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Thread: Genealogical Research

  1. #71
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Quote Originally Posted by RealityLovesMe View Post
    This is the primary site that I use. They do have actual copies of some of the census data online. A huge warning when using this site: There are often huge errors in their transcriptions. Obviously, they do the best they can but they make a lot of mistakes. When looking for someone named "ling," I found the data listed as "kmng." It was a typo. Also, they often confuse the letter "T" with "G" and that makes searching for obscure last names difficult. Try and make use of the * search feature. If you are looking for someone whose last name is Washington and you cannot find them, try searching "*ashington" or "Washing*."
    Good tips! I think LDS has random volunteers transcribing the documents, which is not so great, especially if they have problems typing! Is there a way to report that so it can be fixed?

    With FamilySearch, I find that the more info you have, as far as dates, locations, spouse names, the better the results are. Just a name won't bring back much, especially if there's a variation or error like the one you mentioned. I've found several records under names that barely resembled the one I searched for because I had the other data right. With Ancestry, I often get almost the same search results with just a name and their search seems to take those variations and errors into account.

    I've been using both Ancestry.com and FamilySearch and find that they're both useful. Ancestry has pretty much every census record available, not just the data, while FS has documents that Ancestry just has the data on (vs. an image).
    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?"

  2. #72
    FORT Fogey norealityhere's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    We had my stepmom's 90th birthday celebration this past week in Fl.
    The book I presented her with was the biggest hit.
    She, as well as everyone else, absolutely loved it.
    Thanks again to Critical, and everyone else on here who provided some great suggestions to me.
    I am eternally indebted.
    To Thine Own Self Be True

  3. #73
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    *BUMP* Since the new season of Who Do You Think You Are? just started, I thought I'd get this thread going again!

    Quote Originally Posted by RealityLovesMe View Post
    Wow! Mocavo is great!
    Sadly, I just went to use mocavo the other day and they now want you to register to view past page one of the search results AND they now want you to pay what sounds just like what they used to do for free. Not cool!

    I also just re-learned a really important lesson. I went to look at a ship's passenger list image that I saved a while back and the quality wasn't good. I couldn't even read it when I zoomed in. Because I didn't note where I found it, I'm having to go search for it all over again and it's not turning out to be an easy search either! Who knows where I found this thing in the first place, but it's going to take me ages to find it again. Note to self: take the time to add the image to Family Tree Maker and cite the source immediately! ARGH.
    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?"

  4. #74
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Well, for anyone with ancestors in Wyoming, here's great news. The Wyoming Archives are SUPER fast! I contacted them for a death certificate over the weekend and they have already contacted me twice and are mailing it to me free of charge. I wish all state archives were that efficient and affordable! This is probably the only time I'll need help from them, but I wish I had more ancestors in WY. It would make things much easier.

    I did find that Missouri has a bunch of birth and death records digitized and available for free. I wish Iowa (and several other states) did that too!

    I revisited Cyndi's List this weekend and was surprised at how much it's grown since I last used it! It's now a HUGE catalog of various genealogical sources. It's a bit labyrinthine, but I found some sites that are now on my list to check out. There are many sites listed that do not require a paid subscription, so it's great for anyone who doesn't want to pay for Ancestry.com.
    Cootie likes this.
    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. #75
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    This is a cool article on HuffPo by an author who just wrote a book on genealogical research (which I just realized I've owned for months and haven't even looked at ) There are some good tips about diving into family history research in the slideshow:
    Megan Smolenyak: Unexpected Ways To Find Your Ancestors
    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?"

  6. #76
    FORT Figment KTinCT's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Quote Originally Posted by Nemeses View Post
    Oh, that wasn't aimed at you, mrd Not in the least, I was kinda talking tongue-in-cheek in general.

    Just that genealogy is such a satisfying and special experience for families who undertake it, I hate to see the topic end. I hope more and more FoRTers take up the hobby if they haven't already. It really is one of the most personally gratifying things you can do, and just gives a strong appreciation for all the elements that make up a family unit.
    I got this far in the thread and thought I'd bump it up. I'm in deep {sigh}. I try to keep genealogy as my winter hobby but it sneaks in all the time. If I had learned American history this way I might have paid attention. It has caused me to live inside so many generations.

