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View Full Version : OT: FAMILY TREES


bailsmom
06-05-2007, 02:15 AM
Hi all. I was wondering if anyone has any information on how to get a family tree, ancestry, or genealogy done. I'm not sure of the correct title I'm looking for basically its a family tree I think I'm looking for.

I know most of these things online cost money and I have no idea what's a good price and what's a rip off, so I was hoping someone on here would have a resource for me to start the ball rolling.

The reason I'm wanting to do this is that my Dad has always wanted one done and I thought maybe I could get one done and figure out his past relatives and maybe make it a christmas gift or something. Yes, I know I'd have to tell him some things in order to get the names of his relatives, but still I really want to do this.

Is there any way to do it without spending any money? I don't mind spending any money, but I do like to save money!!

TIA for any help you can offer.

RiverDaughter
06-05-2007, 02:29 AM
Actually, if you know where your family is from in the past few generations, you can look through libraries, birth records, and cemeteries for your family tree.

Check a local college library, you may be surprised. My grandmother found an entire book written about my grandfather's side of the family. Which is rather surprising, considering how small it is.

After you trace your roots as far back as they can go on the American side, maybe a genetic test will let you continue the search in another country, if you want to look that far back.

And, remember, you'll be amazed what you can discover just by googling a name.

Good luck, and I hope you find what you are looking for. :thumbsup:

VickyS456
06-05-2007, 04:58 AM
And, remember, you'll be amazed what you can discover just by googling a name.



I did this. I have a VERY uncommon maiden name. We're the only ones in the US. I googled and wound up making contact with my cousin in Naples and he was able to fill in a lot about our family and I filled him in on the past 100 or so years of our family in NY.

Ingrid
06-05-2007, 07:54 AM
My daughter found an amazing amount of things about our family at www.ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com) . I think it was free, too. She even found a copy of the papers my father filled out when he came to the country back in the '40's.

I'll double check the site when I get home to make sure that's the free one.

figaro
06-05-2007, 09:10 AM
I have always wanted to do this, I have contacted my family members but nothing yet. I did just google my maiden name though, and I got a beer, at least 2 musicians, and a tv host! (my dream is to be related to Beck's Beer!:clink:) And when I googled my married name, everything was in dutch (de Geus). Then I googled The Beck Family and received much better hits with that one.

marykz
06-05-2007, 09:10 AM
if you have names and addresses of any relatives (Aunts, cousins, second cousins even distant relatives) send letters asking for information! my Mom did a fabulous job researching our family tree. hundreds of letters and a little legwork in libraries/ records offices.... she got lots of old photographs, letters and records from various family members. it was fascinating. Then she scanned them all in and made a bound book with a family tree, pictures, letters, information, a little bit of relevant history of the time- it was neat.

Jan in CA
06-05-2007, 10:54 AM
DH and I have done a bunch of this. If you are close to one of the National Archives (http://www.archives.gov/) they are fun to search through although all those microfiche.. :zombie: many libraries and LDS churches also have info.

Although you should not limit yourself to internet searches because not all info is on the web yet you can get an amazing amount of info and it's a good place to start.

I found most of my info at these two sites;
http://searches.rootsweb.com/
http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/default.asp

These are also good place to learn and see what's out there.
http://www.cyndislist.com/
http://genealogy.about.com/library/lessons/blintro.htm
http://www.interment.net/Default.htm
http://www.genhomepage.com/

You can get a limited amount of info from the pay sites without paying, but my dad got a lot when he did fork over the money.
http://www.ancestry.com/
http://www.genealogy.com/index_n.html

To get started get as much of this as you can;

Full names, siblings, children, etc..
Birth dates and places
Death dates and places
Marriage and divorce dates and places
Anything you can think of..write down..

TALK to family members and write down everything they know or "think" they know..it may come in handy. Be aware that misspellings are common especially on those old handwritten census records, and names were often changed or misspelled during trips through Ellis Island or wherever.
-----

To give you some idea what can be found..

DH was looking for a connection to Mary Todd Lincoln. We went to the National Archives, libraries and LDS churches before the internet and found a lot of stuff, but we got stuck at one point. We had the name S.S. Todd in Santa Rosa, CA, but couldn't seem to get further. Because of the time frame DH started searching the internet for civil war info and all of a sudden he yelped..he came up with a possible name. Going from that I ended up finding a relationship to other names we had! We've now gone back to the Revolutionary War and found out our daughters are eligible for the DAR if the should be interested some day. Amazing! Oh! I should also mention that we made the Mary Todd Lincoln connection. ;)

I have gotten back to about 1800 when family came over from Luxembourg and I can't seem to get further, but it's been interesting.

