Mastering Genealogy Online (2nd Edition) by Daniel Quillen

I just borrowed Mastering Genealogy Online (2nd Edition) by Daniel Quillen from my local library.   It has a copyright date of 2012.  I have read some several genealogy how-to books in the past, but it has truly been a few years.  I have my own methods for online genealogy searches that work for me, but it seemed like a good idea to see what Mr. Quillen had to say.
Let’s get straight to the point of this post:  The author of this small – to the point – volume shares my opinion that Ancestry (including the Library Edition) is a little difficult at times to work with because it returns thousands of hits, most which have nothing to do with your ancestor.  In my experience, one of my 3rd great-grandfathers does not have much information available.  I believe that I have all the information already available online for him.  He is not even in the 1880 US Census when he should be.  However, I have still looked on Ancestry Library, just to verify that.  When I look him up – the last name is actually quite unique – I get thousands of  hits.  Most the names that it “hits” upon have nothing to do with the actual gentleman for whom I am looking.  Often they are women who are not related, or in some cases, are the grandchildren of his possible brother.    I have been frustrated with Ancestry’s nondiscrimination for a few years.   (I much prefer in its hits and matches.)
Here is the quote from Mr. Quillen’s book:
” The only complaint I have is that, for whatever reason, Ancestry seems compelled to provide me with about any hit that is even remotely similar to the information for which I am seeking.  Even when I used their Advance Search capabilities, similar-but-clearly-different information is provided” (97).
He uses an example from his own family tree, and then says, also on the same page, “Okay – thank you.  It was good to get that off my chest.”

This is a very good little book on how to get started with online genealogy.   Mr. Quillen discusses free and subscription databases, as well as other things like computer essentials and software.
As a note, I have been working online (and offline) on my family tree since 1999.

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