People Search: Genealogy Resources

Genealogy is the investigation of family ancestry by tracing direct lines of descent from an original ancestor. It is most often used to find information about unknown family members, and also to learn about a family’s history and cultural heritage or a person’s bloodline. Genealogy was as important in the past as it is today, perhaps even more so. During the last several centuries when it was important to make the distinction between aristocracy and common classes, great care was taken to preserve and be aware of the pedigree of one’s family. For example, in England by the early 1800s, this practice was so vital that socialites would refer to the publication, Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage, to learn about a suitor’s pedigree before becoming engaged. When researching, genealogists have to sift through a large amount of historical data to ensure that their findings are accurate. The most important part is confirming the person’s name. Last names often change over time, through different spelling or pronunciation or immigration to other countries. Locations and dates can also be difficult to come by if historical documents are unavailable. Often genealogists have to rely on personal interviews with family members, and even so, any information given has to be closely cross-checked with other sources to confirm accuracy. With today’s technology, even amateur researchers can make distant connections by publicizing their search among online genealogy communities and websites.

1. History of Genealogy: An article tracing the roots of genealogy as a study as far back as 200 BC.

2. Intro to Genealogy: An online Powerpoint presentation introducing genealogy to beginners, with information on the terminology, choosing software and common mistakes.

3. Genealogy Glossary: A very extensive dictionary of genealogical terms, including foreign and outdated words found in ancient documents.

4. Hiring a Professional: A series of articles on how to research and hire a professional genealogist.

5. 5-Step Genealogical Research Process: A simple genealogical research guide for beginners seeking to trace their family’s ancestry.

6. Getting Started in Genealogy: Information on how to begin researching family history and where to find sources. This page also includes several links to further related sites.

7. Genealogical Research Guide: Information on sifting through public records and more advanced research methods.

8. Search Engines for Genealogy: How to use different search engines and techniques for genealogical research.

9. Library Genealogy Collections: This page provides a list of libraries across the U.S. that have extensive collections on genealogical material.

10. GenGateway: A comprehensive website which helps to provide new and relevant online genealogical resources to researchers, with information separated in several of the most widely searched categories.

11. Genealogy Today: Genealogical search site with additional sections providing a wiki, articles, additional data, newsletter, special collections and numerous other features.

12. Genealogy Mailing Lists: This website provides a large selection of online mailing lists dedicated to genealogy, including general resources and a military section.

13. Family Tree Books: Books We Own is a service that lists ancestry books (several of which are out of print or very old) owned by its volunteers. Researchers can then request volunteers online to look up and provide information on their behalf.

14. Researching the Census: Census records are often one of the starting points for most genealogical researchers. This website provides records for the U.S., U.K., Canada and Native American territories.

15. Burke’s Peerage and Gentry: The top guide to British and European aristocracy and genealogy.

16. Genealogy Directory: Links to records of the U.S. census, obituaries, marriages, adoptions, passenger lists and more.

17. DNA Testing: (a premier genealogy search site) offers DNA testing to provide scientifically accurate familial links and confirmation.

18. Determining Locations: This article focuses on explaining geography related to genealogy.

19. Ethnicity Research: A collection of books and websites on unearthing ethic aspects of family trees.

20. Military Research: A list of the types of information that can be culled from military records.

21. How to Find Military Ancestors: A more comprehensive guide with numerous links for researching military personnel archives.

22. Using Maps: A guide on how to use maps to determine locations and geography to trace ancestry.

23. Genealogical Proof Standard: An outline of the accepted standard of evidence proofing within the genealogical community.

24. Evaluating Genealogical Data: This article discusses how to evaluate and verify data and documents to ensure authenticity.

25.  Common Research Errors: An article on how to avoid and pinpoint common genealogy research mistakes.

26. Conflicting Data: Advice from a certified genealogist on how to address cases of conflicting details.

27. Written vs. Oral Data: How to understand and evaluate written and oral evidence, as well as how to compare them against other data.

28. How to Evaluate Sources: A 7-step guide on assessing data from primary and secondary sources.

29. Citing Online Sources: How to correctly document online sources referenced in a genealogical search.

30. Documenting Research: A guide to documenting research, especially details given by different sources.

31. American Society of Genealogists: An organization founded in 1940, aiming to foster genealogy as a whole, as well as the quality of research performed in this field and publishing relevant findings.

32. Genealogical Organizations: Links to various genealogical associations and historical societies across the U.S.

33. Genealogy Charts: Download free charts and log sheets to help record genealogical information and keep information organized properly.

34. Genealogy Software: A comparison of free and paid genealogical software, with reviews of each one.

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