9 Top FREE Genealogical Websites – Day 9

  1. Find a Grave  http://www.findagrave.com/

R   S   FREE

Dig up ancestral burial information from millions of tombstone images here. Search by an individual or cemetery name. Users are encouraged to upload additional tombstone photos and submit biographical information for memorial pages. You can even create virtual cemeteries to connect loved ones buried in different places.  I was able to find my paternal grandmother using this site. I also found the headstone of a civil war soldier. We were blessed that the Company and Regiment were marked on the grave.

Code services offered: H 
=how-tos, R =records; S =share your data and T =tools.

This is the last  day of the review of my top 9 genealogical websites.e Thanks for hanging in there with me and reading all the posts.   Please continue to share what you are learning from the reviews of the websites. Or maybe you have a website that you think SHOULD have made the list. Feel free to leave a comment.

Happy Hunting!

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby

Nichelle ~

9 Top FREE Genealogical Websites – Day 8

  1. FamilySearch.org  http://www.familysearch.org/

H   R   S   FREE

This is one of the best free online resources available. Search millions of digitized and indexed records from around the world. Some results point to offsite sources for digitized records. Don’t ignore the Learn tab; it’s packed with keyword-searchable articles and online courses. The Catalog tab takes you to the most extensive genealogy library catalog in the world. Microfilmed holdings can be rented for use at a FamilySearch Center near you (see the FamilySearch Centers tab). Share your family tree at the bottom of the home page; learn how you can contribute to online records access under the Indexing tab.

Code services offered: H 
=how-tos, R =records; S =share your data and T =tools.

This is day 8.  Including today’s post, we have 2 resources to go. I would love to hear what you are learning from the reviews of the websites. Or maybe you have a website that you think SHOULD have made the list. Feel free to leave a comment.

Happy Hunting!

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby

Nichelle ~

9 Top FREE Genealogical Websites – Day 7

  1. Cyndi’s Listhttp://www.cyndislist.com/

T   FREE

Consider Cyndi Howells’ site your table of contents for online genealogy. You’ll find lists of sites dedicated to researching particular places, types of records, ethnic and religious groups, and more. Check out the Beginner’s category for guides and tips just for newbies.

Code services offered: H 
=how-tos, R =records; S =share your data and T =tools.

cyndis

This is day 7.  Cyndi’s List is an amazing resource that is constantly growing and being update. Review the site and see what resources can benefit from. Continue to build your toolkit. There’s an old saying, “If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Meaning that if you only have one tool, that’s the only one you can use. You can’t hammer everything, somethings need screwdrivers, etc. There’s a tool for every problem.  Feel free to share your insights on any and all of the websites. It will help me and others to learn about aspects we might not been aware of.

Happy Hunting!

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby

Nichelle ~

9 Top FREE Genealogical Websites – Day 4

  1. Vital Rec  http://www.vitalrec.com/

R H Free

The most comprehensive resource for locating vital records. This site will show you to how to obtain vital records (such as birth certificatesdeath recordsmarriage licensesdivorce decrees, naturalization, adoption and land records) from each stateterritory and county of the United States. See the guidelines for information on how to order vital records. If you are looking for vital records from a foreign county, see links to international vital records web sites.

Access contact information for each state’s vital records office to request Vital Records (birth, death) from across the United States.

Code services offered: H 
=how-tos, R =records; S =share your data and T =tools.

vitalrec

This is day 4.  I hope you are enjoying the resources. Vitalrec happens to be one of my favorite websites. It makes it very easy to find out costs and contact info when you are researching in different states. Feel free to share your insights any and all of the websites. It will help me and others to about aspects we might not been aware of.

Happy Hunting!

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby

Nichelle ~

2014 National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

The 2014 National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair begins TODAY! http://www.archives.gov/calendar/genealogy-fair/

Take time to check out this wonderful resource. Do you wish you could attend a great genealogy fair, but you lack the time and money. Well here’s your chance. This fair is as close as your nearest wifi connection.

Visit  the National Archives for the 2014 Virtual Genealogy Fair on October 28, 29, & 30, starting daily at 10 a.m. eastern time. This will be a live broadcast via the Internet so you can ask our genealogy experts questions at the end of their talks. The entire event is free and open to all, so there is no registration.

There will also be content of specific interest to individuals searching for African-American ancestors. For more info on one of these presentations go to http://blogs.archives.gov/blackhistoryblog/2014/10/28/2014-genealogy-fair/

poster-m

I’m excited! I can’t wait to see what great information I’ll be able to glean.

Happy Hunting Everyone!

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grand-baby

Nichelle ~

Free Memorial Day Records Available

There are quite a few websites that are making some of their military records available for free this weekend. Today I took a sometime to review the records at http://pages.myheritage.com/memorialday/  .

I attempted to find records for a few of my ancestors. When performing a search of an online collection, it helps to keep the search broad and then narrow it to find valuable information. The is also a good time to introduce the concept of a research log or notebook. By documenting what collections you have searched and for what individuals you can avoid duplicating your work months or years later. It can also help to illuminate areas you might have overlooked or want to review more closely.

For example according to your current research you believe that your ancestor’s name is James L. Curtis, date of birth (dob) Kentucky, 1927. If you limit your search to those parameters, the search results might miss the person you are searching altogether for  or return no results at all. Utilize the option of using a range of years (if available) , ie.  + or – 5 years, within the search function. It normally is better to omit middle names or initials. Middle names or initials, may or may not be mentioned in the record.

