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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Start at home, with yourself, your parents, grandparents and other relatives. Go through old photo's, newspaper clippings, funeral cards, etc. There are forms online that you can download that will help you figure out what information you need, what questions to ask. Get as much detailed information as possible. You may find some insignificant little note to eventually be the key to breaking through a brick wall. Document all sources.

Then, go online, search google and bing, use rootsweb and US genweb and one of my favorites is both the original site and the research pilot. There are so many wonderful sites out there with unbelievable information, keep searching for more. is excellent but you must also send off for vital records when possible to prove your information is correct. Check with the county clerk's office in the county you are researching to see which records are available. Don't overlook libraries, many have genealogy departments with a treasure trove of information. The Newspaper Archives can be an invaluable source of information such as obituaries, marriage announcements, births, etc... Usually, you must visit the library in the area you are researching but some libraries will work with other libraries in your area to send microfilm records for you to search through.

Once you get to this point you probably need to start all over again at the beginning with a whole new set of questions. Remember to document every source!

Good Luck in your research and remember "Genealogy is not a hobby, it's an addiction!"
For your more recent ancestors, find their name in the Social Security Death Index. This will give you death dates. Take those dates to locate their obituaries in local newspaper collections. Build your name base off the obituaries, by again searching the new names in the SSDI. Visit the site of interment to get birth/death dates, possibly spouses information, and look in the general vicinity of others with the same names, or adjacent graves with different names are sometimes other relatives. You can search for the next generation(s) information in the US Census collections. Fortunately, my library has a link to Heritage Quest, or your local library will probably have a link to for the census collection as well. I am not a fan of Ancestry. When they first started, my husband and I contributed our family genealogy to the site...and now have no access to our own records w/o having a membership. I feel they have "stolen" our information from us. Many states have a free online database for death certificates, birth records, marriage records, land records and court records.
Hope this helps.
Social Security Index? You're lucky, I live in Australia, and we don't have such a thing. Good on you

I haven't read all of the responses, but I think it is important to start with yourself and work back, carefully documenting everything--especially the ties between generations.  Remember to learn what you can from your family.  If you are lucky enough to have relatives from an older generation still living, ask them what they know.  And take notes, maybe even record what they say.  It is easy to get so involved with the research and especially the internet that one forgets to talk to their own family about their history. 


After talking to relatives, check what you were told.  Take a seminar or webinar, or read about evidence in genealogy.  It may save you a lot of time in the future.  Like others, I use familysearch, county genwebs, findagrave, and many other websites.  I also pay for a subscription to Ancestry and to American Ancestors (New England genealogy).  The biggest mistake I made early on was not taking the time to record my sources and double check everything.  Another person's tree of your family gives you a direction to explore, but just because there is a tree doesn't mean it is accurate.  I independently check everything.  If I use a sourced tree it is easier because then I know where to look for the documentation. 


I started my research as a class assignment almost 30 years ago.  That was before computers and databases.  I used the library at the Family History Center and I talked to my living relatives. Family History Centers now have both computers and microfilm readers.  You can look at to see what is available, then order what you need on microfilm.  It isn't free, but the cost is minimal.  Good luck to you.

I recently bought the following book:  Genealogy ON LINE by Elizabeth Powell Crowe, copyright 2011.  I found the book at Barns and Noble however, a library or might well have it.  I'm glad I bought it because I can refer back to the various web sites listed throughout the book.


If you are near Indiana, the Allen County Public Library has the 2nd largest collection of Genealogy records, second only to Church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

I visited the LDS library in Utah 3 summers ago and not only is it fantastic for its resources but also the large number of volunteers who are eager to help you. is the best place to go as you can get actual copies of documents that are original. There is a fee for joining but it's well worth the money.

Although Ancestry has so many records, I have found the same info on and have also been able to prnt a copy of the original document without paying any fees for a membership.  I was also surprised when I put my great-grandfather's name into Google search, I found a photo history of the fire dept. he was on.  There was a slide show and I was able to save the pics I wanted so I can print them out.


I hope this helps someone.

Hi John,

I'm sure by now you've been given great advice. Like most, I've exhausted the free trials on most websites like before paying out a dime.


For UK records definitely include the free 14 day trial on I have found their search function is better than any other site I use and it appears the censuses and indexes were transcribed by Brits making it more accurate than some others, as far as name spellings and town names go.

They also have an easier way to save and view the originals and also have a lot of military and emigration records too, and of course the full original 1911 censuses.


For Ireland Censuses available this is a free site -


If you have families from Sussex england try which is a fantastic free resource.


When you've done with the basics of your family tree, I also know of who will create a memorable vacation for you and your loved ones back to your ancestral homelands.


I hope these additions help in your research!

All the best,


If you are looking for ancestors in Denmark or Norway you simply have to be near the archives in Copenhagen or Oslo. Especially when you need information that can`t be obtained on the Internet. I offer any help regarding the search. 

Hi can you get reords of births and deaths and also electoral registers for denmark I am trying to trace my father and his family.I have some imformation on my page. Johanna dawn Bolland re Jacobsen. Thanks Jo.

Hi Johanna,

I'm sorry I don't have answers for you, but I don't have a bit of advice.   This is a pretty old thread, and a general thread.  People may not be checking it who have answers.  You might want to try the groups.  Do a search for Danish--there are several Danish groups.  Post your questions for those groups, you may have more luck getting a good answer to your question.  Good Luck!!!



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