The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy

Overview

You're no idiot, of course. You know that back in the "old country", wherever that may be, there are probably ancient parchments listing your ancestors—and if you could go back, you could trace your lineage to its source. But when it comes to setting off on your personal expedition, time and finances keep you "rooted" in the here and now. Don't give up on discovering where you came from! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy is a fun, easy-to-follow guide to sleuthing around cyberspace to learn about ...

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Overview

You're no idiot, of course. You know that back in the "old country", wherever that may be, there are probably ancient parchments listing your ancestors—and if you could go back, you could trace your lineage to its source. But when it comes to setting off on your personal expedition, time and finances keep you "rooted" in the here and now. Don't give up on discovering where you came from! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy is a fun, easy-to-follow guide to sleuthing around cyberspace to learn about your past—a cost-effective alternative to packing a trunk and setting sail. In this Complete Idiot's Guide, you get:

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028636351
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 11/17/1999
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Pages: 398
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Part 1 Computers and Genealogy 1
1 What Is Online Genealogy? 3
What's the Difference Between Online and Regular Genealogy? 5
Is My Family on the Internet? 7
What Can You Expect from the Internet? 7
Genealogy's Far Reach on the Internet 8
Who Can Access Online Information? 9
2 Getting to Genealogy Cyberland 13
Are You Up to the Computer Challenge? 13
Computer 14
Modems 16
Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Internet Provider (IP) 16
Browser 17
It's Not My Teenager, It's My Computer Tying Up the Phone 18
I See an ISP 19
Is a Local ISP for You? 20
An ISP That Travels with You 20
Other On Ramps 20
Commercial Services 21
Libraries 22
Educational Institutions 23
3 "Geek Speak" for Family History Hunters 25
"Techie" Terms 25
"Emoticons"--The Emotions of the Internet 26
Secret Codes--Genealogical Acronyms 28
Mastering Cyberspace Etiquette 30
Using Informative Subject Lines 31
Refraining from Obsessive Quoting 31
Learning Not to SHOUT! 32
Controlling Signature Size 33
Keeping Your E-mail File Lean 34
Resisting Online Stationery 34
Keeping Spaghetti Separate from Genealogy? 35
Keeping the Flames Comin' 35
Learning Web Lingo 36
4 Putting That PC to Work for You 37
PCs Can Be Your Friends 37
Eliminating Repetitively Entering Data 39
Avoiding Human Errors 39
Extending Your Contacts 41
Selecting the Right Genealogy Program 42
Family Origins 43
Family Tree Maker 44
Generations 45
Personal Ancestral File 46
Ultimate Family Tree 47
Trying Software Before Buying 49
What's More Personal Than Your Ancestors? 50
Learning about Other Programs You'll Find Irresistible 50
Census Programs 51
Cemetery Programs 52
Database Programs 52
Mapping Programs 53
Part 2 Genealogy 101 55
5 Beginning at the Beginning 57
I'm Born--Beginning with Myself 58
Interviewing Yourself 59
Writing It All Down 60
Learning to Use Family History Forms 61
Filling Out the Forms Yourself 61
Using Your PC As Scribe 65
Congratulations! You Are Now a Genealogist! 67
6 Families Are Forever 69
Talking with Family Members 69
Talking to Relatives Face to Face 70
Let "Ma Bell" Help 72
Let Uncle Sam Deliver 72
Interviewing Uncle Bud 74
Raiding Grandma's Attic 75
Begging Aunt Ruth for the Family Bible 78
When Is a Letter Not a Letter? 80
7 Organize, Organize, Organize 81
Copies, Copies, and More Copies 82
What Source Documentation Should You Keep? 83
Avoiding the Paper Trap 84
Following the Genealogical "Bread Crumbs" Trail 86
Keeping Track of Why, When, and Where 86
Learning to Use Family History Logs 86
Mastering Research Logs 87
Mastering Electronic Logs 88
Returning to the "Crime Scene" 89
Relying on Bookmarks, Web Style 90
Maintaining Your Internet Travel Log 90
Using Your Browser's History 93
Drowning in Bookmarks? 93
Folders Are Your Friends 94
Names of Places? 95
8 What's Next for the Genealogist on the Hunt? 97
Planing for the Future 97
Research Trips 98
The Local Library 99
Major Libraries 99
Family Locations 101
Cemeteries 102
Evaluating Your Research 102
Building on Others' Research 104
Part 3 Surf's Up 107
9 Surfing--Genealogy Style 109
What's in Your Beginner's Basket? 109
Link to Link 111
The Cream of the Crop 113
