Unofficial Workbook

Learn how to find your ancestors on! This workbook gives you hands-on experience, techniques and worksheets for searching’s family history records.

SKU: R2638

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Details keeps growing, and the site has numerous ways of helping you expand your family tree. But where do you start researching, and how do you get around the huge and ever-changing site? In this workbook, an essential companion to the Unofficial Guide to, you’ll learn how to use and its resources to your full advantage, with helpful guides to Ancestry’s digitized records and services like AncestryDNA. Each section briefly discusses how to search for a particular type of record (including census records, vital records and historical publications), then shares detailed step-by-step case studies that put those strategies into practice. Helpful screenshots illustrate how to navigate the site’s resources, guiding you from your first search for census records through deep research in the old country. And with worksheets and fillable genealogy forms in each section, you can easily plan your own searches and apply what you’ve learned to your family history research.

With expert advice, fillable worksheets and real-life search scenarios, this workbook will give you the hands-on knowledge you need to mine for your family’s records.

Who Should Get This Book

You’ll love the Unofficial Workbook if…

  • You’re new to and want to know how to get started
  • You’ve struck out using so far and need new search strategies to find your ancestors’ records
  • You’ve read resources like the Unofficial Guide to and want to see search strategies in action

What’s Inside

The Unofficial Workbook features:

  • Introductions on how to use the seven most important record groups on, plus how to navigate AncestryDNA and use test results in your research
  • Detailed step-by-step case studies showing how to use to find ancestors and solve research problems
  • Fillable worksheets and forms that let you apply the book’s techniques to your own research

Excerpt: Sample Tips

Here are some tips you’ll find in the Unofficial Workbook:

  1. Identify specific record collections that you want to search. With more than a billion records organized into tens of thousands of collections, can be overwhelming to navigate, and using the general search form can sometimes give you too many results to sort through. Use the Card Catalog to find specific collections that cover the appropriate time and place (as well as the kind of record you’re looking for) to give yourself the best chance of finding a specific record.
  2. Play with search options.’s search forms and Card Catalog have a number of filters you can use to narrow down your results. Different combinations of titles, keywords, record types and date ranges will yield different results. Learn what each option does, and make careful use of them in your search.
  3. Prioritize close DNA matches. DNA testing is an amazing new research technique, but it can provide you with an overwhelming amount of data. When reviewing your DNA matches, begin by searching only those who are projected to be third cousins or closer, as estimates or more distant relationships tend to be less accurate (and thus studying them is probably a less efficient use of your research time).

About The Author: Nancy Hendrickson

Nancy Hendrickson is a genealogy author, blogger and instructor at Ancestor News, a site dedicated to finding and preserving family stories. 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, Twitter and Pinterest. Her e-mail is

Contents of the Unofficial Workbook:


Chapter 1: Search and the Card Catalog

Chapter 2: Census Records

Chapter 3: Birth, Marriage, and Death Records

Chapter 4: Military Records

Chapter 5: Immigration Records

Chapter 6: Historical Maps, Images, Newspapers, and Publications

Chapter 7: Social History

Chapter 8: AncestryDNA

Appendix A: Account Info and Quick Links

Appendix B: Research Checklists and Worksheets

Appendix C: Census Abstract Forms

Additional Info
Additional Info
SKU R2638
Author/Speaker/Editor Nancy Hendrickson
Product Type Book
Binding Paperback
ISBN 13 9781440349065
Number Of Pages 192
Skill Level Beginner, Intermediate
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