google-site-verification: google65e716d80989ba07.html A Crash Course in Online Family History | The Armchair Genealogist

A Crash Course in Online Family History

Some might say family history has never been easier, based on the abundance of information available from the comfort of our armchairs. However, with that convenience comes a barrage of information that a new family historian is faced with when they log on for the first time. Finding the best of the best information online can be quite overwhelming for a beginner. 

How does one learn the techniques of family history research while navigating the murky waters of the internet?

Recently, I had the opportunity to review the book Crash Course in Family History by Paul Larson
of  This is Paul’s fifth edition and I have no doubt his largest and most complete guide. This book is an incredible resource for the newest of armchair genealogists. Crash Course in Family History is well organized and easy to follow and takes the beginner from the first steps of how to start their family history while introducing them to the internet genealogy world.

Paul arms his readers with not only sound research advice but the best the online community has to offer. Certainly, Paul introduces them to all the big players in the world of online databases. Let’s face it, most find their way into the family history today through Ancestry. However, Paul moves his readers far beyond the obvious. He not only provides them with the resources to search for their family history but the ability to continue to learn and develop their research skills through the varied offerings that the online genealogy community has to offer. Paul shares an enormous amount of links to websites, blogs, webinars, podcasts and hangouts. He connects his readers to some of the best online articles and learning opportunites. A new family historian reading Paul’s book enjoys a very clear and organized view of the offerings of the online genealogy world. As a blogger in this world, I was honoured to find The Armchair Genealogist in this book. (I was not aware of this inclusion prior to agreeing to this review.) I think many bloggers might need to thank Paul for including them in his book and introducing new family historians to the generous and informative world of genealogy bloggers.

Crash Course in Family History is definitely geared to beginners with an amazing amount of online resources gathered together in one place.  If you aren’t familiar with or you are overwhelmed by internet genealogy, I encourage you to pick up this book. If you are just beginning your family history journey without a doubt pick up Paul’s book.  If you know someone interested in starting their family history research, gift them this book and get them started in the right direction.

Paul also offers the My Family History Toolkit – a great companion to the Crash Course for Family History. In My Family History Toolkit, Paul takes on the technology tools that have become a mainstay in the 21st century family historian’s toolbox.  Here’s peak at just some of the things you learn about in the Toolbox.

  • 10 Essential Family History Tools You Need Today
  • Best 13 Top Gadgets, Gizmos and Apps to Make it Easier
  • How to Use Your iPad for Genealogy
  • Tools for Scanning Your Photos and Documents
  • How do I Use my Smartphone for Family History?

Together the Crash Course for Family History and the My Family History Toolkit are well-thought out resources that provide the newest family historian a complete introduction into the new age of genealogy.

If you would like to know more about the Crash Course for Family History, readers can peek-inside the book for free at

Paul has also been generous in offering a 20% discount when purchasing from their website store. 

Simply log on and insert the coupon code "family" (without quotes) when checking out. The list price for the Crash Course print book is $39.95 and the 20% discount saves them $8 making it only $31.96.

You also have the option of purchasing the Crash Course print and/or e-book versions. The e-book is hyper-linked to all of the websites/tutorials. It retails for $33.95 and the 20% discount makes it only $27.16. And they can download it for instant access worldwide.

If you are interested in the Crash Course Bundle: Book + eBook, they SAVE 25% - $74 Value only $54.99 + FREE shipping.
Same discounts apply for the Toolbox book/e-book, or a complete package of all the books.

If you want to start your family history research and understand the online resources available to you then you need to have A Crash Course in Family History by Paul Larson. I only wish I had this book when I started my research.