Genealogy101/Netting Your Ancestors


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Genealogy101/Netting Your Ancestors

  1. 1. 1
  2. 2. Prepared by Roscoe G. Hastings, Given by Larry Naukam
  3. 3. A recorded history of one’s ancestry. The study of family descent. Definitions: ◦ Ancestors – came before us ◦ Descendents – follow us
  4. 4. Why do people research their genealogy? Recording information. How do we get started? What information do we look for? Where do we find information?
  5. 5. Reconnect with family. Adopted child wants to find birth parents. Trace medical conditions. Validate family legends. Famous people. Religious tenets Heritage Societies
  6. 6. To answer the questions: ◦ Who am I? ◦ Where did I come from? ◦ Where am I going? Who you are is determined by your ancestors. Genetically descended from all of them (but DNA dropout) Your children will continue your heritage. How big is your family?
  7. 7. 2 parents 4 grandparents 8 great grand parents 16 gg grandparents 32 ggg grandparents 64 gggg grandparents 128 ggggg grandparents 256 gggggg grandparents 512 ggggggg grandparents 1,024 gggggggg grandparents - 10th generation Total = 2,046 But, there is the genealogical diamond…. And this does not even take into account family and collaterals!
  8. 8. Genealogy research should start with the present and work toward the past. Makes future searches easier to have information to work from. Prevents repetition. They will not get lost.
  9. 9. Pedigree Chart ◦ Provides information ◦ Provides a single page reference ◦ Provides a picture of your ancestors
  10. 10. Family Group Sheet ◦ Provides a record of all members of a family ◦ Collateral family members often help solve problems
  11. 11. Names (Roscoe Glenn Hastings) ◦ Given Name ◦ Middle Name ◦ Surname Dates (22 June 2010) ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦  Day Month Year 9/10/75 – This doesn’t tell you anything. Place (Town, County, State, Country) ◦ Brighton, Monroe, New York, USA
  12. 12. Links Individuals Calculates Relationships Easy to Find People Easy to Source Information Create Reports Share Reports Write A Genealogy Include Photographs
  13. 13. Family Tree Maker – Most Popular Personal Ancestral File Legacy Family Tree Roots Magic - Other programs for the Apple Macintosh, tablets, and phones
  14. 14. Newest information is the hardest to find. Start with a pedigree chart and enter all of the information that you know. Visit your relatives to fill in more information. Visit the oldest first. Identify the family historian. Avoid open ended questions but instead view photograph albums or talk about holidays.
  15. 15. Now you are ready to start your research. It is very important that you reference every source you find. ◦ Saves time later. ◦ Used when you publish your genealogy. ◦ Helps to resolve conflicting information. If there is any doubt in your mind, about information you find, look for another source to verify it.
  16. 16. Original Documents ◦ Ex. Birth Certificate Closest to the Time of the Event ◦ Good = Birth record ◦ Not So Good = Death record Indexed Materials Other Genealogies Newspapers
  17. 17. Information is only as good as: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ The original record The person who recorded the record The person who indexed the record The person who provided the information Since every record originates from a human there may be an error.
  18. 18. Method ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Who – the person I am looking for. What – the kind of record I am looking for. Where – where did they live when this happened. When – about when did this happen. Where do I find the records? What did your ancestors do that was important enough that someone made a written record of it?
  19. 19. Birth records Marriage records Death records Census records Military records Land records Newspapers Genealogies
  20. 20. First research step. If someone has already done part or all of your genealogy it can save a lot of time: BYU Library - Google - hastings family hl=en&as_q&as_epq=hastings+family
  21. 21. Generally Town records (Town where birth occurred) ◦ Town Clerk ◦ Town websites NYS Health Dept. – 1880 – 1937 ◦ Microfiche – Rochester Public Library ◦ NYS Health Dept – order certificate Census Records give persons age
  22. 22. Massachusetts – to 1850 & 1841 to 1910 ◦ Published books for each town about 1900 ◦ NEHGS website Internet Birth Records ◦ Some states have information on-line ◦ Some places you can download and print information and pay on-line
  23. 23. Baptisms Church Records ◦ Church ◦ Some are published on-line - England ◦ Parish records  LDS Library - Microfilm 
  24. 24. Usually Town Record (Where license was issued) ◦ Town Clerk ◦ Church records ◦ NYS State Health Department – 1880 to 1962  Microfiche – Rochester Public Library  Order from NY state Health Dept. Some for NY are available 1908-1935 at Massachusetts - same as Birth records England – Parish records
  25. 25. Usually Town Records (Town where death occurred.) ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Town Clerk Church records Social Security Death Index NYS State Health Department – 1880 to 1963  Microfiche – Rochester Public Library  Order from NY state Health Dept. Massachusetts - same as Birth Records England Parish Records NYS Metrix program just starting.
