Unofficial Guide to, Second Edition eBook

Dive into! This updated and expanded eBook will show you how to use, including AncestryDNA. Full of tips and strategies, this complete guidebook to will help you find your ancestors’ records and build out your family tree on the no. 1 genealogy website.
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Discover the secrets to success! This eBook, newly revised and expanded, will help you get the most out of your subscription. Inside, you’ll discover how to take advantage of what the world’s biggest genealogy website has to offer—and how to find answers to your genealogy questions within its billions of records and millions of AncestryDNA profiles. Each chapter includes step-by-step examples with illustrations to show you exactly how to apply search techniques to your genealogy. A new section on AncestryDNA will also help you understand and analyze your DNA test results.

Whether you’ve just begun dabbling in family history or you’re a longtime subscriber, this eBook will turn you into an power user.

What’s Inside

The Unofficial Guide to, second edition eBook features:

  • Timesaving tips for uncovering specific records, time periods and topics using’s search forms and Card Catalog
  • Details on’s historical record collections, including what you can expect to find in them
  • Step-by-step guides for creating and managing your family tree on, plus how to connect with other users and utilize the site’s powerful Hint system
  • Plain-language strategies for using your AncestryDNA results, including guides to your ethnicity report and DNA matches

Who Should Get This eBook

You’ll love the Unofficial Guide to, second edition if…

  • You’re an subscriber who wants to get the most bang for your buck
  • You want to know how can help you before buying a subscription
  • You need help improving your search results
  • You’ve just received your AncestryDNA results and want to know what’s next

Excerpt: Sample Tips

Here are some tips you’ll find in the Unofficial Guide to, second edition eBook:

  1. Add dates to your search. Even if it’s just an educated guess, a date in your search will return people who have the same name, but lived across centuries.’s search function is built to look not only for the exact parameters you’ve indicated, but also results that are similar.
  2. Don’t specify “exact” in your census searches. Even if you know the exact name, place, and more, resist the urge to check the Exact box. Errors might have been made by enumerators, transcriptionists and ancestors, so the information recorded in the census may not exactly match what you know about your ancestor.
  3. Be wary of ethnicity estimates. The promise of learning what “percent” of a nationality you are has drawn many people to test with AncestryDNA, but these ethnicity estimates aren’t as reliable as you might believe. Take these estimates with a grain of salt, and spend more time analyzing the list of DNA matches that AncestryDNA provides.

About The Author: Nancy Hendrickson

Nancy Hendrickson is a genealogy author, blogger, and instructor at Family Tree University. A contributing editor at Family Tree Magazine, Nancy writes almost exclusively about Internet genealogy, research, and American history. She’s a member of Western Writers of America and a long-time photography buff. Nancy is active on Facebook (www​, Twitter (@genealogyteach) and Pinterest ( You can find her at her website ( or contact her via e-mail:

Contents of the Unofficial Guide to, second edition eBook:


Part 1: Getting Started with

Chapter 1: Learning the Basics

Chapter 2: Using Family Trees

Chapter 3: Mastering Search and the Card Catalog

Part 2: Digging into Records on

Chapter 4: Making the Most of Census Records and Voter Lists

Chapter 5: Delving into Birth, Marriage, and Death Records

Chapter 6: Working with Military Records

Chapter 7: Using Immigration and Travel Records

Chapter 8: Digging into Newspapers, Publications, and Maps

Chapter 9: Searching Stories, Memories, Histories, and Pictures

Chapter 10: Making the Most of Schools, Directories, and Church Histories

Chapter 11: Using the Wills, Probates, Land, Tax & Criminal Category

Part 3: Uncovering Ancestors with AncestryDNA

Chapter 12: Interpreting Your DNA Results

Chapter 13: Connecting with Others

Chapter 14: Applying DNA to Your Research

Part 4: Diving Deeper into

Chapter 15: Collaborating with Other Users

Chapter 16: Branching Out with and Fold3

Appendix: Quick Links and Shortcut Keys

The Unofficial Guide to, second edition eBook comes in PDF format and can be printed out or viewed on your tablet, laptop or desktop computer for easy reference while working with your family memories.

Additional Info
Additional Info
SKU R7083
Author/Speaker/Editor Nancy Hendrickson
File Type PDF
Product Type E-book
Number Of Pages 272
Skill Level Beginner
Customer Reviews (1)
Unofficial Guide to Second Edition: Your Road Map to Genealogy Success
Whether you are new to genealogy research or you’ve been using for years but truly believe you can use the site more efficiently, Unofficial Guide to, Second Edition is the perfect guide to get the most out of As with her other books on Ancestry, FamilySearch and family history writing, Nancy Hendrickson has created a much needed navigation plan for family historians of all skill levels.

Last year I reviewed Hendrickson’s Unofficial Workbook and I picked up many tips on the #1 genealogy super site in America. So when I was asked to review this new book, I figured that a second edition really wouldn’t be much help to someone like me with 40 years of genealogy research experience. Again, I need to learn my lesson about assumptions . . .

What I’m trying to say is this: don’t fool yourself into thinking you know everything there is about just because you use it every day or every week. As genealogists, we spend good, hard-earned money on sites like so why shouldn’t we have one of the best guides to this valuable resource? So, put aside your assumptions, and your old research habits, and take a tour of Unofficial Guide to, Second Edition with me!

Why I Think Unofficial Guide to, Second Edition Works for ALL Genealogists and Family Historians
Believe me when I tell you that I have read many genealogy “how to” books over the past ten years of being a professional genealogist. There are many good, basic books that serve those new to family history very well. However, the intermediate, and what I call “hardcore, lifer” genealogists, don’t find much new information in most of these books.

In addition, usually when I see the words “second edition” (or “third” or “fourth”), I am skeptical as to whether I should really upgrade from the first edition … could there really be that much that changed?

The new edition of Unofficial Guide to, Second Edition is different and I can sum up why in one sentence: Nancy Hendrickson is, in my opinion, one of the best and most under-rated genealogy educators around who can impart complex methods in easy-to-use and approachable language. Further, with the new edition, Nancy has taken the time to find many new features with and summarize the ones that are most useful for finding your ancestors.


Writing a comprehensive yet useful guide to the leading genealogy research website in the world is not an easy task. In addition, being able to convey “how to” material on that actually works and helps you increase your productivity is even more difficult. In Unofficial Guide to Second Edition, the author does a superlative job covering all the bases to provide users with the best possible information to help ensure family history success.

NOTE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Unofficial Guide to Second Edition for review purposes and I am affiliate for Family Tree Magazine. See for the original review dated 8 May 2018.
Review by Thomas (Posted on 5/10/2018)
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