Genealogy 101

Feeling a little overwhelmed about how to get started tracing your roots?  Spend an evening visiting the following sites and you should find answers to most of your questions.  Many of the genealogy software programs include charts that you can print out to take with you when you go to courthouses, libraries, cemeteries, etc... to do research, as well as help you keep your data organized.  The following sites will help orient you to what types of records are available and how to begin collecting them.  Scroll on down and you will find several links to excellent  general genealogy sites to help you locate information on the Internet.

Getting Started In Genealogy:

A Crash Course In Genealogy

Genealogy 101

DearMyrtle Lessons

Helpful Hints For Succesful Searching

General Genealogy Sites:

Cyndi's List - The Mother Of All Genealogy Link Pages!

Ancestry - Subscription service; some free searchable databases.

Family Tree Maker - Lots of stuff for sale but also some good research tips and articles.

GenForum - Tons of surname message boards!  Great way to find cousins!

"Random Acts Of Genealogical Kindness" - This is a great idea!  The volunteers of this movement are agreeing once per month to either videotape cemeteries (homeplaces, etc.) or do lookups of information in the county or area of the country (if other than the USA) they live whether or not they have ancestral ties to that area. This is bound to be helpful to a lot of people, so check it out!

Melissa's Tip of the Month:

"Learn to write down the source information for every piece of information that you receive!  If you are just beginning your search you may not have that much data and you may be tempted to think that you will remember where you got the date for Great Aunt Mary's marriage.  As you collect more and more information there is no way that you will remember every source.  Keeping track as you go will end up saving you a lot of time later when you have to go back and retrace your steps to figure out where you got everything."

The following sites give excellent instruction about how to cite sources and why you need to:

Board for Certification of Genealogists - Skill Building

Why Bother? The Value of Documentation in Family History Research by Kory Meyerink, MLS, AG

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