Originally posted 2016-02-02 12:00:31.
We’re continuing our family research this week with a few resource links that will help you search ! It’s always good to have a few trusted sources you can go to for more information or even a new search as you progress through other branches of your family.
1.Organization. These are links that will help you with forms, software and organizational advice.
- Family Tree Magazine: Census forms, research trackers, family group sheets and basic charts and worksheets.
- Ancestry : Census forms, Ancestral chart and Correspondence record. Ancestry is a pay site but the forms are free and I don’t believe you need an account to download the forms.
- Genealogy Search : Here is a list of just about every form you could ever need.
Even though these links may provide many of the same type of form, each forms looks different and will give you options in what works better for you.
2. Information (Websites). Links that help you find the folks you’re lookin’ for !
- Ellis Island Foundation : Why not start where our ancestors started ? This is the website that holds records for every immigrant that can through Ellis Island. “From 1892 to 1954, over twelve million immigrants entered the United States through the portal of Ellis Island, a small island in New York Harbor.” I encourage you to go to this page and read about the island and all who came into the United State through here. Very interesting information !
- Family Search : The Church of Later Day Saints maintains this wonderful FREE database. Along with a HUGE database of family information online they also brick and mortor locations that you can visit for assistance in your searches. The only down side of using this website is that most of the original documents will be hosted over at Ancestry. Ancestry is a pay site. Boooo !
- Ancestry : Yes I know. I just boo’d this site. Look, no one wants to pay for anything. Free is always better 🙂 However, I will say that Ancestry is probably the most helpful site I have used to search. Not only can you search US records you can search records from other countries all over the world ! I have recorded family from England as far back as year 1413. They have different types of subscription and if you have the funds, I recommend them highly.
3. Facebook Groups. I’ve mentioned before how helpful these groups can be. Remember to be polite when asking and try to have some helpful information to aid anyone who would do some searching for you. Most of all be patient ! These groups are run by regular folks who have day jobs and families. You may have to wait a bit for an answer.
Remember to do a Facebook search if you are looking for something specific. For example I needed Italian and Pennsylvania genealogy help and so I searched and found groups specifically for these two topics. Also I used Legacy software for keeping my information. I searched Legacy on Facebook and found several groups who have knowledgeable people ready to help !
4. Legal Documents (The kind you pay for)
- Vital Check : I have ordered several birth certificates and death certificates from this site. They are pricey. Honestly if you are in need of a document from somewhere local-ish. Drive and get it yourself. You’ll save $10-$15 by going to the Health Dept. or whatever government building holds the records for your area. However, if you don’t mind paying for shipping/processing this is the way to go.
- The National Archives : Many of us have relatives who served in one of the wars our country fought. I had several in the Revolutionary, Civil and Vietnam wars. It’s pretty neat to see any awards they were presented with, any injuries and discharge information. Through the National Archives you can obtain military records for your ancestor as well as Social Security information. The application your ancestor had to fill out to get a social security number can be VERY helpful in tracing where they lived, actual birth dates and other important information.
I wanted to step back a bit and post a few solid links to help anyone who may be searching for family information. I would bookmark these and any others you find helpful because you’ll refer back to the same places many times over. In the coming weeks I’ll move on and start talking about census search, what’s found on the social security application, military records and much more.