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Thread: Genealogical Research

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    MRD
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    Genealogical Research

    Anyone done any genealogical research?

    I'm just getting started and the whole thing is about to make my head swim.

    I was wondering if anyone else could give me some tips, hints, websites, etc.

    It would be greately appreciated.
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    Resident curmudgeon Newfherder's Avatar
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    Re: genealogical research

    Start by finding old relatives and old family Bibles.

    My oldest brother, now deceased, claimed to have traced our family tree back to a Norwegian king, a Turkish king from the 2nd or 3rd century AD, and Adam and Eve. I didn't see his research, but I suspect flaws.

    It is a FACT that my family has ties to Norwegian royalty--one of my great-great (?) grandmothers was a maid in the royal household.

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    Premium Member burntbrat's Avatar
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    Re: genealogical research

    My father's side of the family is Mormon so I don't ever have to do any research, it's all been traced back as far as it can go The Mormons have a lot of resources and are very good at that sort of thing, so if you get stuck you could contact their genealogical library and ask for pointers. I know that there are some websites around now that help, too. I think ancestry.com and myfamily.com are a couple. Good luck! I hope you find some interesting historical bloodlines.
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    Re: genealogical research

    Quote Originally Posted by Newfherder;2742527;
    Start by finding old relatives and old family Bibles.

    .
    Well that's the problem, the old relatives are dead and I have no idea what happened to the old, old family bible.

    I was able to find some interesting things online and then headed down to the Confederate Museum this morning and availed myself of their research library, so was able to find out which regiments my 3 great-great-grandfather's served in and where those regiments fought.

    I am looking for a family tree so to speak. I have traced back to my great-great-great-grandfather, but am looking for any other children he had. I can only find one and I know there was more than that one. And I want to go back farther because supposedly this branch is the one that fought in the Revolution and the 3 x great grandfather was born in 1836, so need his parents and probably their parents and grandparents.

    Thanks for the tips. Do the Mormons let you use the research library if you are not Mormon?
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    Resident curmudgeon Newfherder's Avatar
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    For some families, records from prisons and asylums are a gold mine of information.

    Old census records are available, but I can't tell you where Google probably knows.

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    Re: Genealogical Research

    As Newf said, census records are available. Here in Wichita, our local library has a genealogy department and has lots of census records on microfilm. I love going down there and scrolling through them. If you know where your ancestor(s) lived, lots of times you can find out about the families this way.

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    MRD
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Quote Originally Posted by Newfherder;2742838;
    For some families, records from prisons and asylums are a gold mine of information.

    Old census records are available, but I can't tell you where Google probably knows.
    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.

    Thanks Newf and Home for the census idea. I had thought of that, but had no idea how to find it. I will google it. I do have some idea of the locations of where these people lived.

    I have the info I need on at least 5 generations. It's going back farther that I'm running into problems.

    I'm telling you, don't even start doing this or you will get hooked. It's been like crack for me trying to locate all this information and I keep getting sidetracked on other things that crop up that are interesting. The research loving side of me is having a field day. The organization (or disorganization) side is stressing out.
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    I'm so glad to see you've gotten interested in this, mrd! I've been doing geneological research for years and have a HUGE number of records of my own family, having traced some of the main branches back to 1021 AD, and amassed over 3000 original and 2nd-generation documents, old photos, and other verified documentation, with over 24000 families in my ancestral tree, and... and... and... oy, exhausted thinking about all the work I've done over the years. And that's just my family, and doesn't include the geneological research and books I've created for other people.

    It can be quite an amazing journey, tracing your roots. And the good news is that there are now an amazing number of resources online, as opposed to when I started, and there weren't that many. The LDS site is a great place to gather info, but please remember to use it as a basis, not as fact. The Mormon geneology there is wonderful, but the library also includes millions of non-verified submissions as well. So anything you find, and this is true of all sources, verify it from other sources as well.

    The good news and the bad news about online geneology sources is that although there is a huge amount of information that can be found online for free, there is a HUGE percent of that information that is not verified, or is piece-mealed together by well-meaning people who did not verify the data or made assumptions at some point that were picked up by others and has worked it's way through the system.

    Verify, verify, verify
    Document, document, document

    I can't stress enough how important it is to document your information -- where you found it, what you found, when you found it, and was it documented by a verifiable source. Once you start gathering information, you start a roller-coaster of info input. You will at some point have to go back and recheck some of what you found a week ago, months ago, a year ago, a few years ago, and if you can't locate your original information or remember where you got it, you may lose some valuable collateral information that you didn't realize you would need at the time.

    As a member of several geneological societies, I'll be happy to help you look up something from any of the available censuses (1790-1930), just to help you get over a brick wall if you need it. I also have access to many other databases. Good luck to you, mrd, and to anyone else who is embarking on the research of your family tree. You'll find it can be a lot of work if you go into it indepth, but you'll find it to be one of the most rewarding projects you'll ever take on -- not to mention the legacy you'll leave your family. Good luck!
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    Kanai Nemeses's Avatar
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    Re: genealogical research

    Quote Originally Posted by myrosiedog;2742800;
    Thanks for the tips. Do the Mormons let you use the research library if you are not Mormon?
    Yes, the LDS (Mormon) Library is free to all to use. You can search it online, and they have branch libraries in many cities.

    Here's the link to the main search page for the LDS library.
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    Re: Genealogical Research

    Nemisis,
    I thought you had said once you had done this. Thanks for all the great information and especially the offer of help. I've already run into some conflicting information about one ancestor, so I know already that some sources are better than others.
    I know that I'm going to need census records as past a certain point, there are not birth certificates or marriage licenses available.
    I have to meet a certain criteria and have a set set of documents for joining the UDC and the DAR and they do accept census records. So that is probably where I may need the most help.

    I also being a history major and having a background in doing land title searches, I document everything and especially my sources. Have learned the hard way when I had to go back and search again for the information because I didn't document it.

    My biggest problem is organizing my notes. They tend to go everywhere.

    You've done an amazing amount of family research. Well done. I know its not always easy.
    I don't know how far back I'll end up going. My goal right now is to at least go back to the American Revolution and who knows how far I may eventually go.

    I am lucky that several family members have done some research already and I can use that as a basis at the moment. And I do know the family tree back several generations, but have reached a point where it kind of stops and I would like to explore that a bit more, because in doing my UDC research, I have run into a name that I know is a family name, but I can't find where he fits in the family. I think he was a brother of my great-great-grandfather, but I can't find any other information on the other siblings. But the name is highly unusual and was the father's name as well, so I'm reasonably sure he was at least a son that I haven't been able to find documentation on that. But the first name is Willoughby which has not ever been a real popular name then or now. And the last name is also the same, so I'm reasonably sure it was at least a son, possibly a cousin?

    But again, I thank you immensely for the offer of help and the information you passed along.
    It's been interesting so far and I'm sure it will continue to be.
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