Genealogical Research on the
Web
RRLC Pizza and… Series
June 2012
You should have a sense of humor
as well as searching skills…
• Consider yourself a time traveler…because
you are working in many times and places,
and keeping them all straight and fo...
• Start with yourself and work back. When
you get back to a stopping point, if you
wish, you can bring the collateral line...
• Start with yourself and work back through
your parents, grandparents, etc. Note their
names, dates and where these event...
Why are you doing this?
• What are your goals? Personal interest?
Helping patrons? School project? Family
reunion? Publish...
Kinds of info to seek
• Basics - names, places, and dates (using digital
images)
• Search for work already done - family t...
• Kinds of materials - directories, yearbooks,
vital record certificates (births, marriages
and deaths) diplomas,
• Rememb...
What are some sources?
• Censuses. Military Records. School
Yearbooks. Directories.
• Libraries and their finding aids.
• ...
Pros and cons of online.
Advantages
• More convenient -24/7 access from any internet
accessible computer
• Ease of use - t...
Disadvantages
• Less than 5% of the world’s records (or less than 1% of
Canadian records) are actually available online be...
• Concentrate on one family branch at a time
• Do background research
• Don’t assume everything is online or in a
single r...
• Enough already! Where do you look? How
do you keep track? Programs, forms,
backups? Privacy of data vs. sharing
sensitiv...
www.familychronicle.com/records.html
101 best websites:
http://familytreemagazine.com/article/101-Best-Websites-2011
• Census - film, online, books indexes.
(numerous sources for these).
• Borrow through ILL for items not held
locally.
• D...
• Web can offer indexes vitals stats, directories,
classified web site content, personal web pages
already out there, gene...
• Keep track in a program - you are using a
computer to search, so make the data saved
in a program - and please keep it b...
Forms
• Why should you use forms?
• How should you fill them out?
• Where do you get them?
Help!!!
• All kinds of formats and helps Familysearch.org wiki (research guides,
thesauri, word lists, how to’s), online
r...
What about “stuff in the wild?”
• …the RGS CRPC locally.
• Or the lady [Martha Mae Schmidt] with 1000
pages of church reco...
RGS CRPC

This group has digitized over …. pages of records,
and has received national recognition for its work.
Maps
• Looking at maps will help you determine
where people went to church, may have
moved (or not), and likely places of
...
Census
• There are numerous censuses - federal, state
local, school, church, etc.
• See Cyndislist.com, Dollarhide books o...
Sample page from mocavo.com
Online records here
• Ancestry, Rootsweb, HQ, GenealogyBank,
and of course locally, RPL’s sources at
www.libraryweb.org
What you see at an FHC
Look at the variances in the SSDI!
Online sources vary
tremendously.
• NY holds back even the indexes to births
for 75 years. But Minnesota and
Familysearch…
But New York holds back birth INDEXES for 75 years!
And our neighbors to the west:
Online records there
• Online OFB’s, local associations, Adeloch
Samples from Adeloch:
Likely source for help - BYU
Archives?
• Some countries have great helps - Czech
Republic, Sezam (Poland), Central Bureau
for Genealogy (Netherlands)
Don’t forget books
• There are many printed histories of
families, of locations, and how-to help
books for various kinds o...
Newspaper libraries
• It is becoming common to see newspapers
digitized and searchable for free on various
sites - at the ...
What can you trust?
• You have to apply common sense to a
source. “Genealogical sheep” find a fact
online and copy (and di...
Elizabeth Shown Mills is a recognized expert.
These are found in MCLS.
Sidebar things
• Sites like Intelius.com, spokeo.com,
whitepages.com, Facebook, Google,
dogpile.com, mocavo.com, etc. can ...
Recommended sites
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Ancestry $
HQ $
Rootsweb - message boards - Free
Worldgenweb - down to the county level -...
Pizza and genealogy - RRLC presenation
Pizza and genealogy - RRLC presenation
Pizza and genealogy - RRLC presenation
Pizza and genealogy - RRLC presenation
Pizza and genealogy - RRLC presenation
Pizza and genealogy - RRLC presenation
Pizza and genealogy - RRLC presenation
Pizza and genealogy - RRLC presenation
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Pizza and genealogy - RRLC presenation

