14 Jan 2011 Leave a Comment
There are many other family history resources available to discover preliminary genealogy information. I will list resources here but for more in-depth how-to get started on your research, see my list of resources below.
Major Resources for family history information
- Vital records
- Military records
- Census records
- Probate records
- Naturalization records
- Property records
- Published family histories
- City directories
Resources to help get you started
Free Genealogy Guide. I like this site because it provides free resources on getting started.
Blog of a Genealogist in Training. This site is run by a fellow Chicago-area genealogist. She is on a different educational path than I am so be sure to check her out to learn more about learning to research.
Geneabloggers. Need help getting started with research or writing or other topics? Check out a list of over 1,500 genealogy and family history blog topics.
Investigate these family history resources and begin documenting your ancestors lives.Tweet
13 Jan 2011 Leave a Comment
Yesterday I looked at using Census records for beginning research. Continuing on my quest to explain how to begin genealogical research, let’s look at home sources today. There are many types of documents that family historians use to locate genealogy information. These include:
- Birth, marriage and death records
- Diaries and journals
- Address books
- Old day planners
- Recipe books
- Military records
- Previously completed genealogy records
- Funeral cards and programs
- Wedding photograph books, programs, etc.
- Books (those written by a family member or about the family)
The list above demonstrates many varieties of home sources where genealogy family data can be located. This list is not extensive. Each item should be evaluated, the information recorded and the source cited. When information on an individual differs between sources, note that. Additional evidence will be required to prove which fact, if either, is correct.Tweet
12 Jan 2011 Leave a Comment
Census research is an important part of genealogical research especially when building family group sheets. Using the U.S. Federal Census allows researchers to help prove, disprove, and collect information on ancestors. These documents have been around since 1790 and are enumerated every 10 years. Records can also be searched for the same surname in the area in which your ancestor lived to possibly link new family together.
What information is available?
A U.S. Federal Census typically contains these items:
- Street Address
- Age or birth month and year
- Immigration and naturalization information
- Home ownership
The enumeration forms vary year to year. Additional fields that are included in some census years are:
- How many children born to mother
- How many children still living
- Veterans status
- Mother tongue
- Does the person speak English
- Employment information: status, how many days unemployed, occupation
Tips on using the census
It is important to start with the most recent census available and work backwards. Work with what is known to the unknown basically. Record all the information you find each enumeration on an extract sheet or in your family tree database. Note the source, where the information came from, so you can refer to it easily again if needed. Search on spelling variations because census takers did not always spell the names correctly or when the record is indexed to be searched online, the transcriptionist wrote it down the way she saw it which may not be the same way someone else sees it.
Where can I find the records?
Records can be found online at several paid genealogy services such as Ancestry. The National Archives has the records on microfilm. Family History Centers, major research libraries, state archives and state libraries are all places to check.
So what are you waiting for? Start researching your ancestors in U.S. Federal Census Records today! Their stories are waiting to be told!Tweet
10 Jan 2011 Leave a Comment
Genealogy is the study of family and the identification of ancestors and their information. This information includes vital records, census records, military records, property records and other such legal documents. Why should one study their ancestors? Studying the past helps us better understand who we are, why our family is the way it is, and grounds us by showing us where our roots lie. Conducting research is a little like being a detective and following a trail.
Beginning genealogy research can be confusing. Where should you start? The answer is, start with what you know. Download a family tree, otherwise known as a pedigree chart or ancestral chart. Family trees should be numbered so the generations may continue on additional sheets. Begin numbering the pedigree chart by making the person to the far left on the page number one. To the right of this person are his parents. At the top right of person number one, make that person number two. This is the father. At the bottom right of person number one, make that person number three. This is the mother. Continue numbering at the top of the page working down with each set of parents. Fathers are always first and above the mother.
Complete the pedigree chart filling in all the genealogy information you know. This includes the full name of each individual and as much of their vital data (birth, marriage and death) information as you know or can quickly locate. To add pages to the family tree for a line you can trace back further, print a new page, number that page two and make person number one the individual on the first page of the tree you ended with.
Research has begun
Congratulations! You have just taken the first step in genealogy research. Stop by tomorrow for the second phase of research.Tweet