Genealogy Tips and Links
1. Genealogy Research Tips for Beginners
An alphabetical list of 26 tips to send you on your way to begin your genealogical research.
****Talk to your parents****
A. Find out where they grew up (town, county, state).
B. Birth and death dates of both their mother and father.
C. Your parents’ marriage date and location of marriage (you might ask if they have a copy).
D. Ask them about where their parents or grandparents are buried (locations, cemeteries name, county, state).
E. Ask if there are any of your aunts, uncles or other relatives have previously done any genealogy research.
F. Find out who is their oldest living relatives (then make plans to visit them and record your conversation with them).
****Ask questions about what they know about the family.
****Ask where relatives are buried.
****Ask if they know any dates for birth, death, marriage.
****Ask if they know any stories about the family.
****Ask if they know any other living relatives (visit them and do the same thing with them).
G. Search the Internet for the surnames that you have found (mothers’ maiden name, grandmothers’ maiden name, etc). You will possibly find others doing research on the same lines of genealogy you are wanting.
H. Your local library should be able to point you in the right direction to research areas that you have found from your interviews and census records.
I. Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org have all census records from 1790-1920 These can be searched for grandparents and great grandparents. (Also Social Security records exist after 1935 that can be sent for or viewed on the Internet).
J. Find out if any of your relatives were in any wars; a lot of information is available at the Federal Government level (National Archives) to send for their records for a small charge.
K. Visit cemeteries where your relatives are buried; some good information is sometimes on the gravestones (birth, death).
L. Visit your local LDS (Latter Day Saints) library and explore what relevant genealogical material they have.
M. Send for copies of birth, death, and marriage records for those relatives you know or find. (They usually have names of mother and father, etc). Genealogy websites will often have images of these materials.
N. Gather pictures of older relatives while making your visits. (If distance prevents the visit write letters or call, remember record them).
O. Visit your local LDS church library; most have a library where you can obtain information and send to Salt Lake to obtain genealogical materials including books and microfilms which can be sent back to the church for you to view. These records are extensive and probably the best available.
P. Take a course in searching your relatives from your local library, historical society, or genealogical society (recommend Clark County Nevada Genealogical Society, CCNGS which can also be a lot of help in your research).
Q. You can hire a professional genealogist, but before doing this make sure that you have good references from others that are familiar with this person’s work.
R. Join your local Genealogy (CCNGS, for example), Historical Society, or a Nevada State Society which can be a lot of help in your research.
S. Visit the Internet State GenWeb Project (free) for your state. You can search the Internet for their web sites which usually have good hints and resources for searching in that area.
T. Visit used books stores looking for genealogical books; you will be surprised to find some great older books that have “how to” information in them.
U. You need to dedicate yourself to doing this. That means spend the time doing all these steps and you will start gathering information. Start putting this information together in a timeline, listing the dates and events in chronological order.
V. Save the information in an orderly way as to preserve the information you have gathered (future generations will appreciate it and you will too when searching for information quickly). You can use plastic sheet protectors on all of your documents.
W. Search the Internet phone directories and email directories and drop these folks a note asking about your family with direct, not general questions. You will be surprised by receiving good areas to search and/or names of others doing research.
X. Take a camera with you and take pictures of those pictures that others won’t let you have. Even if you just want to run down the street to have a copy made most people will NOT let you leave with their original pictures. (Don’t be upset about this, just think if it was some stranger coming to your door wanting to “borrow” your treasured pictures for a few minutes. Would you??).
Y. Let the other members of your family know that you are doing genealogy research on your family and ask for any old pictures and information they have; here again you may be stuck with taking a picture of their picture for reasons mentioned above.
Z. Be considerate of others and their privacy, records, and views. You are asking for help so treat them with all the respect that you would also want. You will find some have information, but are unwilling to share it with you. Try to find out why there is this feeling and do your best to set their minds at rest.
****Don’t forget you can print a copy of all of these for future reference!
2. Forms and Charts
These blank documents, when filled out, help you keep track of your genealogical research.
Blank Forms and Charts — Pedigree Charts, Ancestral Charts, Research, Correspondence, Family Group, and Sources Charts
Blank Census Forms — US Census forms 1790 to 1940 plus Veterans’ and Slaves’ schedules
3. Online Webinars, Lectures, Workshops, and Links
A webinar is a live lecture/presentation that you can attend via a computer with an Internet connection. In most cases, you need to register for webinar and there is not cost to view the broadcast. The following are some sites offering genealogy webinars:
Illinois State Genealogical Society Webinars – free and current webinars.
Family History Library – links to current and prior webinars, including their handouts.
Legacy Family Tree Webinars – many presentations throughout 2016 !
Southern California Genealogical Society – free webinars are offered on the firs and third Wednesdays of the month.
DNA Videos and webinars:
Chromosomes and inheritance A selection of videos created by the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah for the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation
Family Tree DNA webinars
DNA 101 (for beginners) from the Ancestry Academy
Getting started in genetic genealogy Diahan Southard’s presentation at Rootstech 2015.
Which DNA test is best for you? Maurice Gleeson’s presentation at Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2014
DNA for beginners Debbie Kennett’s presentation at Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2014.
Blogs come from the words weB LOG, a website that presents posts on articles, events, news, and opinions in chronological order. Some popular genealogy blogs are:
Judy Russell’s The Legal Genealogist Blog
Thomas MacEntee’s Geneabloggers
Genealogy by Paula
The Genetic Genealogist
Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings Blog — contains a list of over 3,000 blogs
— Also check Cyndi’s List for more Blog Links
Articles For Beginners from ISGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy)
1) Beginners’ guide to genetic genealogy by Kelly Wheaton, Wheaton Surname Resources website, 2013.
2) Which DNA test is best for me? by Maurice Gleeson, DNA and Family Tree Research blog, 27 April 2016.
3) Getting started with autosomal DNA – a personal view from Jim Bartlett, Segmentology blog, 22 November 2015.
4) Put the kettle on, lets sit down and talk about DNA (*for newbies only) by Donna Rutherford, 16 August 2015. An introduction to autosomal DNA testing and GedMatch.
5) What types of DNA test are available? by Louise Coakley, 26 March 2015.
6) Using DNA test results: the basics for genealogists by Kitty Cooper, 18 March 2015. A guide to using autosomal DNA testing for genealogy research.
7) Introduction to using DNA for genealogy by Louise Coakley, 27 January 2015.
8) Genetic genealogy basics by Sue Griffith, Genealogy Junkie website, last updated 30 October 2014.
9) Sense about genealogical DNA testing by Debbie Kennett, Sense About Science blog, 15 March 2013
10) Introduction to genetic genealogy by Steve Handy. DNA Genealogical Experiences and Tutorials blog, 21 October 2012.
11) DNA testing for genealogy – Getting started Part One by CeCe Moore, Geni.com blog, 18 July 2012 (a look at Y-chromosome DNA testing).
12) DNA testing for genealogy – Getting started Part Two by CeCe Moore, Geni.com blog, 25 July 2012 (a look at mitochondrial DNA testing).
13) DNA testing for genealogy – Getting started Part Three by CeCe Moore, Geni.com blog, 18 July 2012 (a look at autosomal DNA testing).
14) DNA testing for genealogy – Getting started Part Four by CeCe Moore, Geni.com blog, 18 July 2012 (a look at ethnicity testing).
15) Understand DNA testing World Families tutorial.
16) DNA Testing For Genealogy 101 – What Can It Do For You? Roberta Estes’ series for the National Genealogical Society
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