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new to this

Posted: 13 May 2011 4:27PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi, i am new to ancestory.com, and was wondering how to do the research of my family tree. I would like to grow my tree, but don't know how to do the research, so I can make sure it is accurate. What is an easy way to do that?

Re: new to this

Posted: 13 May 2011 8:47PM GMT
Classification: Query
This particular message thread is for people to tell how they found their family, not for getting advice on
learning to research.

However, since you asked.

First and foremost, get some type of genealogy program for your computer. There are some that are free and some that cost a few bucks. Do some online searching to find the best one for you. I have used Familytreemaker since the beginning of my research about 13 years ago. Some of these can be downloaded. After you get a program installed on your own computer, start with yourself and what you know. Then add your grandparents, great grandparents and so on as far back as you are sure of the information. If you are a
young person and your parents were born after 1930, you
will not find them in the census since the census as of
now stops at 1930. Sometime next year the 1940 census
will be available. Because of a federal law, the census
must be held for 72 years before being released. If you
know your grandparents names and they were in the US before
1930 you should be able to find them in the census records.
After you get a couple of generations on your own program
then start looking for other things. My e mail address is
mbmjlm22@aol.com should you wish to contact me for further
information. One note of caution, if you wish to make use
of the Ancestry member tree, start the same way. But do
not, I repeat, do not use any hints there by selecting them
by checking the box and incorporating them into your tree. This way will lead to JUNKOLOGY. Most trees created that way were created the same way by just selecting hints and incorporating them into their trees and so on and so forth until they have a big mess. It is perfectly alright to look at the various hints from the various trees for leads. You may want to make contact via the ancestry message system. I do that frequently. Most of the time though you will find that the person you contacted just selected the hints from another persons tree and does not have any real information for you. Just take it easy and do not hurry. Genealogy research takes time and patience.

Re:Getting Started Researching and Building a Tree

Posted: 25 May 2011 5:50AM GMT
Classification: Query
Recommend listing women by their maiden name only, if known. If not known, then temporarily use the husband's surname in quote marks to place her with the appropriate family connection. This will help avoid confusion should one accumulate the names of several women with the same given name, but no known maiden name, and the need to determine which husband each should be connected with arises.

In a search inquiry, the maiden name may provide results about the woman prior to her marriage. Using the married name may provide results after marriage, but may also provide results of other persons whose maiden name or married name is similar to or matches hers.

Choosing to use her maiden and married names together in the surname field may skew the search results and one could miss out on applicable hits that do not contain both surnames.

I hope this information is helpful to you in getting started. Once your tree begins to branch out a bit, you will be interested in collecting the census records and vital records for your ancestors. Another good site is www.familysearch.org where one can find digital images of vital records or older courthouse register pages for births, marriages, and deaths. Generally, actual death certificates may be found from c.1908 to c.1953 for some states, but each state is different.

Genealogy can seem overwhelming in the beginning; but if one takes small steps at first, one grows more confident and can move into other areas of research. The Ancestry.com (ACOM) card catalog can be very helpful in finding new databases to search. Here is the link: http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/alldblist.aspx

Documenting or sourcing events before placing those in one's tree will save a lot of work later if one can then link those documents to one's tree. Save all vital records directly to your hard drive for permanence.

The Learning Center tab in the above toolbar may be helpful. Reading these Message Boards can be an invaluable source of information. Mary Beth has offered to provide one on one assistance. Don't hesitate to ask questions as someone will usually see your request and volunteer additional assistance.
Best wishes on your success.
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