style=Tips on how to successfully trace your family tree

I received a letter from Lilly Jones and she asked me to share her website with beginning genealogists.  I think it would be very helpful to a lot of people.

Some of the things I've discovered are:

Talk to your parents, siblings, grandparents, Aunts and Uncles.  Call or write them and ask questions.  Take a notebook and pen with you.  Write down names, birthdays, death dates, where they lived, what they did and get a picture of them if you can.  Get every detail of information that you can find.

You can download family tree software for free at the LDS site or Purchase family tree software.  Ancestry usually gives a free month or twos subscription with their software - that makes the software free in a way. 

Type your information into your new software.

Read books:

If you have a Kindle (reader), you can get e-books really cheap.  Amazon has a large selection of Genealogy books.

If you are researching the Civil War in Alabama, you might also want to look in TN.  AL entered the war to help TN protect Mills Creek & their border from the North.  The Alabama troops defended AL toward the end of the Civil War only. IE: "Early Settlers of Alabama" by Elizabeth Saunders Blair Stubbs (Written from diaries penned during the Civil War)

Reading Documents

Historical boundaries Maps of different eras and when states were broken up to create other states.

How to tell if a document has true or false information

Missing persons on a Census

1.  Draft registration cards have a ton of information including:

    a. Full name of your Ancestor

    b. Date of his birth

    c. His personal address

    d. His occupation: type of work and who he works for

    e. His wife's name if he is married.

    f. His Mother and/or Father's name if he is not married.

    g. A general description of his height, build, color of eyes & color of hair

    h. If he can read and write, he will have signed it.  If he can't, someone will write in his name and he will put an X.

    i. If he has any physical injuries, they will be listed.  IE my uncle lost his left leg, left arm and left eye during WW I.  When I was looking through some old pictures, I realized who he was because I had a description.  It also explained why he died so young.

2.  Census Records can reveal a lot about a family.  Each census has different information.

    a. Many times there is a person with a surname that is not the same as the Head of the house - most of the time that person is the brother, mother, father or sister of the Head's wife.  That gives you her maiden name.

    b. It was very common for neighbors to marry neighbors so check them out. 

    c. If it's a white family with a lot of black people in the household, they were probably wealthy and either owned a lot of slaves or if it was after the Civil War hired them to be house keepers, cooks and/or farm workers.  Many slaves stayed on as hired help if they had kind masters.

    d. Some census records have a person's birthday and not just their age.

    e. It tells where your ancestor was born and usually where his Mom and Dad were born also.

    f. It sometime gives the person's occupation and sometime where they work.

    g. It tells if they could read or write & what grade they finished in school. 

    h. It tells if someone was deaf, blind, could not talk (dumb) or has another physical disability.

    i. It sometimes tells if a person was mentally ill. 

    f. It tells if the person is married, single, divorced, widower or a widow.

    g. It tells the year and the place they were living during that census.  This tells there are clues in that section of the country that may be found with a visit to that town.  Make sure the court house has not burned down before you go.

    h. Don't get discouraged if you can't find a census with your ancestor on it.  Everyone did not make the census.  I know a lady that worked her whole life and is now in her 60s.  Somehow she got dropped through the cracks her whole life and has never filled out a census form until 2010.  She called the census bureau and had one sent to her so she would be counted. I you are not counted, you could end up a congressman short in the House of Representatives.

Marriage license

    a. full name of the bride and groom

    b. date of marriage

    c. where they were married (this does not mean it's where they lived)

    d. sometimes it gives their birth dates

    e. if it's in a church, that is usually a sign that at least one of them belongs to that Religion

Church Records

    a. when a person was baptized or christened

    b. Who their parents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers and friends were

    c. they may have a picture of the family on file

    d. Record of when the person was born

    e. Record of when the person died and where he/she is buried

    f. When the family moved and where they moved to

Genealogy Research Sites

Free Search
Rootsweb Home Page Genweb Project Rootsweb World Connect Project Rootsweb World Genweb Project Rootsweb Social Security Project Rootsweb US Census Project
LDS Genealogy search
part free/rest paid

Ancestry has a learning center that is very helpful and will give you excellent advice.    They have been a great help to me.

Rootsweb is a free research site.  I had a stroke in 1999 and started researching my family on line.  It's the only thing I could do for about a year until I recovered from the stroke.  Researching my family (I had a basic start from my Aunt Lula's Bible) actually helped me recover faster because I was using my brain and motor functions.  Rootsweb is were I started and where I hit the jackpot so to speak.  I found my cousin's website and it was full of information on my Mother's family.  Rootsweb has individual trees, census records, pictures of graves and much more.  Everything on the site is put up by volunteers.

The LDS church has the largest genealogy site in the world because it is part of their religion.  It is free and a very good place to search.  They also offer classes to learn how to do genealogy on line or in their research centers.

I found helpful suggestions for Irish research and it helped me figure out who my great grandfather was.  The McCrory family I descend from actually used part of this formula until the late 1940s or early 1950s. 

Tips from other researchers 

Your Irish Heritage genealogy tips March 8 2016

NYC Genealogy tips

Ancestry's new resource page

The link Personal Creations was recommended as a good link to put on my website by Leah Murphy of Good Morning Chicago.  Thank you Leah for bringing it to my attention.   Feb 2 2013

The link Military Genealogy was recommended by Julia Krammer (in charge of Programming at the Goodwin Community Center) as a good place to look for Genealogy from Military sources.  Thank you Julia for recommending it.  June 20 2013

Mrs. McDonald and her daughter recommend: Tree Removal  We wanted to share it with you as a thank you for your website and thought it would make a great addition. Thanks again!  Mrs. & Ms McDonald.  Thank you both for recommending this site.  Nov 5 2013

I will be adding more tips as I have time.  Please check back.

"Lord I Hope This Day Is Good"  by Don Williams