Welcome, here we are again, ready to discover more about genealogy. You started your genealogy research by talking to your immediate family members and gathered information about them.
You also visited other living relatives, asked questions, and gathered even more valuable information about them and what they remembered about your deceased relatives. While doing this task, you kept detailed notes the whole time.
You also gathered source documents from living relatives, then went ahead to organize those documents in the form of a filing system of your choice. Wow, you have been busy. With that accomplishment, it is time to continue.
But before we start using the research forms from the last article and do a complete genealogy research session.
I want to give a bit of genealogy a history on this great subject.
A bit of Genealogy History – Not a new concept
From the beginning of time, our ancestors have kept records of their families no matter their origin or beliefs. Regardless of the name they called them, kin, forebears, clan, folk, kindred, lineage, parentage, tribe, generations, line, or people, the list could continue. But I think you get the idea.
If you enjoy any amount of history, you soon become aware of the fact that family genealogies usually come into the picture. It’s who we are, and in my belief system, I feel we are all related.
In Western societies, genealogy’s focus was on the descendants of rulers and nobles reflected in their coat of arms. Some family trees are kept for considerable periods.
The family tree of Confucius is being maintained for over 2,500 years. In India, there are several essential places where traditional genealogy records kept for generations. Here is a copy of a medieval genealogy traced from Adam and Eve.
Genealogy research in the United States was systematized in the early 16th century 1789-1838 primarily by John Farmer.
Upon Farmer’s death in 1839, his efforts led to the creation of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), one of New England’s oldest and prominent organizations dedicated to preserving public records.
The Genealogical Society of Utah
Founded in 1894, later became the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L.D.S). The department’s research facility, the Family History Library, has developed the most extensive genealogical records-gathering program in the world. There is a network of L.D.S Family History Centers all over the U.S. and around the world, where volunteers help the public in tracing their ancestors.
The American Society of Genealogists is the scholarly honorary society of the U.S. genealogical field, founded in 1940; it publishes several notable academic American genealogical journals.
It is noticeably clear that we have a vibrant heritage that carried forward to what exists today when this whole world of genealogy research surfaced. As genealogist across the globe, diligently works with a passion for finding records and uncovering the births, deaths, marriages, and census record, (to name a few) of our ancestors.
This is a universal topic, whether our interest lies in our immediate family members or to find our ancestors as far back as possible. We all have an interest in this topic.
What are the available options for research?
Several options are available to research your ancestors, following; you will find genealogy history of Physical locations and Internet websites.
Your priority should be Family held documents and information. After gathering as much information as possible from your direct family members, Parents and Grand Parents, etc. Further information about your ancestors could be your extended family members, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc.
The best resource available is your own Families.
We need to open the lines of communication and share it with all family members.
By keeping the conversations going, you can learn a lot about deceased family members.
Suddenly members of your family remember different events about a deceased relative that no one else realized, resulting in astonishing discoveries.
These records amount to billions of pages. To extract this information and make it available to the public, they organized several research facilities, and they work closely with the collectors of this information. To find a facility in your location, do an Internet search for the following.
Genealogy Library or Genealogy Research Library (or similar) you will find the closest library in your location. Many Towns and cities have their research facilities for their geographical area.
The largest non-profit facility globally is the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah U.S. ran by the L.D.S church; as of 2018, there are 5,100 Family History Centers or Libraries in 140 Countries. They vary in size depending on the size of the local L.D.S church membership. These centers or libraries are open to the public; each facility has access to all the available records to the main library in Salt Lake City.
I would suggest you visit a genealogy library; they have loads of information and patrons available to help with your research. Remember to take your research forms with you.
It is so lovely to have a quiet environment full of documentation you are so anxious to see, and it will give you a view of just how large this field of study is and help answer the question of how to research your ancestry.
Another Research choice–Genealogy Websites
Here you will find four popular websites with millions of digitized records available to the public, some for-profit and some non-profit. I will supply a bit of information for each and their benefits.
A non-profit with no membership fees, owned and run by the L.D.S church (mentioned prior in this article), supports collecting records, resources, and services designed to help people learn more about their family history.
They Gather, preserve, and sharing genealogical records worldwide.
They are one of the most heavily used genealogy sites on the internet.
