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Thread: Genealogical Research

  1. #21
    FORT Fanatic onei0091's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Ancestry.com was a big help, as they have the records online - (immigration records, census records, death records). You can download them and print them off. I did that and put them in my 'booklet' that I made for my in laws (grrr).
    I only did US history - I didn't follow the families back through the 'old countries' so that made my job a bit easier. The library also has a lot of more recent stuff available - if you are looking for copies of obits and stuff like that. It's grim, but obits and death records are a really useful way to get info (and a family health history! You know what everyone died from!)
    Once I got back a long ways, I got my info from historical societies in the area where the ancestor lived. If I could trace someone back by land records to that area, I would call that county's historical society and ask them for more info. They were always extremely excited to help - a lot of the people working in those places are distant relatives of the early settlers and love to share the history with you. At least that's how it worked for me. They had booklets and they sent them to me.

    There is a giant geneology library in Salt Lake City. It is like the mecca for geneology, LOL. I think you have to make an appt to use the library, I'm not sure. I actually considered it when I hit some road blocks (I was living in CA at the time) but with perserverence I ended up getting tidbits of info and working the puzzle out. That's what is so fun about this - fitting pieces of the puzzle together to get the whole story on someone.

    When I book my booklet together, I would have a page that started with Person X: Name, birthdate, birthplace. Then spouse, and a list of children (birth and death dates) so it looked like this:

    John Doe: (1776-1832)
    Spouse: Jane Doe (1785-1850)
    Children:
    Xavier Doe (....)
    William Doe (....)
    etc.

    Then I numbered and lettered each head of household, and I worked my way back from my Husband, who was 1a. His sibs were 1b, 1c, 1d. His parents, both 2s (letter indicated birth order). So as you go backward, you know how many generations you were away from my husband's generation, and you also knew birth order. Kinda complicated but it really helped me to keep things organized, and maybe it helped the reader as well. So, in the end it looked like:

    6d: John Doe
    Spouse: Mary Doe
    Children:
    5a) Xavier Doe
    5b) William Doe
    etc.

  2. #22
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    I thought I'd resurrect this thread since there have been a few shows on TV lately relating to family history research. We're discussing the shows (Faces of America and Who Do You Think You Are?) over in the Non-Reality Shows forum, but I wanted to talk about the actual research.

    I've done quite a bit of work on my family tree and, with some lines, I've been able to go back hundreds of years. I think the farthest back I've gone is maybe the 15th century. Then there are other lines that, for one reason or another, I can't get past a few generations with. In one case, it's an extremely common surname, in others, it's a language barrier and in others it's just that I can't find anything.

    I'm about to dive back into this soon and have found that all roads, online anyway, lead back to Ancestry.com. I'm sort of annoyed by that because I really can't afford to pay their monthly fee right now. Recently, my desktop crashed and I had to have the hard drive wiped, so I started all over again. I'll be buying a new version of Family Tree Maker soon, since I think the ancient version I have now is for Windows 95 or even 3.1 and is on a bunch of floppies. I think you get at least a month free on Ancestry.com when you buy FTM, so I'll probably do nothing but that for a whole month!

    For those people who have used Ancestry.com, how to you like it? Are you able to pull data off the site in gedcom files? My concern is that, after I cancel my subscription, I won't have access to that information any more. It seems like I should be able to save it all to my machine, but crazier things have happened.

    I'm hopeful that some of the roadblocks I hit 10 or 15 years ago won't be there any longer both because information is more readily available and because maybe someone else found the info I needed in that time.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  3. #23
    Me and my shadow Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Good luck Critical! I'm sure things have improved greatly in the past 10-15 years. I would think at the very least you'd be able to "copy" and "paste" the most pertinent bits.
    Count your blessings!

  4. #24
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Thanks, Gut The thing that seems to have changed the most is that Ancestry.com has taken over! The version of Family Tree Maker that I have was still made by Broderbund and now I think Ancestry.com is the maker. They were just a small site when I was doing research before and, to get information, you either had to travel or order microfilms OR there were people online who would look things up for you. Now it's like it's all in one place. I HOPE that means I'll have some breakthroughs where I'd just been running into roadblocks before.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  5. #25
    FORT Fanatic ElizabethG's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Critical, I have been doing genealogy research off and on for the last 18 or so years (well, mostly "off" since 1999) and I have used Ancestry.com as a starting point on some lines. The thing is, I have found them to only really useful with the census records. Other records are so far a little frustrating because it mostly tells me stuff I already knew, which is probably more of my problem than theirs - how do they know what I already know? Anyway, it is enough of a useful tool that a friend and I split the yearly cost, but if I had tp pay it all myself I don't know if I would. It's so very hard to find adequate time to do research though, it saves me time in the looking up of census records anyway, which is a big help.
    I enjoy the escapism of reality television. Beats the heck out of worrying about your REAL life!!

  6. #26
    FORT Fanatic ElizabethG's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Quote Originally Posted by myrosiedog;2742941;
    Considering we had horse and cattle theives in the family and my hometown at one time was famous for it's mental hospital, that might now be a bad idea. Oh and we had at least one "importer" during prohibition that used to take frequent trips to Cuba since it wasn't all that far from Florida.

    The organization (or disorganization) side is stressing out.
    Are you talking about Milledgeville? Mental hospital and a lot of prisons, but a darn good medical school!

    I agree with the disorganization problem...I get sidetracked too easily and my research is currently in boxes in storage, in my current home, my mom's house and lord knows where else!
    I enjoy the escapism of reality television. Beats the heck out of worrying about your REAL life!!

  7. #27
    FORT Fogey causingchaos's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    We have a really good center for free by here to get copies of immigration records and work records for people mostly from this area.

    I worked on/off on the family tree. My mom's side is really detailed because I had a cousin trying to join the DAR and she had to establish all that stuff to do it. My dad's side is a hot mess. We get back to his grandparents and their immigration stuff which is cool on his dad's side. On his mom's side it's just a giant mess. She born on a reservation in Iowa apparently. We have a family photo from that side of the family which everyone looks Native American in it. There were also orphan trains going through that area as well so it's kind of anyone's guess what is going on there. Anytime she was asked about her childhood and family history she broke down into hysterics and wouldn't talk about it. So on her side we only get back to her alleged parents.

  8. #28
    FORT Fogey GuardianAngel's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    There is a site I came across recently which is full of great information. Although its called Italian Genealogy, there are other countries on the side bar as well.

    If you just browse around you will come across reference to so many other avenues of researching with alot of helpful hints.

    I'm not sure if I can post the link, if anyone wants it if they can't find it, PM me.

  9. #29
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Thanks, GuardianAngel! I'll definitely google that site. You're fine to post links like that here, btw
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  10. #30
    FORT Fogey GuardianAngel's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical;3862452;
    Thanks, GuardianAngel! I'll definitely google that site. You're fine to post links like that here, btw
    Thanks Critical

    ItalianGenealogy.com Home

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