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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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The pay-for internet sites, including Ancestry.com, provide opportunities to chat with other folks studying the same lines that you are. Problem is, when compared with the 10s of millions of records available for your research there is not more than 5% of that total yet posted anywhere on the net, pay-for sites included, As suggested Go to LDS - FamilySearch.com - as it is the largest collection in this country. Next check out the 2nd largest, the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne IN } There too are millions of records nowhere else to bne found (except LDS). Next, be sure to check the National Archives {NARA.gov genealogy} and the archives of the States where your people lived, e.g., Google such as {Huntingdon county PA births}.or perhaps Google {Wyandot county OH cemeteries}

Genealogy, like politics, is LOCAL, and always is about the wheres. So, learn where an ancestor lived, view the censuses for that family at that where, check with the "where" library, and at your own library for the sources they have online or available otherwise, Contact the local genealogical/historical societies, learn what they have (there will be MUCH more there than at 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 may be. 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 anyplace other than at those "wheres".

Then search to your heart's content. Be sure to see if there is an historic "county history". and then look for such as churches, parishes, courts' orders, tax records etc., etc. You will do well if you research at those "wheres" and hold the pay-for sites till later.
My first stop was in my own back yard. Many of us live in a close proximity to our parents, so right there is a great resource. If they are now dead, there are the county offices for vital records, wills and probates, land records and civil actions. Now many counties are on the web, and displaying copies of birth, death, marriage and divorce records for earlier years. DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT!!!

I use GOOGLE all the time by typing in the county and state with genealogy (Buchanan county Missouri genealogy) and sooooo much comes up. Some are pay and some are free. You just have to look to see what suits you best for the info you need.

I have used my local library, which does have a genealogy area, but it is tended by the local genealogical society who aren’t very friendly. I know my library is the exception, so I do tell others to try their local library.

One of our all time favorite things to do is travel, so we tend to see places where I can do research. If I already have a lot of info on the family in an area, I find out addresses of homes and place of employments, and make sure I have the cemetery. When we go, we drive to all the addresses and take pictures, noting who lived at that address. Since some places are no longer there (as a home or employment) I still take the picture and label it. My grandfather always said he lived near Jesse James, and guess what, he did, two houses down from where Jesse was shot.

At cemeteries my husband takes not only the pictures of mine or his family, but of others in the area that have the same names, I.e. Adams or Brooks, even tho it isn’t a name I’m researching. When we get home I look to see if anyone is researching the names and let them know I have the pictures. It does pay off, as one young lady from New Zealand was so excited when she received pictures from Scotland of the family cemetery with four generations. She didn’t know where in Scotland her family had come from, and didn’t know about the family cemetery that is now un-kept on someone’s farm, which had originally been the family farm.

For pay sites I use Ancestry.com and World Vital Records. What is a pet peeve of mine for Ancestry.com is people putting up family trees with not one source. What a pain to have to look up everything and document it, without any idea where to look. Since I always check the sources before claming them to be right, it would help to have a hint as to where to look.

I love Salt Lake and we travel there about every two months to see family and so I can research.
I agree about Ancestry.com and not having sources, but it's a grain, and can usually be chased up to find proof or disproof, sometimes just having the information is good. One of mine bits from ancestry sat there for a couple of years until I found "reliable" sources, and bingo, now I have a LOT of info on that twig. Also in regards to sources may I say I take Death Certificates (here in Australia anyway) with a grain of Salt, because the information is not always correct, sometimes people only know nick names, or pet names, and as for parents names sometimes what they SOUND like, not how they're spelt. But, as with all infomation even wrong information is a starting point. Just don't believe until you can prove, and don't pass it on as proof until you've got the documentation to back it up.
If any of you have Norwegian ancestors, the Norwegian Digital Archives Web site is great, and it is free!

And I agree, ancestry.com is a great resource!
Do you have a website URL (address) for that, Beth? Thanks! :)

Gary
Yes, here's the link!

Norwegian Digital Archives
Thanks, Beth!
I also joined Ancestry.com because every time I went anywhere on the Internet to get information, it eventually led me to Ancestry and you had to be a member. I just pay the fee out of my bank account once a month, which has been easiest for me. It's been well worth the cost, and I'm building my tree there - up to 4,000+ people so far - but I don't necessarily like the fact that they have a monopoly on available information. That's my 2 cents! What I've done is to get people started and then leave it up to them to join Ancestry or not. I'm happy to do this for anyone so that I can feel like I'm really getting money's worth! Let me know if you would like help.
I am also a member of ancestry.com. I really like it alot. The familysearch.com has a great place on their pilot search to get Texas death certificates. If you have people in Shelby Co. TN, they also have a website to go online and get their death certificates if they died 1958 or before.
I joined ancestry.com because I wasn't really finding what I wanted on the feebees.I have found
it very usefull. I actually connected with some of my Moms family and went to a Family reunion last
year and met cousins and other family members that I never met. Its too bad it is a pay site but for me
it works for now.
I have much success using Ancestry.com, RootsWeb, Ellis Island web sites. I've even have found info by Googling first the surname...ex: JonesFamily+genealogy. I think I've had the best sucess finding people, is through Census Reports on Ancesty.com. Happy hunting.
John,
It depends on where you are and which families you wish to research.
Of coarse there are many books, but on the internet I go to:
Ancestry24.co.za (For South African genealogy)
Ancestry.Com
Cousin Connect:
Facebook
Footnote
GenCircles
Genealogy.com
GeneaNet:
Genebase
Genforum:
Geni:
http://forum.geneanet.org/
Rootsweb

I hope you find something usable

Hendrik

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