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Advice on Tracing your Family Tree

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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 6th February 2008, 15:52
Ryan3932 Ryan3932 is offline
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Add Cyndi's List, and RootsWeb.

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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 6th February 2008, 16:19
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ScotSites ScotSites is offline
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Originally Posted by Ryan3932 View Post
These are two sites that I have looked at, but so far never used. However, if anyone does decide to use them there is one piece of advice that is worth repeating: always double check what you get!
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Old 6th February 2008, 16:47
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Rootsweb isn't too bad
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Old 6th February 2008, 21:37
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ScotSites ScotSites is offline
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Anyway, with regard to genealogy software, Rootsweb lists the following:

Brother's Keeper
Family Tree Maker
Lifelines (Unix)
Personal Ancestral File (PAF)
Reunion (Macintosh)
The Master Genealogist (TMG)

More details can be found in RootsWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees!

Last edited by kathyv; 6th February 2008 at 22:14. Reason: removing quote from already demed unnecessary post. . . less confusion that way!
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 18th February 2008, 02:02
jafapete jafapete is offline
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Researching family history

Hi Folks,
I'm just a newbie to this list but have some experience of researching family history. (Some people distinguish the compilation of family trees - genealogy - from family history, which seeks a fuller picture of one's ancestry.)

All the advice so far is great.

Can I make a plea for the exercise of critical faculties in researching family? Every source should be treated as suspect. Even official records can be wrong, as the large number of corrections suggests. Family too. And especially the LDS records on Familysearch. Too many people just take the LDS data - usually the IGI (International Genealogical Index) - and put it somewhere like genesreunited, and then others lift it, and so on. I've found innumerable mistakes on genereunited, etc. So many, I don't usually bother notifying the owners anymore. In short, everything should be checked against another source, if possible, and sources should be noted.

For researching ancestors from 1855, when official registration of BDMs (births deaths, marriages) were introduced, to recent times, scotlandspeople can't be beat. Their indexing of women by the maiden names and married names seems inconsistent, but otherwise it's easy and relatively cheap to search for BDMs from 1855. Registration extracts cost 1 quid each, so the costs can mount, but it's fast and a lot cheaper than travelling around the world for someone in NZ like me.

I have through genesreunited found many distant relatives and have added many little bits to my family tree. It's worth joining for the first 6 months. But the tree-making program sucks (clumsy and tortuous) and the rampant capitalism grates. What an idea though - get zillions of genealogists to pay to put their own trees online so that they can connect with each other, and use this as an opportunity to on-sell. Clever!

Discussion forums on sites like genforum.com and rootsweb used to be very useful, but seem to be becoming less used. Maybe everybodies headed to ancestry.com, genesreunited and so on.

Then there's google and, especially for the family historians, google books. If you are lucky and your ancestors were middle class or higher in the social orders, then there's a treasure trove awaiting, and it gets better by the day. You'll be surprised what comes up. Books like, Robertson, G. A Genealogical Account of the Principal Families in Ayrshire, More Particularly in Cunninghame, 1823 can now be read on-line. Tips: Use inverted commas for complete names, e.g., "Hamish McHamish" and or family names with the place where they lived and see what you get.

Enjoy! Cheers Peter

Last edited by jafapete; 19th February 2008 at 18:55.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 17th October 2008, 19:19
Pirate Faery Pirate Faery is offline
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Family Ancestry

If I might interject a comment here: When I started working on Genealogy 18 years ago - I had someone tell me that I had to go backwards to go forward. The information available differes depending on which side of the pond you are on. The churches in most of Europe kept excelent records , however the churches on this side of the pond didn't keep such accurate records until probably in the early to mid 1800's - centralization of records didn't start in most states until the early 1920's - so there is a 200 year gap in some records.

The LDS center does indeed have millions up millions of records. I problem with trusting some of the data is that they have one of my great-great grandmothers listed as a child of her husband - and they have her 7 children listed as her brothers and sisters. She was 29 years younger than her husband.

ANotehr problem that I have with them is that they seem to want to "plug in" data : example there are 4 johns all born within 3 years of each other - so instead of puting all 4 johns in the proper family, they look at, say a 1850 sensus and find a child named John that belongs to Marvin - but the John that belongs to this Marvin was born in 1845 and is 5 - so they pick one and stick it in there -- when indeed they one that they just pludded in belongs to James in Adamsville - not Marvin in Smithville. If you get my drift here.

I have used them as a basis of possible information: I spend time going thrugh the cemeteries myself when I can and I send for printed documents when I can spare the extra funds -- Obit's: generally tell who the parents were, Siblings and if there are girls, they are usually listed with the last name of the Husband - Estate papers - Wills are the best source of info in most cases. Will's named the wife (if she is still alive) and normally the children. Any children left at home are usually listes as "Of the Home" the daughters are usually named with the last name of the husband may namet he son in law with the wofes name: Example Elizabeth, wife of Ducan MacRae - so now you have a married daughter and the name of the man that she married.

I don't know about the census records in Scotland but the Ceneus records in the U.S. really aren't of much use until 1860-

The other largest problem is teh naming of children: many names are not only repeated with the family : two cousins named Thomas or Elizabeth - but they continue to use the same names generation after generation:

Middle names: This is a good source for family connections ; many times a child (male or female) may carry the mothers maiden name or the maiden name of the mothers mother or the fathers mother - another good source to follow at times : Example: my Mary Daniel MacRae carried her daddies name Daniel as a middle name and an uncle Charles MacRae Gibson carried my grandmother maiden name of MacRae as his middle name. There are little tricks that you pick up the longer you "dig up bones" on paper.

If anyone would like to contact me and ask questions off line, I'd be more than glad to lend a helping hand if I can


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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 18th November 2008, 01:30
willhollady willhollady is offline
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COOL!! do not forget the dates problem

Yeh! PD I think I am here.

Don't forget the problem pf dates ie mom b. 1696 son b. 1656 - common sense??

Or how 'bout son b. 1555 m. (of parents) 1560 - aaaa I have my suspicions

Your friend form Texas.

Talk to U eMail
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