Every collection you search will not necessarily contain information on one of your ancestors. It’s good to remember that records are not always accurate, nor do they all contain the same information. The information is only as accurate as the person who provided the information.  The person could be wrong, misinformed or trying mislead the person or organization collecting the information.  That’s why it’s important to use more than one source to verify information. I often say that, “genealogical research is often about finding a preponderance of evidence, rather than a direct smoking gun with fingerprints and gunpowder residue.” (I watch a lot of crime shows. LOL)  Just because a piece of information conflicts with what you’ve previously learned, doesn’t mean it’s false. It might be good idea to file it under “further research needed”.

Shortened Transcript of Record that I was able to find on one of my ancestors.

TC
Birth: 1921

Residence:
Enlistment: Apr 9 1943

Serial #: xxxxxxxx
Grade alpha: Pvt
Grade code: Private
Branch alpha: No
Branch code: No Branch Assignment
Term of enlistment: Enlistment For The Duration of The War or Other Emergency, Plus Six Months, Subject To The Discretion of The President or Otherwise According To Law
Army component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Race and citizenship: Negro, Citizen
Education: 2 Years of High School
Civil Occupation: Semiskilled Chauffeurs and Drivers, Bus, Taxi, Truck, and Tractor
Marital status: Married
Source: Civil Life
Box #: 0900
Reel #: 3.322

I was told previously that he served in the military, however I didn’t know what branch or when he enlisted. This gave me quite a bit of additional information. Excited!!!  His birth certificate states he was born in Louisiana. However I know he lived in Texas for part of his childhood. The name, birthdate, residence and enlistment information all match. This tidbit will encourage me to request his full military records from The National Personnel Records Center. Previously, I’ve requested and received my father’s and my maternal grandfather military records.

Happy Hunting! I hope this blog has inspired you to do some research or perhaps preserve some stories from a veteran in your family.

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grand-baby

Nichelle ~

 

The Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step . . . How to begin your research.

Today I want to talk about how to start your genealogical research.  I’ve been researching for many years and people always ask me, “How do I start?”  The beginning of your research is such an exciting time. You have everything to learn and no bad research habits to break.

A few things you need to have.

An Ancestral Chart.   Follow this link for a chart.   http://www.archives.gov/research/genealogy/charts-forms/

Either Pen & Paper or a Computer/Laptop.

Willingness to be organized.

When beginning your genealogical research begin with yourself and work backwards, towards your parents, grandparents, etc. Resist the urge to start with Great Grandma Rhodes who your family has always spoken about. Researchers have wasted years going down the wrong path, because they didn’t start with themselves work their way back and then confirm or deny word of mouth information from family members.

Write down everything you know about yourself. Your full name (legal and nickname), when & where you were born, parents names (adopted, foster, etc), where you grew up, siblings (half, step, full).  After you have written down everything you know, attempt to confirm the information with documentation. Frequently individuals have assumed something ie, I was born in KY, only to get the birth certificate and realize you were born in OH.  This could have happened because all the other siblings were born there and you just assumed you were too. Never assume! Be open to the facts. Also be open to not being able to confirm every fact. I will talk frequently about a “Preponderance of evidence”.

Sidenote – when documenting the names of women, write down their BIRTH NAMES (maiden). It becomes very difficult to trace women when their last names at birth are unknown or shrouded in the mystery of their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd husband.  A fellow researcher, Charles Kenneth Barker, remarked how hard it was to trace his female ancestors. I let him know that it wasn’t an accident that women are hard to trace. Society pressures women to give up their names and there by their connection to their birth families and their connection to history.(Stepping down from my soap box.)

After writing down everything you know about yourself, write down your parents’ names full name (legal and nickname), place of birth, date of birth, place of death and date of death if applicable.

Next, write down all of that same pertinent information for your grandparents, great grandparents, etc as many generations as you can.

At this point you have a lot of information written down. This is a good time to decide what kind of organizational method you will use, folders, binders, computer files, etc. Most people will use several of these tools. You can conduct research without a computer.  However if you enjoy computers using a database program can help you organize your research. There are several great programs out there.

Nichelle

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby

Image

Welcome to my blog.

For several years friends and family members have encouraged me to write about my family and my genealogical searches.  Well here I am! I am excited about this new page in the story that is my life.

I first began researching when I was given an assignment in middle school, St. Andrews’ the Apostle Elementary School (K – 8), to research my family tree.  The assignment is one that many school kids are given. For me it started me on my journey of researching my family tree or genealogy.  I immediately dove head first into the assignment. I quickly wrote down my parents’ names and my maternal parents’ names.  I could even go back about 3 generations on my Mom’s paternal side.

This was the first time that I understood the term “family” had 2 sides, Maternal and Paternal.  Prior that my relatives were all lumped together.  I had a large extended family that was primarily of my Mother’s family.

This assignment started my love affair with genealogy.  This blog will discuss family history, ancestors, and descendants and how we stay connected across the generations.  Family stems from blood, marriage, adoption and often times the bonding of friends.  The Ties That Bind Us are of Love.  I hope you enjoy my blog. I hope that this will encourage you to connect with you family both past and present.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

Nichelle

“Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby“