I’ve touched on this subject in an earlier post. I have been a Genealogist for more than thirty years. I can tell you it is not something you ever finish.
Now that I am advanced in years and have other hobbies, I don’t get a chance to really get my teeth into it. Yes I used Ancestry and other websites for years but last year when Ancestry went up on their rates I decided it was a good time to break that connection.
While searching online is easy the connections are often inaccurate and can throw entire limbs of your tree off. What online searches don’t show you is where the information comes from. You can download documents from some sites but you will not get everything you need from one source.
You have to think of it like a treasure hunt. When you find the first link it just opens up more questions. As bizzare as it may sound, I have walked many miles across many graveyards to fine that one name that creates a link.
Still confused? Let me draw this out for you. A link is a relationship associated with a name…. Jane Does, second great grandmother, maternal (great, great, grandmother on your mother’s side). You start with your parents and document all you know about them and then your grandparents and their parents.
I have had my hands on documents that were more than four hundred years old. At the moment I have some lines that cross the ocean and some lines that have people who suddenly disappear. It’s a constant mystery. There is always something else to search..
If you are interested in starting your own search I can promise you it will be worth the time you invest in it.
This is a picture of my Mother in her earlier days.
When I become frustrated with life and bored with everything else, I turn to my roots. Digging up roots that is. After more than thirty years genealogy still holds my attention. It is a puzzle that never ends. Oh you can stop at any time…but you never really complete it because there is always birth….and death.
Here are some of my ancestor, some I remember and some were just pictures that were found after ancestors moved on.
While cleaning out the family home after my Mother’s passing we found there were boxes and boxes of photographs. It will be quite an undertaking to go through and scan these photographs. They won’t all be scanned but the important ones will be.
Once scanned they will be added to my Ancestry page. Unfortunately not all of the photos have Identification which is vital in genealogy. When you find a photo that can be identified write on the back of it with an archival pen/marker the date if you know that it was taken and who the person is in it. This should really be done to all photos as you take them.
For your actual research, start with the birth and death certificates of your parents. If deceased you will also need a copy of their Will and Estate records if possible. Locate as much information as possible on them including Deeds, Deeds of Trust, Land Grants, Divorce records, Adoption records, Bastardy Bonds, Marriage Bonds, and the list goes on.
While sites like Ancestry and Family Search are great don’t just stop there. A lot of the sites are paid sites including Ancestry but you can find valuable information through non-paid sites like Welcome to Cyndi’s List (cyndislist.com) which is a great site. This site has more than 300,000 links so you want to make use of this site. Not just American but also foreign links.
If you love puzzles you won’t find a greater puzzle than genealogy. If you need help getting started don’t hesitate to drop me a email with questions.