  1. 1. Genealogical Research on the Web RRLC Pizza and… Series June 2012
  2. 2. You should have a sense of humor as well as searching skills…
  3. 3. • 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.
  4. 4. • Start with yourself and work back. When you get back to a stopping point, if you wish, you can bring the collateral lines forward back to the present. • And note every fact that you find as you go along. It is far easier to do that than go back and source several sources for 6000 people in your family tree after the fact.
  5. 5. • Start with yourself and work back through your parents, grandparents, etc. Note their names, dates and where these events occurred. Are there patterns? • Use good research practices - do one thing at a time. • Remember that the web makes much research easier, but hardly everything is available online. • Wide variance in reliability and content don’t be a genealogical sheep and accept everything that you find at face value.
  6. 6. Why are you doing this? • What are your goals? Personal interest? Helping patrons? School project? Family reunion? Publishing? Joining a hereditary society?
  7. 7. 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!
  8. 8. • Kinds of materials - directories, yearbooks, vital record certificates (births, marriages and deaths) diplomas, • Remember that everything is not online. Most is not. Use numerous sources.
  9. 9. What are some sources? • Censuses. Military Records. School Yearbooks. Directories. • Libraries and their finding aids. • Indexes, and the original records. • Documentation - how good is it?
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. Disadvantages • 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.
  12. 12. • Concentrate on one family branch at a time • Do background research • Don’t assume everything is online or in a single resource
  13. 13. • Enough already! Where do you look? How do you keep track? Programs, forms, backups? Privacy of data vs. sharing sensitive of hurtful info).
  14. 14. www.familychronicle.com/records.html
  15. 15. 101 best websites: http://familytreemagazine.com/article/101-Best-Websites-2011
  16. 16. • Census - film, online, books indexes. (numerous sources for these). • Borrow through ILL for items not held locally. • Does what you find online meet standards or have a plethora of exclamation marks?
  17. 17. • Web can offer indexes vitals stats, directories, classified web site content, personal web pages already out there, genealogical discussion groups, city, county state genealogical or historical society pages, 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….
  18. 18. • 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.
  19. 19. Forms • Why should you use forms? • How should you fill them out? • Where do you get them?
  20. 20. Help!!! • All kinds of formats and helps Familysearch.org wiki (research guides, thesauri, word lists, how to’s), online research guides, translatable web pages, overseas records, privately done pages
  21. 21. What about “stuff in the wild?” • …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.
  22. 22. RGS CRPC This group has digitized over …. pages of records, and has received national recognition for its work.
  23. 23. 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.
  24. 24. Census • There are numerous censuses - federal, state local, school, church, etc. • See Cyndislist.com, Dollarhide books on census, etc. for sites which hold them. • And ask online.
  25. 25. Sample page from mocavo.com
  26. 26. Online records here • Ancestry, Rootsweb, HQ, GenealogyBank, and of course locally, RPL’s sources at www.libraryweb.org
  27. 27. What you see at an FHC
  28. 28. Look at the variances in the SSDI!
  29. 29. Online sources vary tremendously. • NY holds back even the indexes to births for 75 years. But Minnesota and Familysearch…
  30. 30. But New York holds back birth INDEXES for 75 years!
  31. 31. And our neighbors to the west:
  32. 32. Online records there • Online OFB’s, local associations, Adeloch
  33. 33. Samples from Adeloch:
  34. 34. Likely source for help - BYU
  35. 35. Archives? • Some countries have great helps - Czech Republic, Sezam (Poland), Central Bureau for Genealogy (Netherlands)
  36. 36. Don’t forget books • There are many printed histories of families, of locations, and how-to help books for various kinds of research.
  37. 37. 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: www.fultonhistory.com, and • http://www.rrlcnewspapers.org/
  38. 38. 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.
  39. 39. Elizabeth Shown Mills is a recognized expert. These are found in MCLS.
  40. 40. Sidebar things • Sites like Intelius.com, spokeo.com, whitepages.com, Facebook, Google, dogpile.com, mocavo.com, 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.
  41. 41. Recommended sites • • • • • • • Ancestry $ HQ $ Rootsweb - message boards - Free Worldgenweb - down to the county level - Free Various local historical sites -Free Familysearch.org - Free FHC portal at FHC’s - Free

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