Genealogy 101 FREE FAMILY TREE MAKER What I would suggest is to download the free version of RootsMagic Family Tree. You can just cut and paste the link below if you can't get it to click connect. link: http://download.cnet.com/RootsMagic-Essentials/3000-2127_4-10203518.html To begin, your object is to find the information to fill out a four generation pedigree chart; from you to all your great grandparents. Start your search at home, with a copy of your own birth certificate.
Look it over. It should give the date and place of your birth and name your parents; mine also names all four grandparents. Your parents should have copies of their birth certificates and their marriage license or certificate (the license says that they may marry and the certificate says that they did). Plan to acquire, eventually, copies of birth, death, and marriage records for your ancestors as far back as these records exist, which depends on where they lived. Birth, marriage, and death certificates are usually available in the Vital Records department of the county courthouse where the event took place, possibly a central state office as well. If you are not familiar with death certificates, they are useful because they name the parents of the deceased and any surviving spouse; a certificate for a great grandparent who died about 1910 should give you information about the great great grandparents who might have been born about 1820.
SEARCHING for FAMILY HISTORY Whether your ancestors came from Argentina, Scotland, the Czech Republic, or Montana, you can access a wealth of genealogical records online at link: FamilySearch, the genealogy arm of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Their best resource, in my opinion, is the wealth of indexes and historical document images available through their free link;Historical Records Collection, which includes more than 5.3 billion searchable names in 2,000+ collections from countries all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, Germany, France, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, Hungary, the Philippines and many more. https://familysearch.org/ NAVIGATE TO THE RECORDS Begin your search for information on FamilySearch Historical Records by selecting the Search option on the main page. From the main Search page, choose one of the following:
Use the search box under Search Historical Records (which searches for names across all published AND indexed collections)
Select a country under Research by Location to view record groups available for that region
Select Browse All Published Collections for a browsable list. Once there you can select Last Updated to toggle the most recently added collections to the top of the list. An easy way to keep up with what's new!
TOP SEARCH STRATEGIES FOR 'FAMILYSEARCH' HISTORICAL RECORDS
There are SO many records online at FamilySearch now that a general search often turns up hundreds if not thousands of irrelevant results. Sometimes this leads people to claim that FamilySearch has nothing on their family. Do keep in mind as you search, however, that these are historical records.
While FamilySearch does have some records with information on living or recently deceased individuals, this is not true of the majority of their collections.
1. Check the Exact Search Boxes – When you're getting a lot of irrelevant results, try checking the exact search boxes next to the names and other information you're fairly confident of.
2. Try Using Wildcards – FamilySearch recognizes both the * wildcard (replaces one or more characters) and the ? wildcard (replaces a single character). Wildcards can be placed anywhere within a field (even at the beginning or end of a name), and wildcard searches work both with and without exact search.
3. Narrow by Date or Event – Select a life event (birth, marriage, residence, death or any) to narrow your search by a particular date and event (e.g. someone born in Oklahoma about 1908). Residence search is the one I use most as many records do not include the place of birth or death, so using those fields may eliminate possible records from your search.
4. Narrow by Relationship – Select Spouse, Parents, or Other Person to narrow your search by entering either the name of a parent, spouse or possible sibling/associate. This search technique is especially useful for locating siblings - just enter the surnames of both the mother and the father in the parents fields and leave everything else blank, including the name of the primary individual. If the two surnames are common you may need to also add one or both first names, or narrow by location. You can also use this technique when searching a particular record collection (see below).
5. Search by Collection – A general search almost never works well for me unless I'm searching for someone with a very unusual name. For best results, I almost always start a new search at FamilySearch by browsing by location down to a particular record collection (e.g. North Carolina Deaths, 1906-1930). You can also use the "Narrow by Relationship" technique discussed above within each collection (e.g. use parent surnames only to find married female children in the N.C. Deaths collection).
6. Show Preview – Once your search has returned a list of results, click on the little upside-down triangle to the right of each search result to open a more detailed preview. This reduces the time than clicking back and forth between the results list and the result pages.
7. Filter Your Results - If you're searching across multiple collections at one time, use the Category list in the left-hand navigation bar to narrow your results by category. This is useful for filtering out census records, for example, which often end up topping results lists. Once you've narrowed to a particular category (Births, Marriages & Deaths, for example), the left-hand nav bar will list record collections within that category, with the number of results that match your search query next to each collection title.
8. Browse as Well as Search – Many collections at 'FamilySearch' are only partially searchable at any given point in time (and many are not at all), but this information isn't always easy to determine from the collection list. Even if a particular collection is searchable, try comparing the total number of searchable records listed in the link: Collections Listwith the total number of records available if you select the record set and scroll down to see the number of records listed under "View Images in this Collection." In many cases you will find there are many records available for browsing that aren't yet included in the searchable index.
ROOTSWEB-World Connect Project Out of all of the online databases of submitted family tree information, my favorite is the World Connect Project which allow users to upload, modify, link, and display their family trees as a means to share their work with other researchers.
The reason why this particular project is my favorite is it is one of the largest, and it also allows people to add to, update or remove their information at any time. While this by no means ensures that the information you will find here is correct, it at least increases the probabilities of finding current contact information for researchers with information which interests you.
This free genealogy database currently contains over 3 billion names in over 300,000 family trees, and you can search them all online for absolutely no charge! You can also submit your own family tree information in GEDCOM format for free.
link: http://home.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ FAMILY HISTORY FORMS The following forms have been designed as fillable PDFs. To use the fillable functionality, right click on the title and choose "Save link as" or "Save target as." Once you've saved the file, you can open it with and fill in the form. If you can’t get them to open I have placed to direct link here scroll over the space after 'link' and in the space after the bullet .... Link:http://www.mymcpl.org/genealogy/family-history-forms
Family Unit Chart (PDF, 16K) - two-page chart to detail a husband, a wife, and their children
Individual Worksheet(PDF, 195K) - worksheet to serve as a guide for biographical information about an individual