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Old 06-05-2007, 02:15 AM   #1
bailsmom
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OT: FAMILY TREES
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.
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:29 AM   #2
RiverDaughter
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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.
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Old 06-05-2007, 04:58 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:54 AM   #4
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My daughter found an amazing amount of things about our family at 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.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:10 AM   #5
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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!) 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.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:10 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:54 AM   #7
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DH and I have done a bunch of this. If you are close to one of the National Archives they are fun to search through although all those microfiche.. 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?
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by marykz View Post
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.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:56 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone! I will definitely do the libraries and the such, anymore info would be so appreciated.

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Old 06-05-2007, 10:57 AM   #10
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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.
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