The Writing of the Unofficial Guide to

Guide to FamilySearch.orgI’m excited to announce that the book I’ve been working on for the past few months, the Unofficial Guide to, is now available for pre-order on and

Writing this book has been an amazing process. has always been my go-to website for researching my family history—it’s the world’s largest free genealogy website. Through my research for the book, I’ve not only honed my searching skills on, but I’ve also found new genealogy records for my family that I didn’t have before.

Through my research and writing step-by-step examples for readers to follow I found:

  • the World War I draft registration card for my great-grandfather, Ferdinand Schmidt
  • marriage records for two sets of great-great-grandparents in Italy
  • a death record for my great-great-grandfather, Massimino Remedi
  • a marriage index listing my great-grandfather and great-grandmother in Italy
  • a death record for my great-grandfather’s sister

It also opened up new research avenues. For example, when I input individuals on my family tree, research hints suggested additional records on that may list each of those people.

In addition, many individuals at FamilySearch patiently and thoroughly answered the many questions I sent to them, and helped give me great information on the functions and features they’re working on to continually improve the website. I’d like to thank all of those individuals for their help to ensure the book is as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

To be honest, I never imagined that I would write a book. Today, I am thankful for this wonderful opportunity. It has been a great learning experience to see the book through the whole process as a writer, and not only from the perspective of an editor (as I usually do in my freelance editing work).

I hope that readers enjoy the book, and learn some new searching and record-browsing strategies to use so they, too, can find success researching their ancestors on


Dana McCullough is a freelance writer and editor who frequently writes, edits, copy-edits, and proofreads content for magazines, blogs, websites, books, and more. She is the owner of Dana’s Creative Services and author of the Unofficial Guide to Twitter: @DanasCreative



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Posted in Genealogy/Family History, Writing and Editing
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