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Genealogy

Genealogy

Posted: 13 Apr 2013 8:16PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Robeson
I am trying to do a family tree for my dad for Christmas. I have not been able to look anything up online unless I pay for the site (ie Ancestry or my heritage). Any advice on how to get started????

Re: Genealogy

Posted: 14 Apr 2013 2:21AM GMT
Classification: Query
Genealogy is not easy. You need to start with yourself and go back in time to your parents, grandparents, etc., and document each fact you find with records (bibles, official birth, marriage and death records, censuses, land, etc.). You can research your family's history without ACOM (Ancestry). It requires going to courthouses, libraries, and other record keeping facilities to do it.

Re: Genealogy

Posted: 14 Apr 2013 2:27AM GMT
Classification: Query
Your local library might have free access to Ancestry.com The library is an excellent place for newbies to get "live" help.

Re: Genealogy

Posted: 15 Apr 2013 4:27AM GMT
Classification: Query
Is there any other way to get information about my genealogy other than going to the courthouse. I am from Tennessee but I am spending the next several months out West and I am trying to get this information so I can do a family tree for my dad for Christmas. Is there any way to get in over the internet without joining sites like Ancestry?
Posted: 15 Apr 2013 4:38AM GMT
Classification: Query
As suggested above, often a public library will have free access to Ancestry. Why not call and ask them?

Re: Genealogy

Posted: 17 Apr 2013 2:26AM GMT
Classification: Query
Try www.familysearch.org It is a free site, and has many vital records and census records. You can also go to the genweb sites, which often have good data. Just google US genweb + the state you want. Also, public libraries sometimes have genealogy sites with records. If you are not in your own city, you can still go to a local public library and see if they have free access to Ancestry on their computers. If you have a library card for your home community, you can check and see if they offer access to Heritage Quest, which has census records. I can access that site for free from home, with my library card.

I would recommend finding your family in the census first. The 1940 census is the most recent one to be released, so hopefully your Dad was born by then. Once you find him in the census, you can work back to your Grandparents.

Start by writing down everything you know about your family, then list what you need to find out, such as birthdates and places, and marriage dates, etc. Make sure you verify with documents when you can - don't count on other's genealogy to be accurate. Also, you are not going to find your genealogy laid out all nice for you, you will just have to go step by step.

Use these message boards to get information and maybe find other family members. Post on the county where the person lived. If you don't know a county that a city is in, just google it.
Hope that helps. Let us know if you have other questions.

Re: Genealogy

Posted: 17 Apr 2013 9:29AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 17 Apr 2013 9:33AM GMT
Not sure what gave you the impression Ancestry.com would be free. If you're not willing to pay any money for genealogy, you will find yourself at a lot of dead ends. Even if you don't use Ancestry.com, you will still have to pay fees for ordering individual records through the mail.

That said, start with FamilySearch.org - the biggest free records database on the internet.

Ancestry.com does also have some free records collections. This is an old-ish list but it's a start: http://ancestryinsider.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/free-databases... - the suggestion of seeing if your library offers access to Ancestry.com is a good one too.

Be aware that genealogy takes a lot of work - I too started out with the intent of it being a gift. I wanted to make a book of my mom's family history as a gift for her next birthday. About two years later, I finally printed the book but it quickly became outdated as I found more and more information. It's something that is always a work in progress and it may not necessarily be something you can do within a year. Some people have been working on their tree for 20+ years!

Also be wary of other people's trees who may share branches with you - they can be hugely inaccurate! So please don't think that getting info from people who have already done all the work is an easy shortcut.

You don't necessarily need to go to the courthouse in person, you can often order records online or through the mail. However, there is no one central place for this, you will need to find the individual source for each location. Some records come from state level - for example, PA death certificates come from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. You have to fill out a form, mail it off to the DOH with your fee and wait months for them to mail copies back to you. This is a big reason why genealogy can take so long - I waited 6 months for my PA death certificates to come in. Other places may have an online ordering system - sometimes they use VitalChek.

For other records, like marriage records, you may need to go to the county level. Usually, you need to look for the county clerk/register of wills/orphans court - there is typically a page for it on the county website.

There is generally a fee for getting copies of records - it can range from a few dollars to around $30 for each record depending on the source.

Good luck - if you need anymore help, just ask.
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