Recently, I had the opportunity to read and review the Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org – How to Find Your Family History on the World’s Largest Free Genealogy Website, by Dana McCullough. Even as a long-time genealogist, if you thought you knew FamilySearch, this guidebook brings you the latest, up-to-date information on a treasured resource for family history.
FamilySearch: A Hidden Gem for Genealogy
As the author notes at the outset, many beginning genealogists are completely unaware of FamilySearch and it remains a hidden gem for them. McCullough’s format for the book is to cover the major aspects of FamilySearch, including Trees, Historical Records, User-submitted Genealogies, Family History Books, Wiki, Catalog, Memories, Indexing and more. The author also devotes special side bar sections to tracing the roots of specific FamilySearch resources. This includes the background and origins of the Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File and the IGI (International Genealogical Index).
In reading the Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org, I felt guided by a genealogist who honestly confesses to the same mistakes that many of us have made in the past, such as not citing sources. I appreciated the special attention MCullough devoted to sources, their importance, and even how to save sources from other websites to FamilySearch.
Other nice features of the book are the Keys to Success and Getting Started checklist sections at the end of each chapter. Too many genealogy “how to” books don’t offer this type of “call to action” to the reader. Anyone purchasing this book has no excuse not to get started with FamilySearch since all the tools are laid out for them!
The Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org is filled with little gems and bits of advice covering many different areas. In the Family Trees chapter, the author reviews how to upload photos and documents and covers in detail how copyright is handled. In addition, she covers the collaboration aspect of Family Trees and how to protect your privacy and the privacy of your family.
Get to Know FamilySearch In-Depth and Up Close
At 242 pages, the Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org is not just substantial, but also comprehensive. It is suitable for those just starting to explore their family history as well as seasoned genealogists who want to extract every bit of knowledge possible from the FamilySearch site and its affiliated sites.
The Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org can be purchased online at ShopFamilyTree.com – click here for more information.
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