This what you're looking for? :teehee:

bailsmom
06-05-2007, 10:55 AM
if you have names and addresses of any relatives (Aunts, cousins, second cousins even distant relatives) send letters asking for information! my Mom did a fabulous job researching our family tree. hundreds of letters and a little legwork in libraries/ records offices.... she got lots of old photographs, letters and records from various family members. it was fascinating. Then she scanned them all in and made a bound book with a family tree, pictures, letters, information, a little bit of relevant history of the time- it was neat.


What a great idea!! Thanks for that! I will definitely do the scrapbook thing. :cheering:

bailsmom
06-05-2007, 10:56 AM
Thanks everyone! I will definitely do the libraries and the such, anymore info would be so appreciated.

:muah::muah:

cftwo
06-05-2007, 10:57 AM
One of my other hobbies (when I have time)! Ancestry.com is one of the best sites out there and a good place to start. I ordered the Legacy software, which has the best reviews out there, and it is the best for collecting little bits of data from here and there. (It has the best reviews, too.) It also gives you a format to work in (as opposed to the gazillion little pieces of paper I used for years).

First, start with you and what you know. You'll know some dates and places. Ask your aunts and uncles, get names of their aunts and uncles - probably someone has done this already. Depending on where your family is from, you may find it very easy or you may find it very hard. For example - my paternal grandmother had information going back a few generations (mostly from family Bibles) and with that information, I found that her ancestors arrived in New England in the 1600s - and practically instantly I had generations and generations worth of information. Massachusetts and Connecticut have been well researched by others and there is tons of information. On the other hand, my maternal grandmother has some ancestors who arrived from Germany in 1870 - the part of Germany which has been devastated by a couple of world wars since then. The priest in one town also kept records in PENCIL (and those were pretty much illegible after 100 years). That was a dead end until/unless I can make it to Germany to hunt up old churches in small villages near Poland. So some of it is just plain old luck. But it can be addictive!

You can pay someone to do one for you, but it is expensive. Feel free to PM me with questions about places to look or good sources.

bailsmom
06-05-2007, 10:59 AM
Oh MY GOD Jan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :shock::shock::shock:

thank you thank you thank you!!!! That is so amazing that you were able to go that far back. I am getting so excited about all of this and I've only gotten as far as my grandparents full names!!! I still have to get their birth and death dates!! I'm so crazy.:rofling:

I'm just giddy!!

bailsmom
06-05-2007, 11:02 AM
One of my other hobbies (when I have time)! Ancestry.com is one of the best sites out there and a good place to start. I ordered the Legacy software, which has the best reviews out there, and it is the best for collecting little bits of data from here and there. (It has the best reviews, too.) It also gives you a format to work in (as opposed to the gazillion little pieces of paper I used for years).

First, start with you and what you know. You'll know some dates and places. Ask your aunts and uncles, get names of their aunts and uncles - probably someone has done this already. Depending on where your family is from, you may find it very easy or you may find it very hard. For example - my paternal grandmother had information going back a few generations (mostly from family Bibles) and with that information, I found that her ancestors arrived in New England in the 1600s - and practically instantly I had generations and generations worth of information. Massachusetts and Connecticut have been well researched by others and there is tons of information. On the other hand, my maternal grandmother has some ancestors who arrived from Germany in 1870 - the part of Germany which has been devastated by a couple of world wars since then. The priest in one town also kept records in PENCIL (and those were pretty much illegible after 100 years). That was a dead end until/unless I can make it to Germany to hunt up old churches in small villages near Poland. So some of it is just plain old luck. But it can be addictive!

You can pay someone to do one for you, but it is expensive. Feel free to PM me with questions about places to look or good sources.


Thank you!! I definitely will do that. :muah:

Jan in CA
06-05-2007, 11:19 AM
Oh MY GOD Jan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :shock::shock::shock:

thank you thank you thank you!!!! That is so amazing that you were able to go that far back. I am getting so excited about all of this and I've only gotten as far as my grandparents full names!!! I still have to get their birth and death dates!! I'm so crazy.:rofling:

I'm just giddy!!

