Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: Genealogy at a Glance: Research

The Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore has published another in its series of "Genealogy at a Glance" laminated research guides - this time for Research by George G. Morgan.  

This "Genealogy at a Glance" booklet has four laminated pages on one 11" x 17" paper (folded). It is designed to give the user the basic elements of genealogy research in the allotted space. They provide an overview of the facts a researcher needs to know in order to begin and proceed successfully with research in the subject.

The description of the Research booklet includes:

FamilySearch is the family history arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest genealogy organization in the world. The Church began microfilming genealogical records as far back as 1938, with digitization following in 1998. Since then one of its chief goals has been to digitize as many records as possible and place them online. is available to the public free of charge and offers search and browse access to all of its materials. At the present time the site contains more than 3.5 billion records, tens of thousands of genealogies and family trees, and thousands of digitized books. Among other things
  • You can use the site to upload your family tree, family photos, stories, and document images.
  • You can produce a pedigree chart or fan chart of your family tree.
  • You can search or browse the contents of FamilySearch’s enormous collection of genealogical records and user-submitted genealogies.
  • You can use the FamilySearch Wiki to help you research more than 75,000 articles.
  • You can use the Learning Center’s online courses and video tutorials free of charge.
The website has many sophisticated tools, and the purpose of this Genealogy at a Glance (GAAG) piece is to provide an outline of its most useful features. At the heart of this effort, George G. Morgan, also the author of GAAG Research, describes the functions available through the primary navigation tools--Family Tree, Memories, and Search. Incredibly, the key to understanding and using these tools is provided here in a mere four pages, in a laminated folder designed for heavy use in the traditional GAAG manner. Without fuss or confusion it cuts through a formidable body of genealogical materials to guide you straight to your goal, helping you to set research strategies at a glance. Given the breathtaking scope of and its many pathways, the experience should be rewarding.

The booklet has these subjects:

*  Contents
*  Quick Facts 
*  Overview
*  Create a Login

*  Primary Organization of Site
**  Family Tree
**  Memories
**  Search

*  Searching and Browsing Records
**  Searching Historical Records
**  Search Results
**  Browsing Record Collections
** Browsing Un-indexed Images

*  Get Help and Learn

*  FamilySearch Blog

* Volunteering

This booklet is designed primarily for the person who is not an expert, or has little experience, in finding and using the website.  It provides guidance and excellent ideas to understand the scope and breadth of the website, and describes research processes to effectively use the website to find ancestral records.

For someone like me that teaches and talks about genealogy a bit, it is invaluable because I can pull it out and provide some guidance to my student or colleague interested in the subject.

The beauty of these "Genealogy at a Glance" booklets is that they are very light and portable in a briefcase or laptop case. They are fixtures in my research case.

This four-page laminated booklet costs $8.95,  plus postage and handling. You can order it through the Genealogical Store, or use the link for the Research booklet and click on the "Add to Cart" link.  I recommend buying these at seminars and conferences where they are offered in order to avoid the shipping costs.

I have reviewed several similar works in recent years:

*  Genealogy at a Glance: Old Southwest Genealogy Research
The URL for this post is:
Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2014.

Disclosure: contacted me recently and asked me to provide a review of this booklet. They mailed me a review copy for my personal use as remuneration for this review.

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