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New to this

New to this

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 3:10AM GMT
Classification: Query
I am having a hard time finding things. Is there some sort of easier way to get started.

Re: New to this

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 3:34AM GMT
Classification: Query
If you haven't done so already, write down everything you already know. Start with your parents, and grandparents, and write down (or add to a family tree) what you know for sure. Then try to find your parents and grandparents in the census, starting with 1940 and working backwards. That way you will know where to look for family. Once you have census records, you can look for vital records, such as the marriage and births of your parents. Remember though, not all records are on Ancestry, especially more recent births and deaths.
Also, try different ways of searching. Names in records were sometimes mispelled, or the writing was so bad, that they were indexed wrong on Ancestry. So, for example, if you are looking for John Harmon in a census record, try looking for just Harmon with no first name, but add a county, state, or birthdate. If you know the county they lived in, you could even search on just a first name.
There are sites other than Ancestry that have good information as well. www.familysearch.org has many census and vital records online, and it is free. Also try USGenweb at http://usgenweb.org/ Just pick the state you want, then the county.
Try googling the name, especially if it is not too common, such as "john harmon" Seattle Often you can find genealogy information that way.
If you want, you could also give us an example of something you are looking for - there are lots of volunteers who would be glad to help get you started.

Re: New to this

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 3:44AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 30 Jul 2012 3:48AM GMT
I would also like to add -- when searching at ancestry.com

Use the OLD search page: http://www.ancestry.com/search/default.aspx

and also use Exact searches but with wildcards: ? for one letter, * for several letters.

For example, today I was looking for a Sybilla Winams, so I tried an exact search for Syb* Win*

I found her first name as Sybilla, Sybil, Sybel, and Sybelle (and they were all her!) and I found her last name was actually Winans, using this method.

Re: New to this

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 3:51AM GMT
Classification: Query
I would not start your search with the 1940 US Census (unless you already know the correct district) because it has not been completely indexed yet. (i.e., for some areas you can't search by a name, you have to browse the images.)

You can see the status of indexing here:
http://search.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=List&dbid=2442&...

Re: New to this

Posted: 1 Aug 2012 5:16AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you both for your help.
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