:teehee: You're welcome! Open the Rootsweb site (world connect link there) and put in your parents names and dates. It will probably give you info that you can then check into. You are at the mercy of anyone who has ever put info on the web though along with all their typos. :roll: :teehee:

LibraryLady
06-05-2007, 12:24 PM
Don't forget to ask the librarians at your local library. They can clue you in on local information and people in your area who know stuff. Plus they are really good at researching! :thumbsup:

LL

VickyS456
06-05-2007, 02:42 PM
I still have to get their birth and death dates!! I'm so crazy.:rofling:

You can google the Social Security Death Index. That's VERY helpful for birth and death dates.

bailsmom
06-05-2007, 03:46 PM
Oh you guys/gals! My cup runneth over. :heart::heart: This may sound a bit odd, but just from typing in my dad's parents info my grandma's whole family was found! All the kids my great-grandparent's had their names and my great grandfather's name. I couldn't believe it. This is just so awesome to find out.

Just talking with my mom and her side I found out that her dad had a 1st wife then married my grandma. And from that first wife my mom said that her sister (my aunt) told her that they think they have a half sibling out there.

Is that not so cool??? I'm stoked. Not even sure what that means!! And I've only just begun. I wonder what's out there for me to find.......my Dad is going to be so happy.

Doodknitwit
06-05-2007, 04:42 PM
where do you live? In most states the birth and death records are available and are public records in NC they are in the register of deeds and are public records. :star: do you know the county of your dad's birth? you would start there with his birth record and work backward.. it is alot of fun and work... :think:
there are many online services but many are rip offs :psst:
hope this helps you!!!:yay:

Jan in CA
06-05-2007, 04:50 PM
It IS awesome isn't it?! Now make sure you document all the info and check the births and deaths dates listed against birth and death records. Also... I found some distant relatives doing this..they are usually the ones putting the info onto the websites. :cheering:

phisch
06-05-2007, 05:29 PM
We're fortunate because I have a cousin who is really into this subject. The web sites Jan in CA posted are the ones he used. We also have a distant relative in German who traced my paternal family line all the way back to 1200! Unfortunately, his chart and research is in German, so I don't really get most of it.

What was really fun was going to a branch of the National Archives. I got to make a copy of the manifest for the ship that my great grandfather, his brother and sister were on.

bailsmom
06-06-2007, 08:05 PM
You know, I was talking to my Dad last night and found out some very interesting things about his family. Unfortunately what he was told was extremely vague :(. But none the less it sounds like I'm going to have some heck of a time digging up the past.

Now I don't live in the state the I was born in or any of my family for that matter, is it going to be that much harder to get the info???

Jan in CA
06-06-2007, 08:12 PM
You shouldn't have much trouble getting info as long as it's in the US. You have to check a lot of sources sometimes to get info, too. That's why all the links. ;)

bailsmom
06-06-2007, 08:26 PM
You shouldn't have much trouble getting info as long as it's in the US. You have to check a lot of sources sometimes to get info, too. That's why all the links. ;)


Oh thank goodness!! I've got all those links saved to my favorites! I had to take today off due to my healing process from my surgery, I was in a bit of pain today. I keep overdoing things because I "feel" good at the moment and then I do 10 things I shouldn't. :rollseyes:

I'm such a dork.

Thanks again for the help. :hug:

misha rf
06-06-2007, 08:57 PM
Don't forget to ask the librarians at your local library. They can clue you in on local information and people in your area who know stuff. Plus they are really good at researching! :thumbsup:

LL

Absolutely. And you should check to see if your library subscribes to any genealogy databases. My library has HeritageQuest, which you can access from home with a password, and the library edition of Ancestry.com that you can use in the library.

It might also be worth it to contact your official state library. Often they're repositories for copies of wills, birth certificates, death certificates, etc. They may charge a fee, but it could be worth looking into.

Knitting_Guy
06-06-2007, 09:11 PM
To do it right takes a great deal of hands on research and going through old documents, old family bibles, and whatever public records still exist. We've managed to trace our family history back to Ireland as far back as the 1100s with some speculation beyond that (records earlier than that are almost impossible).

debinoz
06-06-2007, 11:07 PM
Stick with and don't get discouraged.

My dad, nor his sibs, even knew what their granfather's name was. There was no record of my grandfathers birth. As my dad told me that they were poor share croppers and didn't have time to run to the city. My dad's birth was recorded only because his great aunt happened to be going that way, and as she didn't like the name they had picked out, she changed it to what she wanted. He was 15 when his mom passed and he had to have his birth certificate to join the airforce. When they couldn't find him in the records, his aunt spoke up.

bailsmom
06-06-2007, 11:08 PM
Oh my goodness! I was talking to my Dad again and got some more info from him and in doing so it popped up a 5 generation list!! All I did was fix one name and boom there it was. For me it'd be 6 generations cause it was off of my great-grandpa. And the names that he gave me came up on some of them. So I know at least some of them are correct. I realize the info may not all be correct, but it's something to go of off.

