Edna and Jesse Weybright, married Christmas Day 1911
On Saturday, I gave several presentations on genealogy as part of a seminar celebrating the re-opening of the Family History Library at our church building in Ossining, NY. One of my topics was "How to Use the Internet to Research Your Roots." I'm a bit obsessive about genealogy; I've mentioned that here a time or two before. In case you've ever wondered where your family comes from and would like to dip a toe in the delightfully addictive genealogy pool, here are some links with commentary from my lecture notes.
Helpful resources for getting started:
- Study helps from Ancestors, the PBS series (first steps, glossary of terms)
- Familysearch.org (searchable databases, microfilm indexes + free PAF software download)
- Cyndi’s List (an well-organized index with links to thousands of genealogy websites)
- USGenWeb.org (almost every state in every county has its own genweb site)
For the more advanced user:
- Ancestry.com (subscription fee, but worth every penny if you are homebound; many libraries and Family History Centers have limited access subscriptions that are free for patrons to use)
- The National Archives (online indexes; indvidual records can be ordered for a fee)
- Stevemorse.org (Ellis Island and other immigration point searches)
- One-name.org (fantastic and little-known surname resource)
- Vital records, including adoption and probate records
- Newspaper archives
- Land grant records
- Military records
- Cemetery transcriptions
- Genealogy podcasts (the Genealogy Guys and DearMyrtle)
- Internet Genealogy Magazine (online subscription $15 per year--bargain--love it)
- Online courses at The National Genealogical Society (fee)
Specialized resources such as
Finally: here's a website that has save me headaches time after time. Often tombstones will list a death date, then list the exact age of the deceased: 53 years, 8 months, and 6 days, for example. This handy tool converts that information into a birthdate: awesome.
On Saturday, I discussed all of these resources for a half hour (and probably could have gone on quite a bit longer). I won't go into that level of detail here, but read the posts I linked to in the first paragraph of this post and email me if you have any questions. For me, genealogy ranks right up there with family life and writing in terms of personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Give it a try and see whether you agree.