Are you a student with an assignment to research your ancestry? Or
maybe you’re a bit older and recently retired and looking for a hobby.
Or perhaps you simply love puzzles and mysteries, and you discovered that
genealogy is a lot like solving these. It’s even possible that you’re an experienced
researcher who is just looking for a refresher or wants to see what’s
new in Genealogy Online For Dummies. Regardless of your motivation, you’re
ready to research, but you’re looking for a little guidance or a boost to get
you moving. That’s where we come in.
About 12 years ago, we wrote the first edition of Genealogy Online For
Dummies. Internet resources for family history were relatively new, and
the advice we gave was pointed to what was available and worked best at
the time. Now, here we are, a few years down the road and five editions of
Genealogy Online For Dummies later, bringing you the sixth edition. The
world of online genealogy has changed substantially. With the introduction of
smaller and faster technology, and the increased popularity of genetic genealogy,
the entire genealogical field — not just the online community — has
changed substantially. The whole premise that you can conduct genealogical
research from the comfort of your own home and connect with other
researchers through a computer is still the same, but some of the resources
and methods we recommend have changed.
So if you’re a repeat reader of Genealogy Online For Dummies, we think you’ll
be pleased to find all sorts of new and updated information. And if you’re
brand new to genealogy, we think you’ll be equally pleased with easy-tounderstand
directions and information about the resources that await you.
At this point, we feel obligated to give you a couple of warnings or reminders.
First, genealogy is an addictive pursuit. You just might find yourself staying
up all hours of the night chasing down that elusive ancestor. Please don’t
blame us if you start falling asleep at work due to your genealogical research
routine. Also, on a more serious note, keep in mind that online research is
merely one tool among others for finding information about your family.
To thoroughly research your genealogy, you must use a number of tools —
many of which we talk about throughout this book.