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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Book Review: Discover Your Family History Online

     See below to WIN a FREE COPY!

    I know (and you know) that "it's not ALL on the Internet," but anyone just getting started in genealogy today is going to browse the web first and hit the library in the distant future. Fortunately, Nancy Hendrickson's new book Discover Your Family History Online: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Genealogy Search (Family Tree Books, 2012) will give beginning genealogists a good foundation for research beyond their computer as well.

    Most beginning genealogy books I have encountered are heavy on organization and lists of resource groups, and light on quick results. Discover Your Family History Online is a game-changer that aims to help newcomers find their family roots without becoming overwhelmed by formal systems and rules.

    But that isn't to say the book skips over the importance of sound research, analysis, and source citation. Those topics are all introduced in the early chapters and reinforced by instruction in online searching and detailed case studies. Nancy guides readers from computer basics, through using search engines to online databases. Chapters on specific record groups like birth, marriage and death records, land records, census records, and military records show beginners the wealth of material available. Researchers interested in Native American, Jewish, and Slave records will find useful appendixes highlighting these special interest topics. Basic record-keeping forms included in the back of the book are also available online for download.

    And to make the book even more interactive, readers can view a series of nine free videos enhancing the material presented in print. The link to these programs is presented in Nancy's short Introduction at the beginning of the book.

    Nancy's experience as an instructor and coach comes through in her encouraging and easy-to-follow style. The book is filled with solid information presented in a straightforward, clear manner that leads you step-by-step.

    This is a terrific book for anyone new to online genealogy, as well as researchers looking for more effective and productive online search strategies. I think my mom would have enjoyed using the book to find new sites to explore on her computer, and I especially like Nancy's case studies and found several tips that paid off in my own research.

    Discover Your Family History Online: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Genealogy Search (Family Tree Books, 2012)

    1. Building Your Family Tree
    2. Computer Basics for the Online Genealogist
    3. Using Search Engines
    4. Online Databases
    5. Birth, Marriage, and Death Records
    6. Life During Your Ancestors' Era
    7. Google for Genealogists
    8. Land Records
    9. The Census
    10. Military Records
    11. Finding Local Resources Online
    12. Tracing Immigrant and American Indian Ancestors
    13. Share What You've Found
    14. Putting it All to Work
    • Appendix A: American Indian Resources by Geographic Region
    • Appendix B: Tracing Jewish Ancestors by Schelly Talalay Dardashti
    • Appendix C: Tracing Slave Ancestors by Kenyatta D. Berry

     About the Author:

    Nancy Hendrickson is an internet genealogy consultant and an instructor at Family Tree University, as well as the author of print and e-books, and hundreds of magazine articles. She also offers coaching services for aspiring family history authors through her website Ancestornews.

    WIN A FREE COPY of Discover Your Family History Online: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Genealogy Search courtesy of Family Tree Books.

    All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment after the review or Like the review on the Facebook post (one entry per name, please). I will include names from both places and one name will be randomly selected to win the book. Your name will stay in the hopper from week to week, so you will have more chances to win in the weeks to follow. The winner will be announced the following week on Facebook and on The Family Curator so you can send me your name and address to receive the book.

    If you've read the featured book, please add your thoughts or other recommendations.

    Available from

    Family Tree Books (paperback edition)

    Amazon (paperback edition)

    Amazon (Kindle edition)

    10% Off


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    Reader Comments (2)

    The Internet is a great way to get people "hooked" on genealogy. We have become an instant gratification society and sometimes it takes quick finds to get people interested. Looks like a great book to use as the "bait".

    July 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPam

    The Internet has become a popular way to research one's genealogy. There are always new ways to research even on the Internet. What a great book for the newbie! (And what a great way to remind the experienced researcher to cite sources!!!)

    July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGinger James

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