General Question

kimigen's avatar

What are the best internet resources for learning how to do your family's genealogy?

Asked by kimigen (70points) July 26th, 2008

I don’t know where to start, any suggestions?

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7 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Also (and

What do you know? How far back can you go. What are birthsites of grandparents and what is their ethnicity. For the Jewish genelaogist, for example, there are amazingly detailed sites.

I was lucky to have detailed autobiographies written by both my grandfathers (who emigrated from Jewish shtetls in Lithuania and Ukraine but they listed dates, names of towns and ships, names of port of entry into US.) That made it easy.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

Visit your local library. Mine offers for free to card holders or people using their computers (otherwise you can only see limited information).

I was amazed by how much information I was able to dig up on my heritage that way. If your library doesn’t offer such a service the librarian should be able to give you some helpful advice.

gailcalled's avatar

And if I am remembering correctly, will give you a free two-week trial period.

Seesul's avatar

Also, start putting posts on sites like rootsweb. Go under the family name and see what’s there. I had part of my mother’s family, back to about 1800, and made one query under her name, using the path I knew they had taken to get to the state they were in.
(Example: Eng>VA>SC>NC>TN>LA). I found one that matched, sent a query and within two emails, had the family history back to 1550 and the cousin sent me a detailed, hand-done chart from the UK, and a photocopy of the first time the last name was written on the books.

That was extremely lucky, to get that much information from one person so quickly, but it’s the bits and pieces that are so much fun. People on the sites mentioned are generally very generous and helpful.

Britain has one name societies for surnames, by the way, which is how I found out so much. One very dedicated man in London had done all of this work on my family name. Germans also have very detailed records as well. If your relatives came to the US through Ellis Island, there are online records there as well.

gailcalled's avatar

And the US census every ten years from 1880 on, that I have found at least. And the archives of old telephone directories in the libraries of the cities you might find to be relevant. I found my maternal great-grandfather’s grocery store address in Syracuse, NY in 1890 something.

It is great fun. I am doing it for my entire family since I am the oldest, have the oldest memories and am no longer working.

I love See’s story.

Be prepared, however, to stop life as you know it. You can become really addicted.

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