The Great Ancestor Hunt

Great Ancestor Hunt coverThe Great Ancestor Hunt: The Fun of Finding Out Who You Are

Submitter: Public middle school library in the USA. This one is just… so outdated. It’s not a subject any of my students have expressed interest in, but if they did I would not give them this book! It’s fairly general: write down what you already know, ask and interview older relatives. It takes a weird turn when it says almost all Americans are immigrants, and some might argue that “American Indians” are newcomers to the Americas via the land bridge a “mere” 15,000 years ago.  Writing the Census Bureau, and many other government bodies, is recommended, what with the Internet not being a thing yet. Also lacking is any mention of DNA testing for ancestry.  30 years old and it’s gone!

Holly: It’s definitely too old to be a useful how-to genealogy book. As submitter points out, the Internet is a thing now, for starters. It is a good idea to interview older relatives, but I agree that that’s pretty general, even for middle schoolers. Kids who may be inspired to try a new hobby, or who have a family tree project for school won’t get enough info here!

Great Ancestor Hunt flyleaf

Digging Deeper

Across the Ocean, Over the Plains


  1. I am an amateur genealogist in Canada. The basic ideas of this book are fine but I have two quibbles with the book. First of all, technology has improved dramatically during the 31 years since publication (I can find information on many different websites, some paid, some not) and secondly, the book appears to be US-centric (as a result, writing to the Bureau of the Census would, more than likely, be an absolutely useless endeavour for non-Americans).

  2. Holy moly, I live in Pittsburg, KS, and there is no Census Bureau or Department of Commerce here now!

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