Review: Family Trees by François Weil
Weil, François. Family Trees: A History of Genealogy in America. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. 2013. ISBN 9780674045835.
Family Trees begins by detailing the basis for keeping many of the records that our ancestors kept. He goes on from there to detail the large pictures over the next several hundred years of genealogical research. Weil goes into some detail to discuss how the people and the methods they use are changing over time.
The book is well organized. He weaves each major section of the book together expertly and places each major player in their respective time lines: the record keepers, fraudsters, and reformers all have their places.
The discussion toward the end of the last chapter is especially pertinent today as it deals with the democratization and commercialization of genealogy and family history research. Weil details the industry and its effect on genealogists.