  26. 26. Funeral records ◦ Funeral Home where arrangements were done. ◦ Some are on-line nsburg/funeralrecords.htm ◦ Cemetery records  Visit cemeteries  Many on line (rootsweb), FindAGrave
  27. 27. Obituaries ◦ Newspapers  Rochester Public Library – Microfilm  On-line Wills ◦ Surrogate Court Records (wills, citations for probate) ◦ New York State Wills 1626 to 1836 (NEHGS) ◦ County Records
  28. 28. United States Census every ten years beginning in 1790. (Not available for 72 years) New York State Census from 1825 to 1925. (Most Counties did not start a state census until 1855) Census before 1850 list only the head of the household plus the number of males and females in age groups.
  29. 29. Name Age Place of residence Family structure
  30. 30. Individuals (Age, Sex, Race, Birth Date) Relationship to head of household Birth Place Parents Birth Place Occupation Ownership of land or home Education
  31. 31. Of course, there’s room for interpretation… 38
  32. 32. – Has all U.S. Census records, indexed and originals Heritage Quest – Has most U.S. Census records, indexed and originals New York State Library has all NYS Census records on microfilm Rochester Public Library has NYS Census for Monroe County on microfilm & Family Search have some NYS Census records on-line
  33. 33. Most Counties have Census Books for both the U.S. Census and NYS Census Canadian Census started in 1841 and are available to 1911 British Census first useful was 1841 and are available to 1911 Census records are also available for other States and Countries
  34. 34. Don’t depend on correct spelling of names ◦ No spelling rules prior to 1755 ◦ 1900 – 40% of Americans can not read or write Don’t depend on boundries ◦ Just because it is on the Internet doesn’t make it fact
  35. 35. National Archives has all Military records on microfilm Soldier lists and Pension records Revolutionary War Pension records on: ◦ Heritage Quest ◦ Fold3 Civil War Soldiers at Rochester Public Library, Local History, Adjutant Generals Report Newspaper Articles
  36. 36. Julian Calendar – Year begins on March 25th. Gregorian Calendar – Year begins on January 1st. England & America changed from the Julian to Gregorian Calendar in 1752. January to March 25th dates before 1752 are often listed with two years. Example 5 February 1750/51.
  37. 37. 1st Cousins have the same Grand Parents 2nd Cousins have the same Great Grand Parents 3rd Cousins have the same GG Grand Parents Once removed means there is a difference of one generation Twice removed means there is a difference of two generations.
  38. 38. One local example of family history 45
  39. 39. Roscoe G. Hastings ◦ Rochester Genealogical Society 
  40. 40. Netting Your Ancestors! Using online sources to find family and historical information. 47
  41. 41. You should have a sense of humor as well as searching skills… 48
  42. 42. Consider yourself a time traveler…because you are working in many times and places, and keeping them all straight and focused is a challenge. Emphasis on kinds of sources, as each person is different. Take the handouts and modify them for your users. Local examples are mentioned because we have easier access to them. 49
  43. 43. Kinds of info to seek Basics - names, places, and dates (using digital images) Search for work already done - family trees as found on personal sites, WorldConnect, FamilySearch, etc. Census, vitals, military, immigration, pictures, newspapers, printed histories, directories, yearbooks, phone book, land and surrogate records, Persi, message boards, DNA, learning pages on sites Evaluate evidence! Just because it is online does not mean that it is correct! E.g. Wm Baird… 50
  44. 44. Remember that everything is not online. Most is not. Use numerous sources. 51
  45. 45. What are some sources? Libraries and their finding aids. Indexes, and the original records. Kinds of materials - yearbooks, vital record certificates (births, marriages and deaths) diplomas, censuses, military records. school yearbooks, directories. Documentation - how good is it? 52
  46. 46. Pros and cons of online. Advantages More convenient -24/7 access from any internet accessible computer Ease of use - type in a name and get instant results Saves $ on traveling to distant locations to look at the records 53
  47. 47. Disadvantages Ease of use - type in a name and get instant results Less than 5% of the world’s records (or less than 1% of Canadian records) are actually available online because mass digitization is very expensive. Little editorial vetting of data. And if the electricity goes off, you are stopped cold. 54
  48. 48. Concentrate on one family branch at a time Do background research Don’t assume everything is online or in a single resource For example, Monroe County NY Surrogate’s Court indexes $$ 55
