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The Genealogist's Computer Companion Paperback – January, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Using a computer and the resources of the Internet can provide genealogists with some of their best and their worst research experiences, as countless hours can be wasted aimlessly surfing for surnames and many hours saved by entering data into a genealogical program. Webmaster McClure's latest book explains how anyone can use a computer, genealogical software, and the Internet to optimize research. Heavily illustrated and replete with tips from fellow experts, the book opens with a brief overview of computer usage basics before diving headlong into web-publishing guidelines, selection of the right genealogy software, and the various Internet venues where one might encounter data and/or fellow researchers. McClure discusses the benefits of Internet directories and search engines for thorough genealogical digging, considers mailing lists, chat rooms, and newsgroups, and explains how to reap the rewards of online library catalogs and databases and select and use scanners. A glossary of terms, an appendix of state and country web sites, and a particularly helpful section on the Latter Day Saints' International Genealogical Index are also included. While McClure's own Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy (Alpha, 2000), coauthored with Shirley Langon Wilcox, and Elizabeth Crowe's Genealogy Online (LJ 6/1/01. 5th ed.) provide more in-depth introductions to online research, this book's coverage of contemporary "computers and genealogy" issues makes it worthwhile to have at hand. Recommended for genealogy library collections. (Index not seen.) Elaine M. Kuhn, Allen Cty. P.L., Ft. Wayne, IN
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

McClure, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy (1999), provides a more advanced lesson in utilizing online resources for genealogical research. After a thorough examination of how best to use the computer as a research tool, she launches into a more in-depth discussion about accessing electronic databases, using genealogy software, and successfully navigating the World Wide Web in search of credible information. An especially valuable strategy for combining the use of online resources with library research is introduced. Handy tips for preserving precious documents and photographs electronically are also supplied. Considering the fact that the advent of the home computer and the availability of the Internet have contributed to a recent boom in the genealogy field, this indispensable guide will be in much demand. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Paperback: 84 pages
  • Publisher: Betterway Books; 1 edition (January 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558705910
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558705913
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,702,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've made something of a specialty in recent years of perusing new publications that treat the intersection of genealogy and family research with computer technology and the Internet. Some are excellent but many are simply a rehash of the most basic (and low-tech) genealogical techniques, or are concerned more with how to turn your computer on and get your modem to work, or are simply compilations of web site addresses (which are better found on the World Wide Web itself). This one falls somewhere in the middle. The author is a well-known columnist and author of the _Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy,_ and she obviously knows her subject, but she often strays off-topic and introduces unnecessary padding -- as with seven full pages on traditional abstracting methods for land titles, including a discussion of the rectangular survey system and how many square rods to an acre, though she also includes a plug for AniMap. On the other hand, she provides excellent commentaries on the limitations of Internet library catalogs and other tools and the cut-and-paste ease with which bad research can be spread via the Web. She's also adamant that doing real family research still requires one to leave the computer and venture into the courthouse and the library stacks (though the computer can make your foray more efficient), and she doesn't hesitate to suggest that one doesn't really *need* software to do genealogy (though she would hate to have to return to paper-only notetaking).
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Format: Paperback
Budding genealogists who want to begin on a family history project should start with Genealogist's Companion, an invaluable, "user friendly" primer, which covers everything from using the Internet for research to blending online research with physical sources and preserving photos and documents electronically. The approach differs from earlier competing titles in offering more of a focus on using the latest technologies to aid in the genealogical search - and in preserving the results.
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Format: Paperback
If you've been muddling through the internet working on your genealogy as I have, you may wish you'd had this book earlier. Ms. McClure covers the basics very well - effective use of search engines, online communities and databases and covers the pros and cons of different genealogy software programs. The genealogist who has a bit of experience under their belt will pick up a few tips but has probably already learned much of the material the hard way. I did find the tips on software worth the cost of this book.
I found Ms. McClure's writing style entertaining and easy to read - especially on a subject that could be quite dry. I also found the most helpful information to be that presented in the sidebars and charts. Don't overlook the discussions of how Soundex is determined - and did you know that the batch numbers from the FHC has built in intelligence? You'll learn what all this means in this book.
I would have liked to see the information on publishing your own family history web site expanded. Unless I missed it, there's really not much included on this topic. The state resource web sites really only include the State Dept. of Public Health and State Library sites. This isn't a big issue since you should be able to find whatever you need online with your new-found skills!
Good luck in your family search!
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