I am so excited to do this, and it came up to tell us that our family is from Germany. Back in the 1700's. I called my Dad back and he was so glad because they never knew exactly where our family came from. I'm so glad I'm doing this for him.

I just had to gush!!!

bailsmom
06-06-2007, 11:09 PM
Stick with and don't get discouraged.

My dad, nor his sibs, even knew what their granfather's name was. There was no record of my grandfathers birth. As my dad told me that they were poor share croppers and didn't have time to run to the city. My dad's birth was recorded only because his great aunt happened to be going that way, and as she didn't like the name they had picked out, she changed it to what she wanted. He was 15 when his mom passed and he had to have his birth certificate to join the airforce. When they couldn't find him in the records, his aunt spoke up.



OMG! You're kidding me??? That's unbelieveable.

I will stick with it, thanks for the encouragement it means a lot. :hug::heart::hug::heart:

cftwo
06-07-2007, 11:18 AM
It sounds like you're having a lot of fun! Do you know what part of Germany your family is from?? You can also find information if you can get your hands on old obituaries. They'll often tell you more details and make your ancestors seem more real. But double check what you find there! One of my ancestors had a whole bunch of lies in her obituary (she was covering up some family skeletons), but it did give her place of birth, which helped track down what was true. You'll learn pretty quickly, too, whether family rumors tend to be true or not.

If you haven't bought Legacy software, I encourage you to do so before you get overwhelmed with details. It's a great way to keep your research organized!

madametj
06-07-2007, 03:38 PM
My daughter found an amazing amount of things about our family at www.ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com) . I think it was free, too. She even found a copy of the papers my father filled out when he came to the country back in the '40's.

I'll double check the site when I get home to make sure that's the free one.

Because you you and this thread I've spent the past hour researching and building my family tree.:teehee: Thanx:hug:

bailsmom
06-07-2007, 03:53 PM
Because you you and this thread I've spent the past hour researching and building my family tree.:teehee: Thanx:hug:


My pleasure!! It is so easy once you get the names everything just seems to fall into place.

I'll look into that Legacy Software this weekend.

mum2caden
06-07-2007, 03:55 PM
I started doing this earlier this year and I found out my family were all Acadiens (French Canadians.. expelled and a lot of them ended up in Louisiana) I found out I actually have a lot of family in the US and that our last name was changed by the Acadiens who moved to Louisiana to have an -aux, or -au on the end instead of the -aud that we use in New Brunswick.

Online I met a woman who lives not far from where I am now, and she is my 5th or 6th cousin! She helped me continue back through our Family tree (though she had already traced it back to the first family member that came to Canada) and now I too have traced it back to our arrival in Canada.

It is all really exciting to me, because in school we had to learn all about Acadiens, and I remember my teacher saying my name was Acadien then (actually in the very first group of Acadiens that came here) and I was just too young to be able to look into it, but it has always interested me.

I am going with my parents this summer to do a little "Acadien tour" lol, and we are going to try and learn more... and add on to the collection of family recipes. It was pretty exciting to learn too that a lot of our usual family meals are Acadien foods...

Anyway, I have written a novel, but as you have seen it is very exciting to learn about your history! :)

madametj
06-07-2007, 07:33 PM
those of you that have experience with ancestry.com, do you know how to add a half-sibling with out making them show up under both parents?

Jan in CA
06-07-2007, 07:39 PM
Did you pay for Ancestry.com? I thought you couldn't do much unless you did. :??

I never added anything, but maybe someday. I use rootsweb anyway for the most part.

bailsmom
06-07-2007, 08:05 PM
Did you pay for Ancestry.com? I thought you couldn't do much unless you did. :??

I never added anything, but maybe someday. I use rootsweb anyway for the most part.


Nope, it's free. I've added everyone I can think of from my family which is quite big and keeps growing.

Jan in CA
06-07-2007, 08:07 PM
:?? Huh. I need to take a look again I guess.

madametj
06-07-2007, 10:03 PM
:?? Huh. I need to take a look again I guess.

Its free to make a family tree, but you have to pay to search for extra family members, or ancestors that you don't know the names of.

Jan in CA
06-08-2007, 12:15 AM
Its free to make a family tree, but you have to pay to search for extra family members, or ancestors that you don't know the names of.

