Finding facts about the family’s history always was a challenge, even for the professionals. Then the Internet came and with it the explosion of information, and genealogy became part of the IT revolution.
It is no problem if they are new to research, because usually they know their way around e-mail, web surfing, blogs and website opportunities. Newcomers with an interest in technology can have a field day in genealogical research.
The first difficulty newcomers run into is to find and follow the information you really need. Selecting information that is going to be useful to you is hard and it is quite easy to get frustrated. Don’t give up though; there is an answer to that if you learn more about the research process.
“For Dummies” books about this or that are very popular these days, and genealogy has its own. “Genealogy Online” by April Leigh Helm and Matthew L. Helm is one of the latest publications. It has five sections that are very practical to help you finding your way to the history of your family.
Sections 1 & 2 of the book give great tips for both professionals and beginners on genealogical research, including ethnic research, surnames, geography and records of various governments.
Most important and helpful however is Section 4. It has information about:
- 10 most important genealogical publications on the internet
- 10 guidelines to design your own genealogy webpage
- 10 ways to conduct productive, rewarding research
- ‘Yellow pages’ with important genealogical websites and a description of them
You’ll get more out of your web surfing and searches when you use the part on search engines that outlines how to get much better results using robots and spiders.
A typical mistake of beginning researchers for example, is to only type in the surname in a search engine. To their surprise the results that show up are very often not relevant at all, which makes it harder to find the sites that do matter. Using the tips in “Online Genealogy” will prevent you get frustrated.
You can also buy the book on CD, which is very useful in the combination of shareware and paid for programs and tools that researchers in genealogy often use. Since not everything you are looking for is waiting for you on websites or on computers, the book also shows you how to do research with books.
Starting genealogists are very enthusiastic about the book, thanking the writers for their focus on the planning of research and the work a computer can do for you.
By pointing readers to the Bureau Of Land Management’s database of patents on land, a heritance from the old General Land Office, “Online Genealogy” really shows how worthwhile it is. That database shows researchers early family members’ land patents which they can download.
The book also gets good reviews from the professionals who acknowledge it assisted them in acquiring new skills and better results. Mentioning better methods to store old photos and notes, the pros are also happy with the tips and methods on planning effective travels for their research.