Monday, April 23, 2012

eBook Review - My Family History Toolbox, by Paul Larsen

Have you been looking for a book that covers the latest technology tools for genealogists to make your research easier, faster and fun?  I found one...

The book is by Paul Larsen and is titled My Family History Toolbox, Illustrated Guide to Cutting-Edge Tools, Gadgets, and Apps to Make Your Family History Research Easier, Faster and Fun (published by the author, 2012). This is an eBook which you can purchase ($19.95) on CD or as a PDF download from the Easy Family History Store (

In the Preface, Paul notes:

"You expect to use today’s technology to find your family roots and story faster, easier and better than the previous generation. There is a real need to learn about the best tools and new technology to better connect with your ancestors.

"That’s why this e-book was written. This is a simplified approach to learn what is available and how it can help you plant, nourish, and grow your family tree and connect to your ancestors."

The Table of Contents has seven chapters:

1.  What is a Family History Toolbox?

2.  What's In a Family History Toolkit?

3.  Your Basic Essential Tools - Family History Software; a free Email Address; How-To and Beginner's Guides, Books, Directories and Tutorials; Free Tools, Forms and Worksheets; Wikis; Best Websites; Flash Drives.

4.  More Valuable Cutting Edge Tools - Google tools (iGoogle, Reader, Plus, Alerts, Books); Skype; Dropbox; Diigo; AncestorSync; Evernote; Gensmarts; Heritage Collector Software; Relationship Tools,  Online Photo Sharing; Online Backup; Cloud Computing; Screen Capturing.

5.  Handy Gadgets and Gizmos - Recording and Archiving Your Story; Digital Voice Recorder; Writing and Publishing Your Family Story; eReaders; eReader Apps; Sources for eBooks; Using GPD for your Family History; Scanners/Digital Cameras.

6.  Mobile Apps - Online App Stores; Using your Smartphone for Family History; Family Tree Apps; Facebook Apps; Gravesite Apps; iPad Apps.

A Glossary completes the book.

Rather than describe each of these topics in fine detail, the author provides links to websites, blogs, articles, videos, and software providers.

This book is very easy to read in a PDF format - it's in a single-column format with relatively large print, many illustrations and how-to information boxes.

I learned quite a bit about several topics - especially the iGoogle Gadgets, the Facebook Research Community and the Mobile Apps summaries.

If you want to "catch up" on the technology that your colleagues, friends, family and grandchildren are using, you need this book!   There's a lot here for "early adopters" also.

Paul Larsen has also written an excellent print book titled Crash Course in Family History, and has several more eBooks for sale at the Easy Family History Store (  If you buy this book, you can receive a discount on the other books and eBooks.

Disclosure:  Paul Larsen offered this eBook to me for review for free, and I jumped at the opportunity.  I enjoyed the book, and will refer to it often on my desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone computers.  The opinions above are my own, and I have not received any remuneration other than the eBook for this review.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Celia Lewis said...

Hey Randy - I always want to know the publishing date on any book review. Can I assume that this book is 2012?
Thanks for doing the review and posting all the details.

Randy Seaver said...

yes, Celia, it's 2012. I just received the invite for the review last week. Hot off the keyboard!

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