Ohhh... there you go! I was only thinking of the search feature since I didn't use it as a family tree. Thanks. :hug:

cftwo
06-08-2007, 10:22 AM
To add a half-sibling, you need to add the second spouse and put the child under the new pair. (Assuming this is a half-sibling through your dad, give him a second wife, and add the child as the child of the dad and second wife. The other sibling would be the child of the dad and the first wife.)

bailsmom
06-08-2007, 03:05 PM
Its free to make a family tree, but you have to pay to search for extra family members, or ancestors that you don't know the names of.


I don't know if this is right. Although I'm just starting this so I could be wrong too, but when I'm entering the info in the family tree it'll do a search everytime I put in new info and if it finds something it'll show a little leaf and you click on it and get the info. I don't pay for that.

Now if you're talking about something else entirely then please disregard this post! :thumbsup: Just wanted to clarify what I'm doing. :wink:

madametj
06-08-2007, 04:19 PM
Ohhh... there you go! I was only thinking of the search feature since I didn't use it as a family tree. Thanks. :hug:

no prob ;)

I don't know if this is right. Although I'm just starting this so I could be wrong too, but when I'm entering the info in the family tree it'll do a search everytime I put in new info and if it finds something it'll show a little leaf and you click on it and get the info. I don't pay for that.

Now if you're talking about something else entirely then please disregard this post! :thumbsup: Just wanted to clarify what I'm doing. :wink:

It will search for you and show the little leaf, but if you want to open the record that they found, you have to pay.

madametj
06-08-2007, 04:20 PM
To add a half-sibling, you need to add the second spouse and put the child under the new pair. (Assuming this is a half-sibling through your dad, give him a second wife, and add the child as the child of the dad and second wife. The other sibling would be the child of the dad and the first wife.)

Oh, I see. Well apparently Ancestry.com is living in a fantasy world, cus not only married ppl have children. :rollseyes: :shrug:

bailsmom
06-08-2007, 10:50 PM
no prob ;)



It will search for you and show the little leaf, but if you want to open the record that they found, you have to pay.


:??:?? Huh?? Please don't think I'm trying to be difficult, but when I click on the leaf and it shows the info I am able to click on it and get the full information. That's how I got the whole 5 generation thing.

I haven't given any credit card information either. I wonder why it's different for you than it is me??:??:??

bailsmom
06-08-2007, 10:55 PM
Just wanted to add one more thing: If you use these websites for the Family Trees or whatever you are doing make sure you have a hard copy of EVERYONE!!!!!

Earlier today I went to look at the info I put in and when I clicked to open it it said they couldn't find my tree! :shock: :shock: :shock: I nearly had a heart attack. So I shut my computer down and left to do a few errands came back and tried it and they showed up. :passedout:

Needless to say I immediately made a hardcopy of it all and saved it to my computers hard drive. I'll never do that again!!

Jan in CA
06-08-2007, 11:25 PM
Those of you using ancestry.com, did you sign up to use the trial version? :??

bailsmom
06-09-2007, 02:17 PM
Those of you using ancestry.com, did you sign up to use the trial version? :??


Okay, here's the scoop, apparently I did sign up for the trial version!! That's why if was free for me. :doh: I don't remember doing that, but I was under the influence of narcotics last week. :rofling: :rofling:

That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!! Sorry for any confusion I caused you. :oops:

Jan in CA
06-09-2007, 02:32 PM
:teehee:Ahhhh now it all makes sense.

madametj
06-10-2007, 08:25 PM
Okay, here's the scoop, apparently I did sign up for the trial version!! That's why if was free for me. :doh: I don't remember doing that, but I was under the influence of narcotics last week. :rofling: :rofling:

That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!! Sorry for any confusion I caused you. :oops:

haha, its ok, i'm using the trial version too :teehee:, but mine expires today. tomorrow my sis is gonna sign up of the trial version, and then my mom and them my dad... gotta love loop holes.:mrgreen:

madametj
06-10-2007, 09:03 PM
I'm still doing my tree. Right now i'm scaning and adding a bunch of family pictures. But as for the tree part itself, I don't think I've asked so many questions in my life! "So what is your middle name and date of birth?....yes I need the year too." I've been walking around with a pend andnotebook (the one that cds11:hug: sent me!):teehee:.


Needless to say I immediately made a hardcopy of it all and saved it to my computers hard drive. I'll never do that again!!

How did you save it? Can it be saved to a disk as well?