I'm no genealogy expert though I seem to learn more and more about it every day. But it's something I've heard others mention when I get all excited about my family history search, so I thought I'd share a couple of quick ways to start in case you decide to pursue the family history road at some time.
|I found the land where my great grandfather's farm was and where my grandfather was born.|
|All I started with were the dates on my family's tombstones|
Ironically, the best "hard data" I had, documentation from my dad's grandfather regarding his immigration, was about as far back as I've been able to go so far because of the Scandinavian connection and how names change from generation to generation. Granted, most of my time has been spent working on mom's family because that's where I have generations in the future that may appreciate what I dig up. Still, my dad's side is tougher.
Then I did it the hard way. I started googling. (This is helpful later; in the beginning, not so much!)
But I did land on a "hit" via one of the many genealogy sites -- in this case, "My Heritage." Someone had been doing work that included my family. Because that's the first I found, that's the one I signed up for. Free. (To actually contact people, you have to pay.) From there, I found the names of my great grandparents.
|A page from the City Directory told me where my mother and grandfather worked in a given year|
|This is the asylum where my great grandfather spent the last 13 years of his life. We never knew.|
There are also online tutorials that can help you get started. And once you get started -- well, it's hard to stop!
Sites like Ancestry and My Heritage also offer "hints" and some of these are right and some wrong. But you can check to see if you can go deeper by really assessing these hints. You have to be careful of pitfalls here -- many people would name a child after a deceased sibling (which might also have the name of a father or an uncle). One of my relatives had three children named John. Sometimes it's hard to pick the right one!
|Immigration record of my second great grandfather|
|Many families have history books written on their lineage and many of these are available online. They often reveal interesting stories|
|My great grandparents on my grandmother's side -- I never even knew her name -- but I still have my great grandfather's recipe book from his time as a confectioner.|
|At my great grandmother's grave -- I didn't even know her name before I began my search.|
Sharing this week with: Share Your Cup / Let's Keep in Touch