Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review: Unofficial Ancestry.com Workbook

Unofficial Ancestry.com Workbook: A How-to Manual for Tracing Your Family Tree on the #1 Genealogy WebsiteSomehow I missed the release of the Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com by Nancy Hendrickson. When I reviewed Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org, I became a big fan of Family Tree Book's unofficial series, so I was very happy when I received a review copy of the new Ancestry book, Unofficial Ancestry.com Workbook: A How-to Manual for Tracing Your Family Tree on the #1 Genealogy Website.

Chapters are organized around record types. The chapters of the book are:

  1. Search and the Card Catalog
  2. Census Records
  3. Birth, Marriage, and Death Records
  4. Military Records
  5. Immigration Records
  6. Historical Maps, Images, Newspapers, and Publications
  7. Social History [directories, tax records, land records, histories, etc.]
  8. AncestryDNA

Each chapter contains overviews of the databases of the chapter’s record type and helpful instructions on using that type. For example, from the vital records chapter:

Death records can open up new lines of research, primarily because they can contain the name of the person’s parents (including the mother’s maiden name) as well as where the parents and the decedent were born.

Each chapter has a number of exercises. Don’t think workbook quizzes; think step-by-step walkthroughs. 

Each chapter also contains some helpful “search strategies” for the chapter’s record type. Here is an example search strategy from the census chapter:

Don’t assume your ancestor was skipped during an enumeration. Look for alternate surname spellings, first name shown as initials, or location in a neighboring county.

Each chapter contains workbook forms and worksheets for things like searching the census and abstracting birth records. Appendices have additional checklists, worksheets, and census abstract forms. While a book obviously isn’t going to contain enough copies of each form or worksheet, additional copies can be downloaded from the Family Tree Magazine website.


Unofficial Ancestry.com Workbook: A How-to Manual for Tracing Your Family Tree on the #1 Genealogy Website
Nancy Hendrickson
8.2 x 0.6 x 10.9 inches, 192 pp., paperback. 2017.
ISBN 1440349061
Family Tree Books
1-855-278-0408, shopfamilytree.com
$10.99 Kindle
$13.19 Google eBook
$14.57 Amazon
$21.99 Paperback/eBook list price, plus shipping.


  1. I'm a little confused. Are there both a book and a workbook? If so, is the book prerequisite to the workbook? Thanks.

    1. There is both book and workbook. One is not the prerequisite of the other. As the author wrote in the Introduction, "This workbook is meant to be used either as a stand-alone guide to Ancestry.com or as a companion to the original book."

  2. Hendrickson didn't write the FamilySearch.org guide. It was written by Dana McCullough

  3. Why no comments on Family Tree maker 2017 not being released????????


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.