Suggestions for Starting Out -
Researching Your Family Tree With Nothing To Go On
started out with nothing on my maternal side of the family two years
ago and now I have been able to trace that side back to Schull, Co.
Cork. It just takes determination and some luck. Recently I received
an email from someone I'd never met--but we are related. She read a
message I posted on a Genealogy message board on the Web. Her Great-Grandmother
is the sister of my Great-great Grandmother.
Ask a Family
Member - Your Parents and/or Grandparents are a excellent
source for information about your ancestors. They can tell you
stories about your ancestors and of events that occurred before
you were born or when you were too young to remember. Nothing
beats that! If your Parents or Grandparents have passed away,
the next step will most likely find you a connection to a cousin
you never knew you had!
Message to a (Email) Mailing List and
Message Boards for the surname you are
researching. You'd be surprised just how many others are researching
the same tree! To start working your way back into history you
start with yourself. Then your parents and their parents. Just
a small bit of information such as names, places (city-county-state)
and any dates you have available may help connect you to a source
of information you never knew existed! You often have to wade
through a lot of messages but it's worth it in the end. I personally
have found three online connections to cousins I never knew I
had. And it's all connected through genealogy.
- To keep track of your research, buy computer software. There
are many available. I use Family Tree Maker by Broderbund.
They have a very good website that is chalked full of ideas and
direction. Some Genealogy software come with CDs that contain
family tree information, social security death records and other
information. Another good website to look at is "Ancestry.com".
Sometimes they offer information you'd normally have to pay for
FREE! Both sites offer millions of links to millions of people,
places and things. Enough to get you started at least!
despair - If you don't find any new information right away
or make that quick connection with a "cuz", don't give up! With
Genealogy, it's either feast or famine. Don't give up!
Software & Websites
Use Ancestry.com to search through censuses, vital records, birth certificates, and obituaries to trace your family history. See their Genealogy section.
Tree Maker-Family History at your Fingertips!
Search - Church of the LDS Family History/Search Site (I found
information on one of my lines here!)
List - Probably the largest Web site containing the most
Genealogical resources found on the Internet on the Web. There's enough
stuff here to keep you busy for the next one hundred years!
Message Board - By far the best Genealogy Message Board on the
Web. For assistance, go directly to the Web site. You can keep track of
hundreds of surnames you are researching, as well as ask the Webmaster
to add your surname if it isn't listed. The Webmaster is always accomodating!
- The Genealogical section of Local
Ireland, a Web site out of Ireland. If you're lucky to find out
what county your ancestors emmigrated from, this message board is organized
by county name. There is a general discussion group (located at the bottom
of the page), and an individual discussion group for each county listed.
Makes it very easy to follow!
Web - You can find just about every surname mailing list sponsored
on this Web site. Get ready for lots of email from your fellow researchers!
(Don't forget, email mailing lists are free!)
Genealogy History Facts
By Cindy Wood
people know that records were destroyed in Ireland but many do not know
to what extent. To give you an overview of that destruction:
- In 1922 a fire
broke out in the Public Registry Office in the Four Courts in Dublin
and destroyed wills, many church records (most Church of Ireland, none
Catholic), Marriage License Bonds and Grants.
- The survival of
the census is equally as dismal, since most of the census' were done
during World War I or later. Gone are the census from 1813, 1821, 1831,
1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891. This leaves us descendants at
a big disadvantage. This does not end your search and retrieval of information
though. Once you can determine where your ancestors emmigrated from,
you can work from that.