Recently I received a copy of the e-book Online State Resources for Genealogy by Michael Hait and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that even an old dog like me could learn about new and free resources available to the genealogy and family history researcher.
Not The Usual List of Resources
In Online State Resources for Genealogy realize that you won’t find the “usual suspects” in terms of free resources – namely Ancestry.com, Roots Web, or many of the other sites that are well-known to researchers. Hait takes us down “new roads” rather than the well-trod path of resources.
Like most other reviews, in order to test the quality and quantity of resources listed, I went directly to my area of expertise which is New York State. I was happy to find several obscure resources in the listings for the New York State Archives, the New York State Library and more. Also important are the many free databases available at the Italian Genealogical Society, especially for those of us who have New York City and downstate ancestry.
There are two areas which I feel need improvement and if included in future editions would help improve the guide’s usefulness:
- Eliminate the use of justified paragraphs. When using long hyperlinks, there are large gaps of spaces in many paragraphs. Also consider placing the hyperlink on its own line at the beginning of the entry.
- Hyperlinked index. The index at the end of the guide allows the reader to view resources in groupings such as African-American Resources. Hyperlink the page numbers making it easier to jump to those sections.
Ebook – A Visionary Format
What I like more about Online State Resources for Genealogy is the format as an e-book. As someone who has published his own work using print on demand vendors such as Lulu.com, I commend Michael for taking the e-book route. In the future the genealogy industry will need to produce more guides and books in this format not only for the sake of efficiency and convenience, but also to speak to a younger demographic entering the genealogy industry.
Priced at $15.00 (which includes one free update to the book in the future), Online State Resources for Genealogy is reasonably priced and in a convenient format for the researcher on the go. In the near future, a mobile app version of the book would serve as a useful tool while working in archives and repositories, at least for the way I research. I encourage readers to take a closer look at Online State Resources for Genealogy and I’m sure you’ll be surprised at the “finds” in this research guide.
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Disclosure statement: I was contacted by Michael Hait of Michael Hait Family History Research Services via mail to review Online State Resources for Genealogy and a complimentary copy was delivered to me. After reviewing the product, I will retain the e-book for my own personal use. To review the other material connections I have with genealogy vendors, please see Disclosure Statements.
©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee