encountered American Indians who were traveling via a natural corridor that traverses the region, and eventually pioneer trails used this same route in the great westward expansion. The First Transcontinental Railroad arrived in 1868, and the national demand for energy in the form of fossil fuels turned everyone’s attention to the vast coal deposits. Thus the frontier outpost of Rock Springs became an important energy center, and immigrants from around the world came to work in the mines and make this land their home. As local businessman Leonard Hay used to say, “All wealth comes from the earth.” Today other minerals have joined coal as new sources of wealth for Rock Springs, and plans are being made to harness the wind that carved out this unique landscape.


DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy

DNAtestingGuide to DNA Testing: How to Identify Ancestors, Confirm Relationships, and Measure Ethnic Ancestry through DNA Testing (please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Richard Hill, 2014, self-published, available as Kindle ebook: $2.99. This is an easy-to-follow, compact guide to DNA testing. Perfect for the beginner as an intro into DNA lingo. Written by Richard Hill, who was adopted at birth, this publication is the result of his personal mission (that included DNA testing) to find his birth parents and their family. I highly recommend this book if you know nothing about DNA testing. It’s short, cheap and easy to read!



FindingFamilyFinding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA(please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Richard Hill, 2012, self-published, available Kindle eBook: $9.99 or through Amazon used booksellers as paperback: $3.00. Adopted at birth, Richard Hill embarks on a life-long quest to find his roots when, as a teenager, the “secret” slips out. For anyone fascinated with genealogy and the new science of genetic testing, this book is a page-turner! I found the story even more mesmerizing because it is a true account of this man’s unending persistence to learn the truth. You will rejoice with Richard as he slowly builds his facts and uncovers hidden family secrets. A true detective story, Richard Hill is known as the first person to absolutely indentify adoptive parents using DNA testing.


GeneticGenealogyGenetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond (please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link), by Emily D. Aulicino, 2013, publisher Author House, available in Paperback: $19.95 and Kindle eBook: $3.03. A useful introduction to genetic genealogy, at times this book becomes overly technical. I read this book for the first time in 2014 and must admit that some chapters were over my head. But I reread it just a few months ago in 2016. This time around I had several DNA tests under my belt and a better understood of DNA lingo. My second read-through was very helpful! I grasp much more of the information. “Genetic Genealogy” cleared up many questions I had as a result of my personal experience with testing. Since this book was written in 2013, some of the information is outdated (such as the type of testing offered by different companies – example: no longer offers Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA testing). However, if you are past the beginner stage and want to dig into the science of DNA, this is a great book to expand your knowledge of genetic genealogy.  I will read this book again as I advance in my personal DNA research and keep it handy as a research tool.


The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, Second Edition(please click on title for additional information or to purchase – paid link) – by Blaine T. Bettinger, 2019, publisher Family Tree Books, Available in Paperback: $21.36 and Kindle eBook: $14.99. Newly updated, I found this to be a very helpful guide and a great addition to my growing DNA library. Information is current and as accurate as possible in this ever-evolving science. Most of the material presented can be easily understood by beginners. Advanced concepts are also presented later in the book, but this should not be a deterrent for newbies as they can always come back to these sections after gaining a bit of expertise in DNA testing. I particularly found the chapters relating to surprises in one’s ancestry, such as illegitimacy and adoption, to be extremely informative and sensitive to this topic. Most books about genetic genealogy only touch upon the subject of non-parental events. The author handled this area of DNA testing/genetic genealogy with tact and depth. There are many charts, diagrams and illustrations included in this book. I purchased the ebook version and had no problem viewing the graphic information. I highly recommend “The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, Second Edition” as a comprehensive instruction manual for both beginners and advance students of DNA.


She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity, (please click title for information or to purchase – paid link), by Carl Zimmer, published 2018. Available in eBook: $15.99, paperback: $14.02 and hardcover: $20.40.

An Amazon Best Book of June 2018: Heredity is a lot more complex than most people think. In She Has Her Mother’s LaughNew York Times columnist Carl Zimmer dives deep into the ways that we pass along our genetic inheritance. Through history, science, and a boatload of personal curiosity (the book originated from questions he had regarding his own child, and he had his entire genome mapped in the process of writing it), Zimmer seeks to retell the story of heredity in broader and more inclusive terms than the ones we’re used to hearing. For example, who we become is determined by our ancestors’ genes, yes; but it is also a product of our own cells—for one cell can contribute to millions of future cells. How we treat ourselves, what we learn, and even how we feel, eventually contributes to our hereditary future. The forces at work are myriad, mostly unseen, and subject to variables that we barely understand. Zimmer is trying to help us here, to teach us, and in doing so he succeeds in entertaining us as well. –Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review


Genealogy Research:

How to Find Your Family History in US Church Records

How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records: A Genealogist’s Guide: With Specific Resources for Major Christian Denominations before 1900, (please click on title for information or to purchase – paid link), by Harold A. Henderson and Sunny Jane Morton, published 2019. Available in paperback: $29.95.

