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Online Roots: How to Discover Your Family's History and Heritage With the Power of the Internet (National Genealogical Society Guides) Paperback – April 21, 2003

5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: National Genealogical Society Guides
  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Rutledge Hill Press (April 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401600212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401600211
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,481,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This work is one of the first that seems to approach the use of the internet as a great tool, while still supporting and instructing standard research techniques. Easy to follow and loads of examples make this book a useful helper with my own family research.
The variety of online sites is enhanced with actual case studies and sample screens for beginners. I would recommend this book for a novice or experienced researcher.
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Format: Paperback
Regular readers of my reviews (here and elsewhere) will know that I cast a chary eye on books that purport to introduce the reader to the miracle of "Internet genealogy." I've read and reviewed dozens of such titles from the viewpoint of a researcher of more than thirty years' experience (beginning in the days of spiral notebooks and 3x5 cards) who is also a thoroughly wired computer geek and a heavy user of the Internet. I have long maintained that online research is simply the (sometimes) more convenient continuance by other means of traditional, tried and true methods. There is no "royal road to genealogy," no universal database from which you can immediately download your entire lineage back to Adam. Most of the books I've seen fall into two categories: Introductions to traditional genealogy with a thin icing of information on genealogical software and Internet how-to, and "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Computers and the Internet"-type volumes that include specific genealogical applications as an afterthought. There are a few, like Elizabeth Powell Crowe's *Genealogy Online: Researching Your Roots* (1998), Matt Helm's *Genealogy Online for Dummies* (1998), and Pamela Hahn's *The Unofficial Guide to Online Genealogy* (2001), which actually are quite useful and are worth reading (though all three are inevitably becoming dated), but these are very much the exception. The rest are simply exercises in marketing.

Pam Porter is a Certified Genealogical Records Specialist, a very experienced author and lecturer who has edited the APG QUARTERLY and presently serves on the FGS Board of Trustees. Amy Crow, a Certified Genealogist, also is well-known as an author and speaker, has served on the boards of several national organizations, and chairs First Families of Ohio.
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I have to admit this book was a bit overwhelming for someone trying to get a handle on geneology, and just focusing on certain of his lineage without too many frills. This is not a criticism, however, since this book is supposed to be a reference book more than anything else, and the author is trying and succeeding in giving us as much information as she can. I did read it from cover to cover to get the lay of the land, and found it well-written, thorough, and careful in its exposition of the subject. It was recommended by the more general Geneology 101, and was a good follow-up. This book took 101 a step further in showing us how to take max advantage of the net and save some foot steps.

It was interesting to me that the author pursued so much detail about so much of her extended family, such as great-great uncles, and third cousins once-removed. I also was intrigued by her effort to get supporting information about the areas her forbears lived in, the geographical properties, the commerce going on there, the character and feel of the area, etc. It is more than I would want to go after, at least just starting; though it would be fun to have some of this background.

The biggest tips are to sign-up for a paid online service like ancestry.com, and to join a geneological society, even if only an online bulletin board set-up. Indeed, all roads seemed to end at ancestry.com as I found out. I would start out on a free website sited in the book, looking for something specific, and would be led to ancestor.com, with its notice of a 14-day free trial. Now that I've read Geneology 101 and Online Roots, I'll probably take advantage of that offer.

She also strongly recommended looking for work someone else has already done on your family tree.
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