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AfriGeneas Helpdesk
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What the Internet Can Not Do To Help You

Surfing the net is a wonderful experience because the potential to learn so many new things is right at your finger tips. Beginners must be wary because it is easy to get wound up in a ball of knots. Though the internet is a wonderful tool, it too is still in a state of development. Your expectations might exceed the reality, but things are changing as more databases relating to African Americans go online. Here’s a list of things this wonderful tool can not yet do. 

  • You will not likely find a complete genealogy on your family. The person to tell your family story and post it on the web is you!
  • You will not find the actual or original records that you need to do all of your research. Historical records number in the zillions, and no tool exists to convert them into digital form for the internet without great expense.
  • You will not find all of your ancestors named in the various databases and surname indexes that exist on various websites. Internet databases, whether free or for a fee, yield mixed results for many people and especially for African American researchers.
  • You will not find complete answers on how to do research. There are many guidebooks, free e-mail lists, libraries and local genealogy societies for that. Here’s an uplifting comment for beginners from an AfriGeneas list member. Make sure you read all the postings on the list for at least a couple of months. This is one of the best learning tools.


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