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Genealogy Online For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) Paperback – February 15, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: For Dummies (Computers)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 3rd edition (February 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764508075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764508073
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,760,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Helms have put together an excellent introductory guide to doing genealogical research online. They've avoided the usual trap of organizing their book by resources, which may be easy for the author but makes it harder on the user. So instead of devoting this chapter to useful Web sites, that chapter to valuable newsgroups, and so forth, they've organized the book in a way closer to the way you'd organize good family research.

They begin with a series of chapters on preparation, including doing initial groundwork, developing a plan, picking the names to begin researching, and locating ancestors geographically. Next, they deal with the means for finding valuable records and then delve into getting the most from your resources. Chapter 8, for example, discusses organizing and presenting your findings, while chapter 9 deals with cooperating with other researchers so that you can all be more effective (and probably make some new friends in the bargain).

As is always the case with a Dummies series book, the Helms present a "Part of Tens" section, in this case four chapters each covering 10 top online genealogical sites, tips for designing your genealogical Web page, sites for beginners, and general tips for "smooth sailing." An enclosed CD-ROM contains nine genealogy programs plus a wide assortment of Internet tools and utilities. --Elizabeth Lewis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"many useful hints" (Practical Family History, December 2006) "...there is a lot of good advice in this book for those starting out." (Ancestors, January 2007) "...a useful volume to keep close to your computer." (Family History Monthly, January 2007) "Easy to read yet filled with facts and information, this is a solid reference guide..." (Family History Monthly, December 2007) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Matthew Helm is the Chief Executive Officer of Boneyard Creek Heritage, Inc., a family and local history services company. He is also Chief History Officer at HistoryKat, Inc., a company that specializes in digitizing and posting historical records online. He's the creator and maintainer of the award-winning Helm's Genealogy Toolbox, Helm/Helms Family Research Page, and a variety of other Web sites. Matthew speaks at national genealogical conventions and lectures to genealogical and historical societies. Matthew holds an A.B. in History and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His full-time job is Assistant Vice President for Administrative Technologies for Illinois State University.

Customer Reviews

Genealogy Online for Dummies is a handy how-to, where-to, what-to, who-to, and why-to book.
Arctic Reporter
Book was listed as like new, but the front and back cover were bent and creased as though it had been handled very roughly.
J. Lopez
Great item as are all of the Dummies books, Has a lot of good info, and the entire purchase was a great transaction.
honda64

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Frank Cunat on June 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
The best review I can give of this book is that it directed me to about 6 Web sites I hadn't heard of which should give me a lot of useful information in researching my family tree. Unlike a lot of Dummies books, this one isn't padded with filler; every page conveys useful information, discussing numerous internet resources and making suggestions for organizing research. The book also contains lengthy sections on African-American, Native American, and Hispanic genealogical Web sites, and apparently has more information on these sites than many other books.
The reasons I didn't rate the book five stars are two-fold: there are dead links in addition to the live ones, and the book was published before the LDS database (maintained by the Mormon Church) was made available online. That suggests that this book is ripe for a 3rd Edition.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Kerrie Silva on May 11, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is for the beginner genealogist. It tells you how to plan your research and what kind of computer equipment to have. It takes you step by step in certain websites. It is extremely boring, even for a genealogy book. I was hoping for more info on what is contained in individual websites, where to find certain types of documents and explantions of software available to the genealogist. It is great if you don't have a clue but if you can navigate the internet on your own, you don't need this book. I will use it occasionally but The Genealogy Sourcebook and The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy are much more in depth.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Arctic Reporter on May 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
Genealogy Online for Dummies is a handy how-to, where-to, what-to, who-to, and why-to book. Matthew L. Helm, one of the authors, is executive vice president and chief technology officer of FamilyToolbox.net, Inc. With a bachelor's degree in history and a master's in library and information science, he created and he maintains the Helm's various genealogy websites. April Leigh Helm, the other author, is the company president. She has degrees in journalism and higher education administration. They are no dummies, and anyone who reads this book will be no dummy about genealogy online.
The book has 16 chapters organized in five major sections, also three appendices, an index, a genealogy Internet directory, and a tear-out "cheat sheet." The text covers in part one doing the groundwork, in part two focusing the online research effort, in part three expanding research online, and in part four using the computer and web to organize and share information. In summary, part five lists ten handy databases, ten things to remember when designing your genealogical website, ten sites that offer help, and ten tips for "smooth sailing."
Throughout the text are addresses of useful websites, research tips, definitions of genealogical terms, step-by-step instructions, and warnings. Examples of warnings are "don't violate any copyright laws by sending large portions of written works through email" (p. 215), and don't post on your website "any information that could land you in the doghouse with any of your relatives - close or distant" (p. 246). The text features sidebar discussions of issues like copyright (p. 250) and privacy (p. 248), and even a "mandatory lecture on privacy" (234).
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Pros: Covers lots of topics and is a very valuable source for beginners with great, well written, summaries of many skills and sources needed for doing family history
Cons:
No real cons. I was a bit surprised, however, not to read more about the incredible land patent database of the former General Land Office offered through the Bureau of Land Management's Eastern State Office. There is no mention that people can actually download from the office's site copies of early land patents of ancestors after discovering how and where they received federal land. Yet, this only points out that one book, though great, cannot cover everything.
I was interested to review this book since I do a lot of genealogical research and wanted to see what more I could learn. I wasn't disappointed. There's plenty to be discovered through the great information supplied by this fine book. Though one of the "For Dummies" series for beginners, there is much here for people who aren't dummies but are advanced in their genealogical studies. The authors have their own website, "Helm's Genealogy Toolbox" at [...] and that is featured as well as other web sites and links.
The book also contains a CD with three items: 1) a trial version of "Family Tree Maker," a popular genealogy database, 2) an evaluation copy of "Homesite 5.5," a popular HTML editor, and 3) a gazetteer designed for genealogists,"World Place Finder." This CD runs on Mac OS system software 7.55 or later, which is useful if you haven't yet stepped up to OS X.
This book is indeed a fine source for all genealogists, covering not only what can be found on the web (an incredible amount), but also great tips for basic "how to do" skills.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By S. K. Leggate on May 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a very helpful book. I have been doing genealogy research for years, and found all of the tips I would give someone who has just started research within its pages. I also found things that I hadn't previously thought of that I was able to use and I accomplished a lot. This is a perfect handbook for those who are interested in using the internet to further their research.
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