Posts Tagged ‘ancestry.com’
OK, so you know about DNA testing to discover your father and mother’s deep ancestry, now how to do genealogy research online will be covered.
Many of you will be very familiar with all of these methods, but for those of you that are just starting on creating a family tree these ideas should help to get you started.
You should always start with yourself and work backwards through your ancestors locating as much information on each generation as you can before you move on the earlier ones. More time is lost trying to make a connection with some famous person that you were told you might be related to.
Well that may turn out to be right but in order to do this thing right you have to take one step at a time and document all of your research. When you find something that is helpful you should record it in your journal or notebook and then enter the information into your computer genealogy program.
The notebooks should have their pages dated as you enter details that way you can always return to them at a later date when you find another piece of the puzzle.
Some of the most helpful websites that you will use are actually free and you will spend many hundreds of hours online before you will have to shell out any money for online subscription websites.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, (LDS) or the Mormon Church, owns the worlds largest accumulation of documents in digital and microfilm formats. Their main library in Salt Lake City, Utah is free and open to the public and no one will try to convert you, it is just a library. Millions of rolls of microfilm are at your fingertips and you will find everything from church records, civil records, local histories, census records, marriage records, cemetery records and everything in between.
LDS also has Family History Centers (FHC) in a Mormon church near you. These smaller branch libraries have access to most of the materials that are at Salt Lake City either by computer or by your renting the microfilm to use at the local FHC.
To find out what they have available you may use any computer on the internet and go to www.familysearch.org to go to the main website. From here you can do some actual personal name searches and see if any of your ancestors have had their information extracted from primary record collections and added to the online database.
This is only one small part of what they have available as most of the records have not been transcribed and digitized yet, so in those cases you will want to click on the library button and then go to the library catalog, and do a surname search or a location search to see what they have in their index and then you will know which film to order.
Another great resource that is free is the huge accumulation of extracted records and queries from other researchers that is online at rootsweb.com. This site is one of the oldest on the web and was operated by volunteers at the beginning until recent years when it was purchased by ancestry.com. Rootsweb is still free to use.
The USGenweb.com site is also free and you will find many exciting discoveries there. My recommendation is to go down to each state/county level for the individual county Genweb sites where you will find cemetery records, maps, documents, bible records and untold wondrous things.
Do not overlook online newspaper collections. Check for newspapers that were in operation in the areas where your ancestors lived. Many of them have online access to the historical editions but you will have to search around and ask questions. You will want to read the article: “21 Ways to Start to Build Your Own Family Tree” at old-newspaper-articles.com.
Later on as you become more advanced and after you have tested your Genealogy DNA you will no doubt want to subscribe to places like ancestry and genealogybank, but for now you should have fun starting with just the free information above.