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Genealogy 101 102 outline


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  • 1. Genealogy 101 - 102 Family History Day - Forget Me Not 1 March 2014 “Adolescents who report knowing more stories about their familial past show higher levels of emotional well-being, and also higher levels of identity achievement, even when controlling for general level of family functioning.” ... "Do You Know..." The power of family history in adolescent identity and well-being, Emory University Description of Class: This class is for beginners, as well as anyone else who would like to refresh their memory of basic, getting-started procedures for doing genealogy or family history research. Steps to take: • Write down what you already know: • By hand on Pedigree Charts & Family Group Sheets (make copies from pp 39-42 in the Members Guide) • Use a program on your computer. There are many available • Use a Family Tree online; FamilySearch Family Tree, Ancestry Tree($), MyHeritage($) • Use an online Family Tree and synchronize your data with a program on your computer Family Tree Maker($) works with Several free programs will work with FamilySearch Family Tree; see list at > About (at bottom of page) > Products (under first picture) • Review what information is missing • Look for what is already available in your home or your parents’ home and gather it together • Talk to older relatives or family friends and find out what they have or know • Make appointment • Send a list of a few questions ahead of time • You will find a list of possible questions to ask on p.43-44 in maroon Members Guide Make up other questions as you find out what holes in your tree need to be filled. • Ask permission to record the conversation so you will have a record of any information or stories they give you. • You might find that some would rather answer questions one or two at time in writing. • Write a thank you note afterwards • Search for other resources - see a short list of websites below, use email, write letters • Visit the Family History Center and ask questions • Keep track of what you find and where you find it. See Research Log on p. 38 of Members Guide (FamilySearch allows you to create sources and citations automatically) • CAUTION: DO NOT RELY ON SOMEONE ELSE’S FAMILY TREE IF IT CONTAINS NO SOURCES! Verify every scrap of vital information, as well as relationships, even if there are sources. Examine available information in an existing Family Tree to see if it makes sense. “Conclusions without proof turns genealogy into mythology!” Dennis Brimhall, FamilySearch CEO 1
  • 2. Genealogy 101 - 102 Family History Day - Forget Me Not 1 March 2014 What to record • Full names, use maiden name for females • Gender • Dates • Standard on Family Tree; 1 March 2014 or September 2002 • For approximate dates, use words About, Before, After, then the date you have (ie: use ‘About’ if you don’t have a birth date but you know how old a person was on a census or at death) • Record places as completely as possible, ie: Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States or Nova Scotia, Canada, or Germany. • Don’t guess a country, state, county or town, as boundaries could have changed since the event took place. FamilySearch Family Tree will give you options for your location. Be sure you choose the right one. Look up the location in the FamilySearch Wiki to determine some of the history and record the place as it was when the event took place. You will not find the original records if you are looking in the wrong place. RedBook can help for places in the US, available online in the Wiki ( or in the Fredericksburg Family History Center, and possibly in your local library. • Watch out for errors in public trees such as FamilySearch Family Tree birth after death death after burial person died young and has spouse birth before mother/father birth birth before mother/father was 12 birth after mother died death before marriage date marriage date before person is 12 Especially if you inherited your Family Tree Public Records • Birth, marriage & death records contain primary information for birth, marriage, death (Death records are not the best for birth and names of parents but better than nothing) • Church records • Cemetery records • Census • Immigration • Probate Records • Land Records - see case study at • City Directories • Newspapers - obituaries, marriage announcements or accounts are great for adding to your knowledge of your family. Use a book called The Source in the free Wiki ( or at the Family History Center to identify more types of helpful records. Many of these are available online. See free sites below. 2
  • 3. Genealogy 101 - 102 Family History Day - Forget Me Not 1 March 2014 Free Websites to check out • - historical records, free in the *Family History Center Premium Websites & CRRL • - photograph or transcribe tombstones, search for ancestors • - free census records & genealogy databases • - more than 262,790 links to other internet resources • - David Rumsey Historical Map Collection • - free historical records & Family Tree • - look for ancestors’ graves, request photos or submit information • Heritage Quest - free census records, Freedman’s Bank, etc through from CRRL with library card number OR free in *Family History Center Premium Websites • - search Ellis Island, Castle Garden and other databases • - genealogical websites for every state and county in the US - some better than others • - Ancestry’s The Source, Redbook, and other content are included free. • - genealogical websites for other countries • - Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System Online Newspapers • - - $ or free in *Family History Center Premium Websites • - California State Newspaper Project • - Chronicling of America • - mostly New York state but starting to expand to other states • - Genealogy Bank - $ • - Godfrey Memorial Library - $ or free in *Family History Center Premium Websites • - Google News • - Access Newspaper Archives - $ or free in *Family History Center Premium Websites • - WorldVitalRecords - $ or free in *Family History Center Premium Websites • - pulls data from FamilySearch Family Tree and creates a chart you can use to find where more research needs to be done. See *Family History Center Premium Websites - These are subscription sites that can be used free at our Family History Centers. See Document ID: 106761 in the FamilySearch Help Center for the complete up-to-date list. I never had any large respect for good spelling. That is my feeling yet. Before the spelling-book came with its arbitrary forms, men unconsciously revealed shades of their characters and also added enlightening shades of expression to what they wrote by their spelling, and so it is possible that the spelling-book has been a doubtful benevolence to us. - Mark Twain's Autobiography 3
  • 4. Genealogy 101 - 102 Family History Day - Forget Me Not 1 March 2014 Set aside some time each week to work on your Family History • Search available websites for records you need • Use the FamilySearch Catalog to look for microfilm that is not online yet. • Use the FamilySearch Wiki to find out more about the places your ancestors lived and read the history of these countries, states & provinces. • Use the FamilySearch Wiki to learn about African American or American Indian research, Adoption records, military records, etc ... • Go to the Wiki and use the Redbook and The Source free online. Where to Get Help • Family History Center • Genealogy Societies - local and where your ancestors lived • FamilySearch Learning Center - See the Five Minute Videos and many others like If I’d Only Known! Beginner Genealogy Mistakes • FamilySearch Wiki • Ancestry Wiki • Collaborate on FamilySearch Family Tree or Ancestry Family Trees or other trees but be wary of relying on these without verifying the information • Online Mailing Lists Can’t find any more information about your ancestors right now? Try looking more closely at the siblings of your direct ancestors. You might learn more about their parents and the rest of the family. New records come out all the time, almost daily. Something will turn up. Meantime • Record your own personal history and stories. • Write down what you know about your parents, grandparents, etc. • Upload the stories of your parents, grandparents, etc, your digital pictures & other documents to Family Tree in order to leave this legacy for your children and grandchildren. • Find and attach Sources to your ancestors in Family Tree. • Do some FamilySearch Indexing Fredericksburg Family History Center 20 Boscobel Road Fredericksburg, VA 22407 540 361-7494 Tue - Wed: 10am - 8:30pm Thu: 10am - 2pm Fri - Sat: 10am - 3pm Culpeper Family History Center 420 Willow Lawn Drive Culpeper, VA 22701 540-825-2506 Tue: 5pm - 8pm Wed: 10am - 8pm Ann Amadori 1 March 2014 4