“What hobby combines history,
travel, detective work,
photography, food, fashion,
technology, science and reading?
Genealogy does, and it is the
fastest growing hobby in
From “Genealogy a fast growing
hobby” by Judy Everett Ramon,
Examiner.com, November 18,
Presented at the Tewksbury Public
January 13th 2014
When did the genealogy boom begin?
Many genealogist trace the increased interest in genealogy to two specific events.
• The United states bicentennial in July 1976
• The premiere of the miniseries Roots in January 1977
Where to start
• Write down what you know by starting with yourself!
• Gather information you know.
• Dates and places of birth for you, your siblings and parents
• Dates and places of marriages
• Dates and places of deaths
• Burial locations
• Places where people live/lived
• Photos (looking for notes on the back)
Common Information Sources
• Vital records (time period is key)
• Census records (federal and state)
• Land/property maps
• Local newspapers (including obituaries)
• Cemetery records
• Military records
• Family bibles
• Immigration records
• Birth and Death Index
Recording Your Research - Names
1. Surnames should be written in all capital letters
Ex. John SMITH
2. Include married names in parenthesis before the maiden name
Ex. Mona (Smith) JONES
3. Record nicknames whenever possible and indicate them in quotation marks.
Ex. Marcus “Mark” GROSSMAN
4. If a surname is unknown then type the last name as unknown.
Ex. Cindy UNKNOWN.
5. Record all middle names, when known and use initials only if you don’t know the given middle name.
6. If the person is a Jr. or Sr. add it to the end of the name following a comma
Ex. Wayne SMITH, Jr.
7. If the person has roman numerals do not use a comma
Ex. Wayne SMITH III
8. If the person has multiple surnames use a backslash
Ex. Jane /VON DYKE/
Recording your research - Dates
Dates are entered date month year
Ex. 27 Apr 2013
Common date abbreviations include
Aft. = after
Bef. = before
Abt. = about
Recording your research - Locations
Locations are listed smallest to largest
Ex. Beverly, Essex County, Massachusetts, US
Recording your records in this format will ensure that the information will be read
correctly by other genealogists or reference librarians!
A pedigree chart is designed to organize basic information that defines, documents
and identifies relationships between people. The chart will have space for four, five,
or six generations.
Pedigree charts should contain at least six fields for:
1. Date of birth
2. Place of birth
3. Date of marriage
4. Place of marriage
5. Date of death
6. Place of death
Family Group Record
This form lists a couple and all their biological children.
A family group sheet should contain:
1. A minimum of 6 fields for vital information.
2. A place to record residences for the primary people.
3. A place for religious affiliations
4. A place to record other spouses for both the husband and wife.
5. A place for the names for the couples parents.
6. A place to record occupation of the individual.
7. A place to record military service.
8. Room to record 8 or more children.
9. A place to record your name, address, and phone number on the sheet
It is essential to note where you have looked, successful or not.
• Prevent duplication of research and make it easier to locate a resource should
you want to view it again.
• Cite your sources. This shows quality research.
• Weigh evidence to make better conclusions, and better lineage links.
Logs should include; researcher’s name, ancestor’s name and years, date of
research, place of research, objective of the research, call number (library or
archive), source description (title, author, copyright, page), results.
• Very similar to the research logs, here you want to record any contact you make
with others for research. This could be to other relatives, genealogists,
librarians…really anyone could be a source.
You want to record:
1. The date you send your request
2. Person’s name and contact information
3. Reason for contacting them
4. Date you get a reply
5. The results
The Local History Room
• Open during library hours
(closing 15 minutes
before the library closes)
• Patrons must sign in
before entering the room.
• Contains local history and
• The Tewksbury Historical
Society is available in the
Local History Room the
2nd and 4th Tuesday of
every month from 1-5pm.
Genealogy resources you can take home
Genealogy books are
located under the call
Books can also be
requested from other
Online Databases through the library
HeritageQuest Online – Remote or library access. Use your 14digit library card number (do not enter spaces) located on the back
of your Tewksbury library card.
Includes the US Census, Periodical Source Index (PERSI),
Revolutionary War Pension Records, and Freedman’s Bank
American Ancestors (formerly New England Ancestors) –
Online access in the library. This link will only work on our public
library database computer or with a password from the reference
The New England Historic Genealogical Society’s collection
features over 110 million names from court records, church
records, periodicals, newspapers, city and town directories,
census, tax, and voter lists, diaries and journals, land records,
military records, published genealogies, biographies and more!
Some of the many online resources
• Ancestry.com (the library does not have a subscription though many patrons will)
• AmericanAcestors.org (library has subscription)
• HeritageQuestOnline.com (library has subscription)
• Select the “1860 Census”, Illinois State, then “Sangamon County”
• This brings us to an overview of the record. To view the record select the
• Here we can view additional information about the record and below that the
• We can see the listing here for Abraham Lincoln and his family.
• This is a hobby, don’t get overwhelmed.
• Don’t think that you will complete all your research tonight or in
the next five years.
• Enjoy the process, celebrate the discoveries and learn from the
• Find friends that are also doing research.
• Join the Genealogy Support Group
• Ask for help (most librarians love helping patrons with