The more that beginning genealogists put themselves in the "time and place" of the ancestor for whom they are searching, the better the chances that they will do the most thorough search of all available records. See how learning an area's history will help your family history.
James M. Beidler is the author of several commercially published books and writes “Roots & Branches,” an award-winning weekly newspaper column and blog (www.roots-branches.com) on genealogy. He is also a columnist for German Life magazine and a research-reports editor for Legacy Tree Genealogists.
Beidler is also frequent contributor to other periodicals ranging from scholarly journals such as The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine to popular-interest magazines such as Family Tree Magazine.He also wrote the chapter on genealogy for Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth, published jointly by the Penn State Press and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
As a lecturer, he was a part of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council's acclaimed Commonwealth Speakers program from 2002 to 2009, and has been a presenter at numerous conferences. In addition to being a member of numerous genealogical, historical, and lineage societies, Beidler also sits on Pennsylvania's State Historic Records Advisory Board as well as the selection committee for the Pennsylvania Digital Newspaper Project.
Beidler was born in Reading, PA, and raised in nearby Berks County, where he currently resides and is an eighth-generation member of Bern Reformed United Church of Christ. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hofstra University in Long Island, NY, with a BA in Political Science in 1982.