Genealogy A History – Finding Families

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.

genealogy and history from Adam and Eve to Asclobitotus(unfinished)

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.

Physical Locations:


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.

 Research Libraries:

To keep track of their citizens or members, governments, religious Family History Libraryorganizations (parish registers starting in the 16th century), and different societies kept records.

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.

Internet Websites

Family Search:

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.

There are over 2.4 million rolls of microfilm and 1 million microfiches in the Vault—the Granite Mountain Storage Facilitymicrofilm increase by 40,000 rolls per year.

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 in 1996 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

Other Products: in the U.S. in Canada, in the UK, in Australia, in Germany, Ancestry. It in Italy, in France, and in Sweden.

Ancestry DNA

Find A 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. From census and military records to yearbooks and newspapers.

Fold Collection of original military records. Newspaper archive from 1700-2000.

Roots free genealogy community that uses online forums, mailing lists, message boards.

Ancestry – Pro Hire a professional to do genealogical research.

My Heritage:

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 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, 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.

Kindest Regards


6 thoughts on “Genealogy A History – Finding Families”

  1. This is the perfect website for my daughter to visit. He dad died when she was a baby. I never knew his family because he was from California and that’s where his family lived.
    She really wants to find her relatives on her dads side of the family, but is really struggling because we have so little information. We know his moms name, but that’s pretty much it.
    Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for sharing this information. I look forward to hearing your response.

    • Hello Devara, Thank you for the interest. I can totally understand your daughters wanting to know more about her father’s family. I would suggest she writes down every thing she knows about her father and grandmother. Then I suggest starting with (free membership can always join later) and scroll down and enter all the info she knows about her father and search. It is possible she might find a death record or Birth record and from these a grand fathers name. I assume her father has been gone for at least 20 yrs.? As for her grandmother if she is still living it is harder to find information. The websites I mentioned are sharing sites meaning she might find someone’s family tree that has the same name as her father or grandmother (just remember there are a lot of people with the same name so be cautious) if she finds a tree there is always the possibility of contacting that family. She can do the same type of search in you can create a tree and build up to 250 people for free. If she starts a tree on both sites they will let her know if they have possible info. about her father. Hopefully I haven’t rambled on to long and this info. helps.

  2. Great Post! My wife and I are just about to do an ancestry DNA test, but I still also want to know about the actual people that I came from and I’m going to check out these sites you’ve mentioned.

    • Mickey, Thank you for your comments. I am glad that you want to find out more about your heritage. Your DNA kit will help you know where to start. Good luck!


    • Amanda, Thank you for your comments. I am glad you found it informative. This topic has so much information it is challenging to keep it orderly and not to confusing.

      Thanks again

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