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Geneology Research

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm going to start researching my family tree this weekend, but I'm not sure where to start. I know names and such up to my great-grandfathers, but I plan on going pretty far back. I'm trying to find a link between my family and another "clan" of us!

So for those of you who are into ancestry research, do you have any suggestions of where to go, what websites to look at, etc?

Thanks!
post #2 of 15
If you have names, that's a good place to start.

Good websites include
www.ancestry.com
www.rootsweb.com
www.familysearch.org (Mormon site.)
www.usgenweb.org - this is if you know where they lived. Most counties have websites with info.

Lot of sites with free info. Exhaust them first. Then consider joining ancestry.com or genealogy.com. Check your local library to see if it has a genealogy section or check to see if you have a local genealogy society.

That's a start! You can even google an ancestor name to see if there is mention of them. That's how I found a site devoted to a ggg grandparent on my Mom's side.

I have managed to go back to all my gg grandparents - and even further back in some lines.
post #3 of 15
My aunt said Ellis Island has a pretty cool website if that is how your family got into America.
post #4 of 15
This is currently my dad's retirement hobby: researching his side's family tree.

He has exhausted a lot of resources, used the city library where birth records and death records from local papers are held.

Also information from caretakers of cemetaries can be useful. Often they have information on who bought graves for who, etc. But you have to know where the graves are.

Also its easiest to get started if someone else in your family has already started something. Fish around and find out if anyone in your family has started something like this or inherited a family tree
post #5 of 15
Also, collect family stories or lore. Some may have enough truth to provide clues.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Also its easiest to get started if someone else in your family has already started something. Fish around and find out if anyone in your family has started something like this or inherited a family tree
lunasmom is right. I had help with my paternal line with work done by a distant cousin. I was able to add a lot to it.
post #7 of 15
Great, now you got me started!

Be sure to document where you get your info. I wish I had done this from the very beginning.
post #8 of 15
Also check out Archives (some of which are not online) where you think your family is from. You can even hire a proffessional researcher (not exaclty cheap) to find the information for you. Also look to see if there is a Geaneology society in your area they can give you some great insight into finding your family history. You can also contact the military records office, national archives, state archives and any museum that you might think of. Also if you have a native american ancestor you might want to check into reservation birth records.

I graduated with a degree in Archives and Records Management and go quite a bit of research myself if you have any link into Canada I could look it up for you possibly.
post #9 of 15
I've been researching my father's family for the past 15 years, and have uncovered 4 ancestors that fought in the Rev. War. It's been a fascinating journey.

First of all, get yourself a good software program, otherwise you will be lost and confused in no time. I use Family Tree Maker, and I just upgraded to the most recent version. You can buy it at Costco for $40.

Secondly, start with what you know. Enter into the software program everything you know starting with yourself - your birthdate, the names and birthdates of your spouse and children, your parents names and birthdates, and your grandparents names and birthdates (death dates if applicable). You want to go as far back as you know, or can find out with a phone call to close relatives.

The next step is to search the census records. The latest one made public is 1930. Look up everyone in your line that was living in 1930, then work backwards with the information you uncover. The census records are available online through ancestry.com and elsewhere, but there is a subscription fee involved. Sometimes you can find a kind soul who has access that will look them up for you.

All the sites mentioned above are good sources of information. Let me know if I can be of any help. I enjoy helping others!

Leslie
post #10 of 15
What a cool idea. I've always wanted to do that for my own family. I don't have any advice. But good luck!
post #11 of 15
Some census records can be found free at the county sites of usgenweb.

Just got a packet of material from an aunt who has been working on Mom's side of the family (her maiden name.) She got help through the message boards at ancestry.com and genealogy.com (they're free.) It goes back to Virginia where my ggggg grandfather was born in 1730. It appears most of my ancestors were in the USA before independence. (Except for 2. They arrived in the 1830s and 1840s).

One cousin found through a message board helped me find the person in England who had done the research on my main paternal line.

Don't ignore siblings. Sometimes they can connect you to a parent.
post #12 of 15
My husband's cousin has researched the family history to about 1630?? Somewhere around that time period. His "line" came from France via Canada and there is a Canadian with a version of the last name that has provided alot of help. There was a well know but false rumour that an ancestor was an illegitimate child of King Louis IV!! One of my aunts has done work on my maternal side of the family however I cannot find anything on my paternal side of the family.
I think writing a generic letter and sending to aunts, uncles, cousins etc could help anyone find out more info.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemlady View Post
If you have names, that's a good place to start.

Good websites include
www.ancestry.com
www.rootsweb.com
www.familysearch.org (Mormon site.)
www.usgenweb.org - this is if you know where they lived. Most counties have websites with info.

Lot of sites with free info. Exhaust them first. Then consider joining ancestry.com or genealogy.com. Check your local library to see if it has a genealogy section or check to see if you have a local genealogy society.

That's a start! You can even google an ancestor name to see if there is mention of them. That's how I found a site devoted to a ggg grandparent on my Mom's side.

I have managed to go back to all my gg grandparents - and even further back in some lines.

Awesome, thanks for these links! I just started fishing around RootsWeb and have found quite a bit so far!
post #14 of 15
Oh yea, one more word of advice - warn others in your family of what you're doing.
Well "warn" is the wrong term...but reason I say this is because when my dad first began he wasn't fully on the internet (dialup) and I was at school on a high speed connection and all over the internet at the time.

Suddenly I began receiving emails from people looking to see if they were related to me. Turns out they were doing family trees as well. So I referred him onto my dad, who wound up finding a whole slew of distant relatives just by connecting a great great aunt.

In addition, he somehow found through a couple of other random emails a National Annual Family Reunion.
post #15 of 15
You might consider setting up an email address with one of the free sites like hotmail, that aren't dependent upon who your internet provider is. I don't know how many folks out there change their email address when they change their IP and don't send an update to their genealogy contacts.
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