Genealogy

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Big Black Dog, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Big Black Dog
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    Big Black Dog Gold Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know the first thing about researching my family tree. I'm getting ready to jump into that swimming pool feet first. Who knows something about it or can give me advice on which way to attack it? Are there places of any reputation that you can pay to have this done? If you do it yourself, where do you begin? Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. JWBooth
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    JWBooth Gold Member

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    Start with what you know and work back. I know it sounds trite, but your parents birth and death certificates can lead you back a generation. I can't speak for every state, but the one's I have dealt with (Texas, Alabama, Missouri, California) didn't make it too difficult to get copies. From there you can get info on their parents and so on. Most states didn't do birth registration before the first decade or so after 1900. The U.S. Census is a handy source of information as are Genealogy.com, rootsweb.com, and familysearch.com. If you want to pay money, Ancestry.com is a good source (I've avoided subscriptions so far.) There are message and discussion boards at the first to sites I mentioned. I stumbled on cousins that had done a bunch of work and kept me from going back over plowed ground.
    Good luck.
     
  3. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Mormons love that shit, and have a lot of resources.
     
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  4. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Many trails dead end, lots of courthouses around the country have burned up with all of their records. State level records on births, etc were not always kept.
     
  5. Vel
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    Vel Gold Member

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    you can start at an online source RootsWeb.com Home Page . It's a great starting point and it's free.
     
  6. Ringel05
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    Ringel05 Diamond Member

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    I looked into it a couple of times, too much of a pain in the ass to do on your own specifically with what USCitizen said. Not to mention the elderly family members who won't talk about certain other family members or who's memories are failing. The best place to start is get as much info from older, extended family members as you can about themselves and everyone they remember...... NOW! Before it's too late.
     
  7. JWBooth
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    JWBooth Gold Member

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    Too true, the loss of the 1890 US Census is a major pain as well. If I had started this when I was 18 instead of 40, a lot of my grandparents generation was still alive and it would have been a lot easier. So much info was lost with them.
     
  8. California Girl
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    California Girl BANNED

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    My Mom is doing our family tree. She uses the sources already mentioned above. Geneology.com has a very simple 'get started' thing that she found really helpful. She has so far traced her family back to the 1700s in England and my Dad's family back to about the same time. It's very cool - we have a few black sheep! YAY!
     
  9. Granny
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    Granny Gold Member

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    I use Ancestry.com. Yeah, I pay for it, but by the month instead of a huge chunk upfront. They have the message boards, hints, etc. mentioned in the other posts. I had little to nothing to start - and I've had a great time making discoveries. It's a huge database.

    I've never found anything on the LDS website (free), but they also have a huge database.

    You can also try the Castle Garden website (free) which was the immigration point before Ellis Island. Down side is that you have to use exact spelling only because they don't have soundex, etc. I have had luck finding relatives there.

    Ancestry and Rootsweb are reputable - I've had security caution pop-ups on some of the other mentioned sites, so have not used them.

    Go for it, BBD! I think you should be addicted pretty quickly!! :D
     
  10. Mini 14
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    Mini 14 Senior Member

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    Trust me on this:

    Ancestry.com

    Its worth every penny, and is quick and easy. You'll still wind up having to do some legwork and "manual checking" (actually visiting libraries and courthouses to research) but ancestry.com will save you a TON of time and effort.

    Granny is right. Do the monthly thing until you've got enough info to satisfy you, or you hit the dead ends :)

    Best of luck!

    It becomes obsessive :)
     

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