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on February 21, 2014
As the author of this book, I recommend against its purchase as of 2014. The book was originally published by Ancestry Publishing in 2008. Since then, Ancestry.com has added much more content but has also changed a great deal of its user interface. Ancestry Publishing sold its publishing business to Turner Publishing several years ago. That company has decided to release this book in a Kindle edition with a 2014 publication date. It contains the same material as the 2008 softcover edition, and much of that is out of date. I recommend that you not waste your money by purchasing this outdated publication. - George G. Morgan
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 14, 2008
I am of two minds when it comes to an "official guide" to any site on the World Wide Web. First, a website can consist of as many pages as necessary to cover the subject, and there can be as many interconnections between pages as necessary to guide the user. Second, the nature of hyperlinking is such that any properly designed website shouldn't need a guide. It should be so logically organized that navigation is obvious, and it should include its own internal "help" system. At least, that's the theory. In practice, even a site as generally well designed as Ancestry (and it is well designed) can eventually become so large, with so many layers, that it can be daunting even to an experienced genealogical web surfer.

George Morgan, a well-known Florida genealogist, book author, and columnist, began doing research back in the 1960s, when "research" meant many trips to the courthouse and the library and waiting for replies to correspondence. Recent, younger converts to the hobby may find it difficult to imagine such a thing, but that's how it was. Ancestry was one of the earliest multi-database resources to appear online and is now part of the Generations Network, a huge conglomerate (in genealogical terms) that includes nearly a dozen previously separate database sites, plus Family Tree Maker and Ancestry Publishing. The Ancestry site itself includes more than 23,000 databases and transcribed books, with many more being constantly added, and the company has done the online researcher the service of making the templates nearly identical that give access to them. This book follows the obvious logical structure of devoting a chapter to each broad category: Census records, birth/marriage/death, immigration, directories and membership lists, newspaper and periodicals, court records, land, military, PERSI. maps, and local and family histories. Other chapters give advice on starting your first family tree on the site itself (something I don't recommend for reasons of access and lack of backup), on how to work with the many kinds of digitized records at Ancestry (much improved over the early days), using the Learning Center (lots of freebies here), and how to most efficiently spend your money at the Ancestry Store. The text of the book is generally well thought out and the sales pitch (Ancestry itself is the publisher, don't forget) is reasonably subtle.

One thing: Don't forget that Ancestry is not a free research service, it's a business. If you live in a small town far away from large research libraries -- and especially if you need to do research in a far corner of the country -- a subscription is going to be far cheaper than gasoline. Plus, you can work online at any time of the day or night. But also don't forget that in many states the state library makes available a subscription to Ancestry to city and county libraries all around the state, and that anyone with a library card can therefore access any database at Ancestry for free by visiting their local library. (But no, you generally can't logon to the library's access point from home.)

I can recommend this volume to anyone new to the websites it describes, although most of what is available on the site can be discovered simply by "walking around." It would especially make a good auxiliary gift if you're planning on giving someone in your family a gift subscription to Ancestry for Christmas.
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on June 4, 2011
This book does what it says, it tells you how to use Ancestry.com. This book is useful to people who have never used the site, if you have used it even a couple of months, this will not help you. The part that upset me, it does not nothing more than the help section on the website. It does not teach how to use wildcards, such as using the ? and * in the search. On top of that, when I tried to return the book, I was reminded of the 20% restocking fee. I will pass on this seller again, I am disappointed in this product.
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on April 20, 2009
I have been using Ancestry for a couple of years, but needed some help figuring out how to accomplish certain tasks. This book had the relevant information. I would recommend it to both new and old users of Ancestry.com
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on November 22, 2011
I purchased this book and learned nothing from it that I could not find out right there on the ancestry.com website. I would never recommend it for the price they charge, not even to beginners. Anyone who has even the remotest experience with trying to create a family tree will find this book a 99% waste.
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on January 10, 2012
Mistkenly ordered this, thinking it was the 3rd edition, of 2010, which is the one I had been waiting to have in stock for a very long time. Of what real use is this outdated "new" book??? It's like...why is is the old version even still available???? Just because it's what you've got on hand, I guess. My mistake, LOOK CAREFULLY, let the buyer beware!
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on October 11, 2010
Bought this for our daughter who is researching our family tree on Ancestry.com. This guide has instructed her with valuable info & how-to tips. An invaluable tool, I recommend this book as well as this seller!
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on April 26, 2011
I've been using Ancestry.com for a couple of years in an effort to build my family tree. I have enjoyed reasonable success, but the explanations and insights in this book have taught me to use the available tools much more effectively. I recommend it to any Ancestry.com subscriber.
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on August 27, 2013
This book is good in as far as it goes.......but the most recent information was from 2008 and a there are a LOT of features and changes since then. I am surprised that they don't warn you how dated this book is and how in need of revision!

A good book that describes the basics of Family Genealogy and how to use features of the website Ancestry.com but the newer features including the much more efficient SEARCH you will have to learn on your own.

IT IS OVERDUE THAT THE AUTHOR PROVIDE A NEW EDITION,
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on March 8, 2012
As the writer says early in the book, there were changes going on in the web site while the book was being written. It seems to me that inadequate detail is given in the book. Maybe that could not be helped.
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