  49. 49. Enough already! Where do you look? How do you keep track? Programs, forms, backups? Privacy of data vs. sharing. Be sensitive of hurtful info. 56
  50. 50. 57
  51. 51. 101 best websites: 58
  52. 52. Census - film, online, books indexes. (numerous sources for these). Borrow through ILL for items not held locally. (French and German books at N.Y.P.L.) Does what you find online meet standards - or have a plethora of punctuation marks? OMG , I found my family LOL !?!?!?! 59
  53. 53. Web can offer indexes, vitals stats, directories, curated web site content, personal web pages already out there, genealogical discussion groups, city, county state genealogical or historical society pages, and individual libraries. But you will not find everyone, and any given site may or may not have accurate data. For example, my own experiences indexing 1940 census…. 60
  54. 54. An example of a personal blog - 61
  55. 55. Keep track in a program - you are using a computer to search, so make the data saved in a program - and please keep it backed up!!! Keeping data in a program helps keep the filling out and filing of forms more organized. 62
  56. 56. Forms Why should you use forms? How should you fill them out? Where do you get them? 63
  57. 57. Help!!! All kinds of formats and helps wiki (research guides, thesauri, word lists, how to’s), online research guides, translatable web pages, overseas records, privately done pages 64
  58. 58. Locally and free - 65
  59. 59. What about “stuff in the wild?” …like the RGS CRPC locally. Or the lady [Martha Mae Schmidt] with 1000 pages of church records in St Louis, or the one in Newark [Mary Lish] with 100,000 names from Newark NJ cemetery. Or the city employee who did a listing of the missing/destroyed Britton Rd. cemetery records? How do you find them? Word of mouth, message boards, writing to libraries and archives, blogs, etc. 66
  60. 60. RGS CRPC 67
  61. 61. 68
  62. 62. RGS CRPC This group has digitized over 150,000 pages of records, and has received national recognition for its work. 69
  63. 63. Can I find out about new titles? Or other items? Dick Eastman’s blog is at - 70
  64. 64. And locally… 71
  65. 65. Maps Looking at maps will help you determine where people went to church, may have moved (or not), and likely places of emigration. But people do weird things, and what is apparent to you might not be the actual truth. See: 72
  66. 66. Census There are numerous censuses - federal, state, local, school, church, etc. See, William Dollarhide’s books on census, etc. for sites which hold them. And ask online. 73
  67. 67. Sample page from 74
  68. 68. Online records in the USA Ancestry, Rootsweb, HQ, GenealogyBank,, and of course locally, RPL’s sources at maps, city directories, searchable indexes, Rochester Images, Civil War materials, etc. 75
  69. 69. What you see at an FHC 76
  70. 70. Look at the variances in the SSDI! 77
  71. 71. Online sources vary tremendously. NY holds back even the indexes to births for 75 years. But Minnesota and Familysearch… 78
  72. 72. But New York holds back birth INDEXES for 75 years! 79
  73. 73. 80
  74. 74. 81
  75. 75. And our neighbors to the west: 82
  76. 76. Online records overseas, but also: Online OFB’s, local associations, Adeloch 83
  77. 77. Samples from Adeloch: 84
  78. 78. 85
  79. 79. 86
  80. 80. 87
  81. 81. 88
  82. 82. Likely source for help - BYU 89
  83. 83. Archives? Some countries have great helps - Czech Republic, Sezam (Poland), Central Bureau for Genealogy (Netherlands) 90
  84. 84. 91
  85. 85. 92
  86. 86. Don’t forget books There are many printed histories of families, of locations, and how-to help books for various kinds of research. 93
  87. 87. Newspaper libraries It is becoming common to see newspapers digitized and searchable for free on various sites - at the same time that newspapers themselves are getting pricier and more difficult to access. See:, and 94
  88. 88. What can you trust? You have to apply common sense to a source. “Genealogical sheep” find a fact online and copy (and disseminate it) without thinking critically. 95
  89. 89. Elizabeth Shown Mills is a recognized expert. These are found in MCLS. 96
  90. 90. Sidebar things Sites like,,, Facebook, Google,,, etc. can be useful - or useless and misleading. Sometimes you find interesting or reliable info - other times it seems to be utterly bogus. Never pay for what you can find for free! Check yourself on these sites first. 97
  91. 91. Recommended sites Ancestry $ HQ $ Rootsweb - message boards - Free Worldgenweb - down to the county level - Free Various local historical sites -Free - Free FHC portal at FHC’s - Free 98