Periodically I receive a notice in the mail from a publisher called Halbert's, of Bath, Ohio, offering me an "exclusive opportunity" to buy a soon-to-be-published book called The World Book of Manskers. The price of the book is $34.50 plus shipping charges of $4.88, for a total of $39.38.

Many of you have probably also received these offers in the mail. As always when you receive unsolcited "opportunities", be sure to exercise caution before committing yourself to a purchase. I am not implying that this is a scam, because you do receive something back for your money. But let's take a look at what you do get, and then you decide if it is really worth the cost.

The flyer states that "extensive work has been done throughout the world on a project relating to the distinguished Mansker name...using a sophisticated computer network" to find "over 378 households bearning the Mansker name worldwide". The "sophisticated computer network" is the Internet, and this "extensive work" consists basically of a name search on the Internet using such search engines as AltaVistaBigfoot andFour11. All you get in this section of the book is a list of names and addresses. With a bit of diligence, you should be able to find the same Manskers that are listed in this book.

It also states that "this unique publication also covers how family names originated ... the development of family crests with ancient symbols..." and "exciting details about how you can trace your heritage in the United States and even back to your homeland and learn still more about your origin". What this translates into is that a section of the book consists of some very basic genealogical information which is available in much greater detail at a much smaller cost in any beginning genealogy book.

To be fair, there have been people who have ordered these kinds of books and have been satisfied with what they have received. However, if you think that you will find any additional genealogical information about the Mansker family that is not available on The Mansker Chronicles website, I believe that you are in for a major disappointment.

Finally, the order form states "no direct genealogical connection to your family or to your ancestry is implied or intended". That part you can believe.