Genealogy Wise

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I have always wanted to know where everyone goes to get all their info and what system works the best....please help!

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I for one am a member of which has alot of resources and, are both free and offer lots of information as well and have recently joined that is free as well and helps with locating where your ancestors may be berried. just some ideas hope they help...Danielle
I started my research many years ago at the genealogy room at the local library. Also made it up to the repository in East Point, GA once. Lots of stuff on microfilm and quite a few books. I found a great deal of info at, however you have to pay for that site generally. I bought a copy of Family Tree Maker on sale and it came with a free year of Ancestry. I gathered and saved as much info as possible during that year. The particular version of FTM was 2005, so I suppose all of those would have the free year. I have picked up information on sites such as Rootsweb and US Genweb. Genweb is broken down into counties. Some counties have more info than others, but always worth the look. Things can also turn up through a Google search. Often folks will have their info posted online and you can tap into what they have found. It can take a little detective work, but you can find pieces of a puzzle in many different places. Oh, you can also get 2 weeks free at Ancestry and if you work diligentlyyou can gather a lot. You may be able to connect with someone researching the same family and exchange information with them. I've found several cousins, some through that site and some through others.

Also what Danielle said!
In my last comment a couple of hour ago, I surely did NOT MEAN that you should "pay for" anything.. Exactly the opposite is how it really is; you should pay for NOTHING until you have exhausted the free sites (and there are tens of thousands of those), Be sure to utilize first. They have more records than ANY other source in this country.

The pay-for sites advertise 1000 zillion or more names, yet tell you nothing about what records you should visit that ARE NOT nor ever will be in their database. Then too, be sure to follow Sherri's advice and exhaust Rootsweb and Genweb !!!

Perhaps worst of all; if you were to search the entire internet (impossible) and carefully note everything you find you will end up missing a giant percentage of what is out there for you. Moreover, and critically, you will end up not knowing what was NOT THERE Paul
Hi Sherri. I am searching Thornton surname too. I would like to connect to see if our line is similar. We go back to SC and NC and Va. Also have y-DNA testing to validate. Hope to hear from you

Genealogy, like politics, is LOCAL, and is about where, at least st the beginning of your searches for any particular ancestral family. Learn from whoever where an ancestor lived, then view the censuses and periodicals, check with you own library for what sources are on-line, and contact the local genealogical/historical societies, learn what they have (theree will be MUCH more there than any pay-site has. Use Google to search out the families and counties where they lived and then - and last - pay for information, incomplete as it is. The net is a tool, is not research, and by using Google you will gain access to millions of records, very few of which are on the net YET,

Take any county in which any of your ancestors lived, As a simple example, Google {that ancestor county and include such as death records or whatever you want. Try it out, Google (Clay county KY marriage records free). Exhaust those sites and records, then do such as the county and churches or maybe the county and maps. You will do well .
It all depends on where your family is from etc. I tire and gather up my information before I make a trip to do any research. Since I dont take my laptop with me. I always take a notebook with all my information written in it or even loose leaf paper works good too. As I find the information then I cross it off and move on to the next thing to work on.

I usually make a trip down to the state archives in Charleston, WV at least two or three times a week. I only live like 15 minutes from it. Plus check out your local historical or genealogy societies they usually have some good information too. Plus check out your local library sometimes they will have genealogy section that will have variety of information.

When I go down there I always have list of things to lookup etc on family. This will consist of names, birth/death dates and locations. That way I can lookup them both up if possible. Then I will go and look up obt's out of the paper. Yu will find a good bit of information in them to help out with your research.

hope this helps yu out..

I use Genesreunited, have been a member since 2003, now have contacts from all over the world
Definitely, hands down, no question about it, THE best place to go to research genealogy is the Family History Library in Salt Lake City! nearly 400,000 books, 2.4 million rolls of microfilm from 110 countries and more continually being filmed. Talk about your one-stop shopping! Court house records from all over the country, parish registers from all over the world!
And if you can't make a trip to SLC, you can rent the microfilm at any Family History Center near you.
I would suggest reading some basic books on family history research, Emily Croom's book Unpuzzling your Past is excellent for the novice and the seasoned researcher.

I went to the Texas Archives early on in my research and had no idea what to do or what to look for. If you go to your state archive do your research first and have a plan.

Houston, Texas has the Clayton Genealogy Library which is superior for research.

I have been to LDS library in Utah and gained tons of information. A plan is needed and knowledge of what they have.

The internet has been helpful for networking with people who share ones passion for family research and quite convenient.

Your local county court house where you ancestors originated or migrated to is an excellent place as well , but know what they have before you venture.

I use Family Tree Maker (the old version) to manage my records.
There are lots of places to go on the web.

1. to me is worth every penny for the following reasons. Real copies of all census records and they have them indexed. You just type in name, location etc and it gives you clues.... They also have the military registration cards for WWI and WWII. Many family members have done trees. As you are aware with any information you get from any one, double check the information with sources etc but I use these as guidelines. I feel that Ancestry for research is tops

2. Find a Grave. A marvelous up and coming site. I think this is the most underrated website for genealogy on the web. When more people find out about Find A Grave and what it has to offer it will be a gold mine for researchers. Basically for those that don't know what it is. All the cemeteries known are listed with the help of volunteers, researchers, genealogical societies etc. They are broken down by Name, state and county. So say. my cousin is looking for the grave of my little boy Jeffrey Merrow Sorley, she can just type his name and it shows he is in Castle Pines Cemetery in Castle Rock, Colorado. It has a place for the person that set up the memorial to add photos, obituaries, etc. You can also leave flowers and a note for Jeffrey if you please. If you know your relative is in the cemetery, make a memorial. If you don't have the photo, send out a request and someone in the area will take a photo and post it. So exciting as you wait. All of my requests have been filled. Don't be discouraged if you can't find your relative right now. Volunteers are photographing cemeteries daily. My 21 year old got addicted when i sent him to photograph a request someone had made from Europe to get a photo of the grave of a relative that was only a few miles from us.

3. Social Security Death Index. This is a great tool. I had a great aunts birthday and her name Hattie Smith. I never knew her married name but did know she lived in Indiana. I went to Social Security death index, put in Hattie for a first name and her birth date and up comes a Hattie who died in Indiana with her married name. I was able to look up the last name in the town and call those with the last name and found cousins I never knew I had.

4. Genwebs for each state can be a gold mine or a bust. I have found it is worth the time to at least take a look at the site. It is worth the look.

5. Rootsweb, a subsidiary of Ancestry I don't use as much. However I have friends that swear by it and love it. The few time I used it, many of my ancestors names, dates etc were wrong so I just gave up. I need to go back and spend more time of it.

6. Since I could be at the genealogy library in Salt Lake in twenty minutes I should use it more. I don't. The last six or seven times I have been have been worthless and I wasted six dollars parking. I can get most what I want looking online now days.

Tons of sources but my tops are Ancestry and Find A Grave and Social Security Index
Thank you all for your reply's... Please forward this to your friends so that I can get all this info together and let everyone know the best place to get info! Thanks...
There is no one answer for everyone.

Joining a Genealogy Society where you live or where you research is a good start.

Libraries, Archives, Courts, news papers, older ancestors can provide clues.

Find out where vital records are, deeds, wills and more.

Searching for records may lead you around to the various places as you search and find new records, the records may send you back to previous locations to find more information.



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