An unofficial guide is one that has been put together by someone who doesn’t work for the company, event, or website that the guide was created for. In general, these types of guides offer insight to people who are hoping to make the most out of their experience with something. Did you know that there is an unofficial guide to FamilySearch?
Typically, unofficial guides are created by people who are passionate about whatever they are writing a guide about. They aren’t employed by the company that makes the thing they love (but sometimes might have worked for that company in the past.) Unofficial guides give people an insider’s view, opinions, and explanations about a particular product, event, or website.
Over the years, there has been more than one “Unofficial Guide” to Disneyland, and to DisneyWorld. Why? One reason is because there are a lot of people who absolutely love all things Disney, and who visit the parks often enough to easily keep up to date on things. That makes it relatively easy for them to share their knowledge with others.
Another reason is that there are a lot of people who intend to visit either Disneyland, or DisneyWorld (or both) and who have never been there before. They could use the advice of a seasoned visitor to the park. Often, a guide marked “Unofficial” makes it feel more secretive and special than the official guides.
This sort of passion can be easily translated into genealogy. FamilySearch is a popular, well known, genealogy website that can be used for free. The sheer amount of information on FamilySearch can be overwhelming to a person who is new to genealogy. These people could use the advice and instruction of a person who knows FamilySearch much better than they do.
The Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org was written by Dana McCullough. She is a freelance writer and editor who often writes and edits content on genealogy (and other topics). She enjoys researching her family history and uses FamilySearch.
The unofficial guide walks people who are new to genealogy, or who have been doing genealogy for a while but are unfamiliar with FamilySearch, through how to get started. It includes tips for more effective searching, information about the FamilySearch Wiki, and things to know about the indexing projects that are done through FamilySearch.
Seasoned genealogists could potentially learn something new about FamilySearch from the unofficial guide. It would also make a nice genealogy gift for a family member who is just getting started in genealogy.
Image by Dave See on Flickr.
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