Amazon Book Review: Sunny Morton and Harold Henderson have hit a gold vein in genealogy research! Their research taps the records of major Christian denominations before 1900. Besides excellent guidance for searching church records in general, including web links, they provide in depth insight for the following denominations: Anglican/Episcopal, Baptist, Congregational, Dutch Reformed, German Churches, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lutheran, Mennonite and Amish, Quaker, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic. It’s especially impressive to see the list of experts they have checked with in the production of this breakthrough genealogy tool. Many thanks to them for this exceptional work. Hopefully they capture feedback from readers to expand their work in future editions.


The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy: Trace Your Roots, Share Your History, and Create Your Family Tree, (please click on title for information or to purchase – paid link), by Kimberly Powell, published 2013. Available in eBook: $13.99 and paperback: $6.00.

Amazon description: Thanks to the overwhelming number of genealogical records available online today, it’s never been easier to trace your family history and find your roots. But where do you begin? With all that information, it can be impossible to know where to start! In The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd Edition, genealogy expert Kimberly Powell guides you through the process of finding your ancestors, helping you:

  • Effectively search various websites
  • Decipher census data and other online records
  • Choose the best way to share data with family members
  • Connect with other genealogists through social media

Packed with tips on using free databases, new websites, and a growing number of genealogy apps, The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd Edition has everything you need to scour the Internet and find your ancestors, going back generations!


Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide, (please click on title for information or to purchase – paid link), by Diana Elder, published 2018. Available in eBook: $4.99 and paperback: $18.99.

Amazon description: Are you stuck in your genealogical research? Wondering how to make progress on your brick wall problems? Discover the process that a professional genealogist uses to solve difficult cases. Diana Elder shares her step-by-step method using real world examples, easily understood by any level of genealogist; written for the researcher ready to take their skills to the next level. Learn how to form an objective, review your research by creating a timeline analysis, construct a locality guide to direct your research, create a plan, style source citations, set up a research log to organize and track your searches, and write a report detailing your findings and ideas for future research. Work samples and templates are included.


Unofficial Guide to How to Find Your Family History on the #1 Genealogy Website, (please click on title for information or to purchase – paid link), by Nancy Hendrickson, published 2018. Available in eBook: $12.99 and paperback: $18.35.

Amazon description: Discover the secrets to success! This book will help you get the most out of your subscription by showing you how to take advantage of what the world’s biggest genealogy website has to offer–and how to find answers to your family tree questions within its billions of records and massive network of family trees. This newly updated guide reflects the site’s many changes, with screenshots that demonstrate how to create family trees, navigate the site, and use’s search engines. A new section on AncestryDNA will also help you dive deeper into your research, with detailed guides to interpreting test results and applying them to research.

What you’ll learn:

  • Step-by-step strategies for structuring your searches to find what you’re looking for faster
  • Details on each of’s historical record categories, including what you can expect to find in them
  • Tips for creating and managing your family tree on, as well as connecting your tree to others on the site
  • Timesaving tricks to maximize your experience, including Hints (the “shaky leaf”), AncestryDNA, and the mobile app

Whether you’ve just begun dabbling in family history or you’re a longtime subscriber, this book will turn you into an power user!


The Family Tree Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Uncovering Your Ancestry and Researching Genealogy, (please click on title for information or to purchase – paid link), by Kenyatta D. Berry, published 2018. Available in eBook: $14.99, paperback: $15.79 or spiral-bound: $26.99.

Amazon description: The popularity of Family History has increased over the past five years due to TV shows like Genealogy RoadshowFinding Your Roots, and Who Do You Think You Are? The ability to access records online has opened up the one time hobby for genealogy enthusiasts to the mainstream.Companies like,,, and MyHeritage have spent millions of dollars making records available around the world. DNA technology continues to evolve and provides the instant gratification that we have become use to as a society. But then the question remains, what does that really mean? Knowing your ancestry is more than just ethnic percentages it’s about creating and building a story about your family history. The Family History Toolkit is designed to help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming and sometimes treacherous waters of finding your ancestors. While this is not a comprehensive guide to all things genealogy, it is a roadmap to help you on this journey of discovery, whether you are looking for your African Asian, European, or Jewish ancestry. The Family History Toolkit guides you on how and where to begin, what records are available both online and in repositories, what to do once you find the information, how to share your story and of course DNA discoveries.