Directories 113
Search Engines 114
Metasearch Engines 117
Genealogy-Specific Searches 117
What's Really Out There? 118
Beware: Addiction Imminent 120
10 Wanted: Great-Grandma Bertha 121
Let's Hit the Boards 122
There's Thread on that Board 123
Avoiding Common Board Mistakes 123
Requests for Clarification 124
Newsgroups Abound 126
Cutting Through the Static 127
Searching Your E-mail 127
Searching the Newsgroups 127
Getting Along with the Rest of the Group 129
Joining the Party 130
Letting Your Fingers Do the Talking 133
Using What You Find 133
11 Worldwide Pony Express at Mach 4 135
It's a Small World 135
Help, I Want to Get Off 138
Why Is Everyone Sending Me This? 139
Sharing with Possible Online Cousins 140
You Got Anyone in Allegany County? 142
Help--My Software Ate My Database 143
Jumping in with Both Feet 144
Finding the Lists 144
Creating New Lists 145
12 Hunting Down Those Family Pages 147
Finding Families 148
A Needle in a Haystack? 148
Search Engines for Genealogists 148
Looking for STANDERFERs Instead of SMITHs 151
Fine-Tuning Your Family-Specific Research Methods 154
Getting Through the Maze 154
Reality and Reliability Check 155
All Family Sites Are Not Created Equal 157
13 Query: I'm Looking for SMITHs 161
Send Me Everything You've Got 162
Why Are You Asking Me This? 165
Psychic Genealogist Needed 167
You Reap What You Sow 169
Part 4 Diggin' Up Bones--Online Style 171
14 Resources for Vital Records 173
Births, Marriages, and Deaths 174
Finding Vital Records at the State Level 175
Finding Vital Records at the County Level 177
Indexes 178
Indexes of State Records 180
Indexes of County Records 181
Obituaries 181
Volunteer Projects 184
15 Mastering Other Genealogical Resources 187
Census Online 187
U.S. Census Information 188
Canadian Census Information 191
England and Scotland Census Information 192
Ireland Census Information 192
Norway Census Information 192
Land Records 193
Cemetery Records 196
USGenWeb and WorldGenWeb 198
USGenWeb 199
WorldGenWeb Project 200
16 Off the Beaten Path 201
Need Something from the National Archives? 201
Hitting the NAIL on the Head 205
Famous and Infamous at Your Fingertips 206
Reading Newspapers with Ink-Free Hands 210
Mapping Your Course 210
Where Are They, Geographically? 212
17 Databases Galore 215
RootsWeb Is the Granddaddy of All Databases 216
RootsWeb Surname List (RSL) 217
RootsWeb Search Engines 219
GenealogyLibrary.com 221
Ancestry.com 223
GENDEX 226
Part 5 Mining for Family Gold 229
18 Using History in Family History 231
Our Ancestors' History 231
Through the Time Machine 233
Searching Some Great History Sites 235
Ellis Island Remembered 235
Canadian History 237
The Wild Wild West 238
Sites for the Historically Addicted 240
Making History with Your Family 242
19 The Melting Pot 245
They Came in Ships 245
Jewish Research 252
African American Research 253
Native American Ancestry 255
Hispanic Research 256
Asian American Research 256
The Tip of the Iceberg 256
20 Around the World in 80 Seconds 259
The British Isles at Bedtime 260
Germany from Your Office 264
Scandinavia or Bust 267
Italy by Moonlight 269
Translator Needed 271
Part 6 PJs and Slippers Time 277
21 Rifling Through Library Catalogs at 2 A.M. 279
Finding Online Libraries with WebCATS 280
Other Online Avenues 282
Know Before You Go 285
Libraries in the Twenty-first Century 287
The Secrets Held by NUCMC 288
22 Family History Library 293
Families Really Are Forever 294
Index to the World--Almost 296
Lineage Online 298
Catalogs at Dawn 301
Preserving Your Family History 304
FHCs--Yes, You Still Need Them 305
23 Online U 307
Help Is Just a Link Away 308
Study at Your Own Pace 308
Free Genealogy Classes 309
Family TreeMaker.com Online University 309
NGS Online Course--Introduction to Genealogy 312
Online Classrooms 315
Articles from the Experts 317
24 A Virtual Canvas 321
It's Your Turn 321
Finding a Home for Your Page 322
Your Local ISP or Current Commercial Service 323
Free Web Space Servers 324
Commercial Web Servers 325
Sites Just for Genealogists 326
There's Help Out There 327
Software to Do the Work for You 329
Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder 331
You're a Publisher Now 333
25 Privacy and Copyright 335
Mom's Maiden Name 336
You're How Old? 337
Surprise, You're a Star 338
Copyrights, Now and Tomorrow 340
26 You're on a Roll Now 343
Do's and Don'ts of Online Genealogy 343
One Link at a Time 347
Remember to Have Fun 348
The Ever-Changing World Wide Web 350
Appendixes
A State Resources 353
B Country Resources 359
C Online Library Resources 362
D Useful Forms 363
E Glossary of Genealogical and Technical Terms 373
Index 383
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