Genealogy Tips

November 4, 2006 at 10:13 pm (Uncategorized)

Sonia, over at and the pursuit of happiness asked me to post some genealogy tips, so I am. For those of you interested in researching your family tree, please hang around. For those of you who find it BORING, talk amongst yourselves for awhile.

I have a long standing subscription to Ancestry.com and I’m basically addicted to this site. They have different subscription packages you can sign up for and they have great information. I currently have a subscription to the United States census, which includes the years 1790-1930. I also have a subscription for Veterans of the Wars in the U.S. So if I wanted to find someone that was in the Civil War I could find them. They have other records as well and I’m sure I haven’t even scratched the surface with this site.

USGenWeb.com is another great site. This site is organized by State and then each individual county within that State. Volunteers host each county site for that particular State, so the information on each county page varies. The sites help you find information regarding birth, death and marriage records that you can obtain from the county. They also might have cemetery information, maps of the county, etc. There are also people out there who find information on their family members and contribute that information to the county site in which their ancestor lived. This is good because if I visit this site and another person and I have the same ancestor, one of us has maybe contributed this information and we can find each other and continue the research process together.

Please know that for any research you want to do regarding your family tree, you WILL spend money, it’s not free. If you’re really deep into the research and are researching quite a few branches on your tree, it’s not too expensive, but you can spend more than $50 on this hobby. If you just want to find one person, get a death certificate, find out if he was divorced and had any court documents at the local courthouse, then it will be considerably less money.

I am researching a few branches on my mother’s side and to date I have definitely spent about $1,000. I also had a lady in North Carolina researching in the North Carolina Archives for me and she expects to be paid for this service. So the resources are out there, you will spend some money but the end results are well worth it. I would not take back any of this money considering the information that I’ve found about my family. It’s part of the research process!

These are my tips for the day and I will post more at a later time. I hope you enjoyed!

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8 Comments

  1. Anonymous said,

    Thats some good info. There is a lot of free info out there too. A lot of libraries have free access to census info, but it isn’t often as convienent as the web tools. The upside to the libraries is they have a TON of information that you may not find on the web. (It takes time to key all that information in) The information found in libraries can often me more accurate because you can look at the mirofilm/microfish of the actual census documents. Sometimes the CD-Rom/Web materials have typos. One last thing about looking at the Microfilm is you often get to see an example of the handwriting of the person you are researching, which can be a neat connection.

  2. Sunshine said,

    Great tips. I got the Family Tree Maker a VERY long time ago when I was able to work on my stuff more and did end up contacted by a sixth cousin, our great-great grandparents were siblings. So that was cool.
    What is your suggestion for very old records? I am back to the 1600’s in a couple of lines.
    Thanks, for your help. I’ll link you up on the blogroll, so other people can get tips too! You’re a doll.

  3. Doctor Mom said,

    Teri– since I’m not overly thrilled about my own biological family, may I just live vicariously though your journey?

  4. Teri said,

    Sushiboy – I will incorporate your comments into another tips post. I totally agree about the libraries, etc. they are chuck full of good resources, especially now that alot more people are researching their family lines.

    Dr. Mom – absolutely, come along for the ride and you can hop off when the family gets too crazy. Although, honestly, my family on boths side are pretty low key considering what’s out there today.

  5. Anonymous said,

    Thanks Teri! I am interested in this. I was lucky that I asked my grandma about our family tree before she died, so that should be helpful at least.

    Once I start doing something about this I’ll be sure to pick your brain!!

  6. Lori said,

    Teri,

    Silly question, but you probably know the answer and can explain it clearly to me.

    How does one determine the whole “once removed/twice removed” when talking about cousins? I never quite understood that.

    Thanks!

  7. Teri said,

    Lori,

    My first cousin’s (Terry) daughter (Jamie), would be my cousin once removed and so on. I think if Jamie has a daughter/son, they would be my cousin twice removed.

    does that make sense?

  8. Cayman said,

    Great info! I have always been interested in doing this but I thought it would be a pain. Thanks!

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