    Anybody else still interested in this in 2014?

  7. #77
    addicted to reality AmyKay's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    I am. I am addicted and anytime I watch Who Do You Think You Are? I go on a binge! I havent worked on mine for a week or two, but I am trying to get every line back to the first American, and was quite surprised that most of my dad's side goes back pretty far! At the moments I only have names/dob/essentials, when I get to a good stopping point I am going to search for stories on these people.
    I have thought a couple of times, how fun would it be to do this for other people and get paid for it?!? Im such a geek about it.
    "Love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for"- Warren Barfield

  8. #78
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    I'm still doing it.....a little. It just takes so much time, or maybe I just get obsessed about it. I canceled my Ancestry.com subscription because I didn't feel like I was using enough to justify what I was paying for it.

    Everyone once in a while, Ancestry does a free weekend for specific types of records. Right now, it's international records, I think. I did a search and, of course, the only things that come up (if anything) are personal records/trees of members, which aren't a part of the international records. One of these days when I have more 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?"

  9. #79
    FORT Figment KTinCT's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    I’ve paid for Ancestry.com for a couple years now. I’d been researching for at least 12 years without it since some of my ancestors were well documented. Ancestry definitely got me farther, and my goal was to get each of my four lines to across the pond, and then my son’s other two lines.

    This last year I paid Ancestry for international access and it furthered a few trails, but not enough overall coverage for me to pay that extra price again. Yet I do now feel connected enough that I might provide maybe just enough for some searcher ‘over there’ to find a hopeful link to over here.

    I do have one fun “action film” going on. I was able to take my surname line back to the 1400s in England, and well documented. And, whadda ya know, turns out there is a current archeological project going on right there in his community – with lots of exciting Viking meeting house discoveries. That means back to the 600s!

    The greatest and yet most frustrating part is that anyone can volunteer for the summer program, take some on-site classes, and then begin sieving, measuring, weighing, brushing, digging – whatever. Can you imagine – being able to go to your 14th great grandfather’s grounds and finding even deeper yesterdays??!! I’ll never go. Yet …. never say never.

    Lots of other family lines get just as exciting in their own ways. I have said before that I think our future gravestones will be on the web rather than in the ground. And I don’t feel that’s a bad thing. I swear I feel souls somehow say howdy when months of research have finally confirmed them as ‘found’.


    p.s. Hope this isn't too weird for anybody. I think any of us who has ever swum through the tunnels and jumped the bridges of genealogy can understand. At least I hope so. We all have wonderful webs around us.
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  10. #80
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    The problem with me tracing lines back to the "boat" so-to-speak is that the most recent immigrants to America came in the 1870's. I haven't found any more recent immigrants anywhere on my tree.

    I've gone back to BCE on a few lines of my tree. It's ridiculous. In my experience, there is often more information maybe 8 generations back. The trick is linking back to those people.

    I started doing research about 20-ish years ago, well before the internet was nearly as useful as it is now. I spent lots of hours going through mircrofilm and printed indexes. Even though some information was online, it wasn't all Ancestry.com the way it is now. There were lots of free sites that held a lot of info. Even though some of those sites still exist, it seems like most people are using Ancestry now, so there's not much new info on those free sites. Plus, Ancestry has bought up some of the other formerly-free sites.

    The LDS has an okay free site - Family Search - but the volunteers who index the census records for them are not terribly careful. I've found the most horrid misspellings that I only discovered because I went through a county's census records page by page. Their search function isn't good enough to catch those slight variations in spelling. Speaking of spelling errors, it annoys the snot out of me that Ancestry won't correct spelling errors in their census index. They got my grandfather's name wrong. I submitted a correction explaining that he was my grandfather, so I KNOW the correct spelling. Instead of changing the index, my correction was just added as an alternate spelling
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    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?"

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