It was founded in 1894 as the G.S.U began microfilming in 1938. In 1963 the microfilm collection moved to the newly completed Granite Mountain Records Vault for long-term preservation.
1998 the G.S.U began digital imaging of the vaults records, and in August 1998, a decision made by the L.D.S church to build a website launched May 1999
In May 2018, Family Search added and Digitized their 2 Billionth record.
Site membership is free to the public, with no Startup membership. You do not have to be a member of the L.D.S church to join.
A privately held for-profit runs a network of genealogical, historical records, and genetic genealogy websites.
Offers three paid membership plans U.S discovery, World Explorer, and All Access.
Founded in 1983, Lehi, Utah. By Paul B Allen, and Dan Taggart.
Ancestry officially went online with the launch of Ancestry.com in 1996
Ancestry.com became a publicly-traded company in November 2009
A member of the Ancestry global network of family history websites
Ancestry has more than 3 million paying subscribers across all its family history websites.
More than 20 billion records added to the site over the past two decades, and Ancestry adds an average of two million files to its website each day based on the percentage of record growth over the last five years.
Ancestry hosts record from over 80 countries worldwide
Ancestry.com in the U.S. Ancestry.ca in Canada, Ancestry.co.uk in the UK, Ancestry.com.au in Australia, Ancestry.de in Germany, Ancestry. It in Italy, Ancestry.fr in France, and Ancestry.se in Sweden.
Find A Grave.com: It receives and uploads digital photographs of headstones from burial sites, taken by unpaid volunteers at cemeteries. Find A Grave then posts the photo on its website.
Archives.com: From census and military records to yearbooks and newspapers.
Fold 3.com: Collection of original military records.
Newspapers.com: Newspaper archive from 1700-2000.
Roots web.com: free genealogy community that uses online forums, mailing lists, message boards.
Ancestry – Pro Genealogists.com: Hire a professional to do genealogical research.
They offer a Basic Free plan of 250 people family tree size and four paid plans.
They are a leading global destination for discovering, preserving, and sharing family history.
Company founded in 2003 by family historian Gilad Japhet.
From a humble garage Startup, My Heritage has grown into a global company with 95 million users across 196 countries.
Offices in Israel, North America, and Europe to deliver an exceptional user experience in 42 languages.
They use automatic matches between people’s historical records and search engines to explore billions of historical records.
Automatically extends the paper trail from a single historical record to other related documents and family tree connections.
Translates names found in historical records and family trees from one language into another to ease matches between names in different languages
My Heritage DNA
Offers two main paid plans, Essential and Ultimate British and Irish, three pay as you go plans.
Find my past.com owned by Scottish Publisher DC Thomson.
The Find my past story begins in 1965, when a small group of professional genealogists and heir hunters in London, England form what was then known as Title Research. Since there were no online records, employees spent many long hours poring over microfiche machines.
2001 Title Research starts a project to create an electronic version of the paper General Register Office England & Wales birth, marriage, and death records for its in-house researchers to use. The project is named “1837 online”.
Title Research published the 1891 census in March 2006. In November 1837, online.com re-brands to Find my past to reflect the broader range of records it now holds.
Find my past continues to add millions of more records to its extensive collections, including over 9 million new records from the Society of Genealogists and Merchant Seamen records in association with The National Archives.
They own several UK record offices and award digitization contracts to Find my past, including Wales, Westminster, Cheshire, and Manchester. Find my history expands to Australia and Ireland.
Other Find My Past Sites:
Lives of the First World War
The British Newspaper Archive
As you are aware, this is only the beginning of a few of the Websites that offer a wealth of information.
I would suggest you visit each site and do your search and see what other ancestors might discover? Remember, once again, to have your research forms with you as you begin your search. I will mention different sites and their features as we go ahead.
Genealogy Research – An Information Highway
There is such an enormous amount of information on the Internet, and it becomes quite a challenge to sort out. But it is well worth the effort.
I hope that you have found this information interesting and useful. I enjoy working with each of these websites while searching for my ancestors. They each have unique qualities that I am sure you will discover.
I enjoy history; searching for an ancestor, you learn to love the search’s historical aspect. I could spend day and night researching and never get bored but more excited about what I have found.
Your thought would be most appreciated. Please feel free to comment with your opinion on the topic.