Originally posted 2016-01-12 12:00:35.
Alright ! Week 2 of of family research ! So we’ve spent a week enjoying family memories, sorting through all our granny’s attics and Bibles and interviewing anyone who knows anything about our family. Let’s talk about our next step.
I want to start by stressing the habit of being organized. I spent over a year gathering information, photos and ordering files. I ended up with stacks of papers every where and couldn’t find anything. So to fix my mess I went to the dollar tree and bought some 3-ring binders, dividers and a hole punch. I labeled every binder by the surname I was researching. I then started placing every single bit of information I found in these binders. I also found paper logs for the record I was searching Family Tree Maker is a website that has several genealogy forms that you can use to log information.
After my papers were recorded and stored safely I downloaded the free version of Legacy Genealogy software. When it comes to genealogy software there are several you can get for free to try out and if you like it you can purchase later. I actually used Legacy for over a year before I purchased it.
So now we’re gathering information and storing it in a safe and organized system. Let’s move on to the exciting stuff ! Searching !
Genealogy can be an expensive project if you aren’t aware of the free resources that are available. There are a bunch of sites that will allow you to search but then require payment for the results. LAME ! Here are several free sites you can use to start searching your family name:
Cyndi’s List – This website is hands down the best resource for a specific topic. You will want to keep this one handy.
Family Search – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been collecting family records for over 100 years and they add new records all the time.
USGenWeb – This is a great site to use for searching the states ! Most of the information here is logged by historians and genealogists from the area you may be researching .
Family Tree Magazine – Here is a page with many many links to free websites for researching. I would double check before wasting your time on some sites. As I said earlier some will allow you to search but then charge you for the results.
Finally, good old Facebook. Believe it or not Facebook can actually be helpful in doing research on your family. I could type out a HUGE list of Facebook groups that will assist you but you can search your town, state or country on Facebook and get several results. I did a search on Auronzo di Cadore, Italy because that’s where my family is from and found an entire group dedicated to the history of that town and it’s residents who immigrated years before. Simply typing genealogy will bring up several results as well. I joined a group called “Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness – RAOGK USA” a year ago and they have been SO helpful. I recommend them !!
So, I’ve listed several sources for researching and that’s what we’ll do this week. Take some time and go to some of these websites and plug in your family surname. Gather information that agrees with what you’ve been told by family or by any records you may have. Log everything on paper and then into your genealogy software. Next week we’ll talk about fact checking and making sure the information you’ve collected is something you can use.
Free genealogy software links:
These are just a few I have used and liked. I purchased Legacy however I just started using RootsMagic and I think I might switch. It’s much easier to use.