Unofficial Guide to How to Find Your Family History on the Largest Free Genealogy Website, (please click title for information or to purchase – paid link), by Dana McCullough, published 2015. Available in eBook: $12.99 and paperback: $19.97.

Amazon description: Discover your ancestry on, the world’s largest free genealogy website. This in-depth user guide shows you how to find your family in the site’s databases of more than 3.5 billion names and millions of digitized historical records spanning the globe. Learn how to maximize all of’s research tools–including hard-to-find features–to extend your family tree in America and the old country.

In this book, you’ll find:

  • Step-by-step strategies to craft search queries that find ancestors fast
  • Practical pointers for locating your ancestors in record collections that aren’t searchable
  • Detailed overviews of’s major U.S. collections, with helpful record explanations to inform your research
  • Guidance for using’s vast record collections from Europe, Canada, Mexico and 100-plus countries around the world
  • Tips for creating and managing your family tree on
  • Secrets to utilizing user-submitted genealogies, 200,000 digitized family history books, and the FamilySearch catalog of 2.4 million offline resources you can borrow through a local FamilySearch Center
  • Worksheets and checklists to track your research progress

Illustrated step-by-step examples teach you exactly how to apply these tips and techniques to your own research. Whether you’re new to or you’re a longtime user, you’ll find the guidance you need to discover your ancestors and make the most of the site’s valuable resources.


Genealogy Fiction:

The Asylum, (please click on title for information or to purchase – paid link), by Nathan Dylan Goodwin, published 2018. Available in eBook: $0.99.

Amazon description: The job presented to forensic genealogist, Morton Farrier, ought to have been simple and easy. But the surprise discovery of an additional marriage to his client’s father leads Morton on an inquiry, revolving around a mysterious death in the county asylum. Requiring his various investigative genealogical skills, Morton must work to unravel this complex eighty-year-old secret and finally reveal the truth to his client.



The Forensic Genealogist Series: Books 1, 2 & 3: Hiding the Past, The Lost Ancestor and The Orange Lilies, (please click on title for information or to purchase – paid link), by Nathan Dylan Goodwin, published 2017. Available as eBook: $9.99.

Amazon description: The Morton Farrier Forensic Genealogist Series: Books 1, 2 & 3 includes three stories from the captivating mystery crime series. You’ll love Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s acclaimed bestselling series. Buy the box set to get the first three books of the series that you won’t want to put down! (click on title to read a description for each book in this set)


The Forensic Genealogist Series: Books 4, 5 & 6: The American Ground, The Spyglass File and The Missing Man, (please click on title for information or to purchase – paid link), by Nathan Dylan Goodwin, published 2017. Available in eBook: $9.99.

Amazon description: The Morton Farrier Forensic Genealogist Series: Books 4, 5 & 6 includes three stories from the captivating mystery crime series. You’ll love Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s acclaimed bestselling series. Buy the box set to get the first three books of the series that you won’t want to put down! (click on title to read a description for each book in this set)


The Wicked Trade (The Forensic Genealogist Book 7), (please click on title for information or to purchase – paid link), by Nathan Dylan Goodwin, published 2018. Available eBook: $5.99 and paperback: $13.49.

Amazon description: When Morton Farrier is presented with a case revolving around a mysterious letter written by disreputable criminal, Ann Fothergill in 1827, he quickly finds himself delving into a shadowy Georgian underworld of smuggling and murder on the Kent and Sussex border. Morton must use his skills as a forensic genealogist to untangle Ann’s association with the notorious Aldington Gang and also with the brutal killing of Quartermaster Richard Morgan. As his research continues, Morton suspects that his client’s family might have more troubling and dangerous expectations of his findings.

This is the seventh book in the Morton Farrier genealogical crime mystery series, although it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.


Affiliate Disclaimer:  In full transparency, please be aware that this blog contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission to me (at no extra cost to you!) This allows me to do what I LOVE to do, supports the costs involved with maintaining this website and helps pay the fees associated with genealogical research. Thank you to everyone who supports this family website by purchasing from our Bookstore and Family Shop. 

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