|Part I -
Interview Family Members: Start with what you and your family already know
about the close generations of your kin. The key is to get it organized and recorded.
II - Google Searches: Thanks to a wealth of genealogy detail on plain
HTML Web pages, a basic Google search can turn up information on your ancestors, for free.
III - Census Records: Census documents offer a wealth of details about family
members. See how FamilySearch.org can help you start census research for free.
IV - Immigration Records: Using free online immigration databases for
Castle Garden and Ellis Island in New York City can help you discover when ancestors
V - Charts & Forms: Before going too much further, obtain forms and
charts for organizing your research and the family details you discover. Links to a wealth
of free forms, charts and more provided.
VI - Rootsweb.com: This free Web-based service allows people to upload
information they have gathered about ancestors -- and lets others find the postings via a
search tool. Check to see if any of your ancestors are included here.
VII - Email Lists: Rootsweb.com offers more than 30,000 email discussion
lists based on surnames, U.S. states, international countries or other. You can connect
with people with genealogy interests similar to yours -- and you may find just the missing
information you've been needing.
VIII - GenForums: Genealogy.com offers a large number of free online forums
for surnames, states, counties and countries. Learn how they can really help you make
IX - USGenWeb: Extraordinary volunteers transcribe documents, run Web sites
and more. Learn how the network of county and state sites within USGenWeb can help you.
X - City Directories: Transcribed early city directories -- whether
online or in a library -- can help you discover your ancestors' line of work, their
residential address and the time period they lived in a certain locale. And perhaps
illuminate how your ancestors met their mates.
XI - Obituaries: Obituaries can help fill in your family story, both with
specific facts you've been seeking and also a sense of an ancestor's life.
XII - Multiple Documents: Gathering many different documents and records on a
single person or family will help you produce a hightly accurate family tree or history --
and can help you break through a brick wall in research. These will likely will come at a
XIII - Continuous Correspondence: To keep moving forward, keep up a
steady flow of correspondence with cousins, people who post about a surname of interest,
genealogy and history societies and more.
XIV - Alumni Class Notes: If your ancestors attended a college or university,
you may find class notes on engagements, weddings, births, careers, awards and, at the
XV - Books: If your ancestors had their lives recorded in biosketches,
memoirs, biographies or family genealogy books, your own family research will benefit.
Sources: Here are various ways to find United States Census Records online
Volunteers: When you've hit a brickwall on a family line, turn to discussion
groups and forums where volunteers can help you.
Directories Again: Use old city directories in libraries, via rented
microfilm or on the Web. They can be the key to unlock family mysteries.
10 Genealogy Sites: Here are the top 10 Web sites, both free and paid, that
helped me find all of my ancestral lines.
Names: Genealogy records are full of mispelled names. Learn to see a name in
a record that might be your ancestor and follow up. I did and finally proven my father's
Google Searches: In addition to regular Google searches, search Google Books,
News Archives and more. You'll find your family free!
with GenealogyWise: The new social network for genealogists can link you to
people who can help. Visit me
there or visit my Finding
Family for Free group at GW!
for Genealogy: Learn how to use this free Web tool to connect with
genealogists, new ideas for research, and to share with others.
Genealogy: Explore your deep ancestry by having your mtDNA or Y DNA tested.
You can find your roots and ancestral migrations from thousands of years ago.
This is a series of genealogy and family history
research ideas to help you find your family and ancestors for modest or no cost.