Monday, January 28, 2013   by: Tammy Tipler-PrioloOrdering genealogy and history books online can be very handy when you are looking for an out of print book. It is also helpful in locating books you never knew existed. I have ordered many useful books for my genealogy business this way. Especially handy are acquiring books from far off places. I have ordered from across Canada, the US and even Great Britain. What is truly exciting are the great deals one can find, but one must be careful to calculate the shipping and handling fee as this can be way more expensive then the book. I have found books that were under one dollar; however the shipping costs were almost $30 or more at times. Some websites offer free shipping if you live in the country they operate from. Others offer free shipping if you spend so much money. If I find a book I like and I don’t want to pay the shipping and handling fees I look for such offers. If the price of my book fits their requirements I order if not I put it into my shopping cart and look for another book to bump up the price for the free shipping or I leave the website and return later to search for a book that will help cover those shipping fees. Usually when I return later, my original item is still waiting for me which is not problem. The only concerns are if I return and my item is taken from my cart to be sold to someone else and there are no replacements or that the price changes. These are the chances I take to save on the shipping and handling. I also comparison shop and search for the item on other websites to see if I can find a better price or not.

There are many websites out there with plenty of book sellers just waiting for your business. All you have to do is google the book title, subject or author and a list of sellers unfolds. I use quite a bit, however, which is based out the US seems to have more selection. The only problem with dealing with US based sellers is the cost of shipping, handling plus any duty that is charged at the border, as well as the time your order takes to reach could be longer. If I find a book I really want and it is no where else I will order it through a US company and so far have not had any problems. and Alibris also deal in rare books as does and Of course there are specialty sites that deal with genealogy and history books only including and as well as many others. Check Cyndi’s List and online site that lists all things genealogy online. I have browsed many and ordered from a few with good results. My latest acquisition was discovered online from a bookseller across the ocean. It took a month for the book to arrive tucked inside a bubble wrapped package and the weight of it was very heavy indeed. I figured it must be from all the ancestors waiting inside to be revealed. It was definitely full of ancestors, but not the ones I had ordered. I had been sent the wrong volume. Instead of Irish ancestors I got Families of the President’s of the United States; same author though. It was a surprise for sure; however I was not too upset as the contents were quite intriguing and I found it amusing that all these American Ancestors had arrived from across the ocean. Of course I contacted the bookseller who apologized profusely and said that they would send me the correct book as soon as possible. They also told me to dispose of the book they had sent in error as I saw fit. I suppose it was not worth it to them to pay for the return shipping on such a heavy book laden with ancestors.

I have browsed through this book and found it quite interesting how many US Presidents have descended from British Royalty. Maybe the book coming from across the ocean was not a mistake after all. Descendants visiting their ancestral homelands are not so unusual, but a book full of them sure is a unique way to go. Will I order more books online after this mix-up? Sure I will and I will just hope for the best that the correct books arrives, but if not maybe I will be graced by another group of ancestors that want to share their histories.

Happy Hunting!


Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PLCGS
The Ancestor Investigator is also the Ancestor Whisperer!
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