Presentation on theme: "Michael J Denis, Parksville, KY, for the Boyle County Public Library 23 July 2012."— Presentation transcript:
Michael J Denis, Parksville, KY, for the Boyle County Public Library 23 July 2012
Learn about some Internet resources which are available for genealogists Explore both paid and free websites Learn how to find information in those websites Learn searching techniques that will make it easier, more effective, and less time-consuming to find what you seek I assume you have (1) basic familiarity with the Internet and computer; (2) have begun your family tree; and (3) understand basic genealogical concepts
ALWAYS use your common sense. I have seen ALL these examples, and more. An ancestor with 5 children born a year apart, with numbers 1, 3 and 5 born in Virginia and 2 and 4 born in England make no sense. An ancestor born in 1730 is unlikely to have children born after 1800, nor are her children likely to have been born before Find an old US History textbook at a yard sale or flea market. Using it will show you that your Irish ancestor probably was NOT born in North Dakota in 1643.
Just because YOU spell a name a certain way does not mean your ancestor or other people then spelled it that way – use metaphone or phonetic searches when possible. SOUNDEX does not work as well. Its unlikely for an ancestor to have two or even three children with the exact same name unless earlier ones died. I found one family that had four girls, same name, same birth and same death dates. The date you have may not be correct. When searching, always use a range (+/- 2 years, 5 years) unless you are SURE, and even then, a range might yield better results.
The earlier the record, the more likely it will be accurate – birth records are better than death records for knowing when the person was born. There ARE errors in official records; if dates are different, record BOTH unless you are sure one is wrong. Dont necessarily believe family traditions -- grandma was the grand-daughter of a Cherokee princess. She probably wasnt.
Dont accept someone elses family tree as being accurate – stick to historical records as much as you can. Many researchers dont use common sense. Using other peoples family trees for information will show you very quickly how wrong information can be propagated WIDELY and WILDLY. Keep track of siblings of ancestors; you may find a breakthrough by way of a brother or sister. DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT – you dont want to go back years later to find where you learned the information. Been there, done that.
Ancestry.com at is the most complete and has the greatest variety of sources, both US and worldwide.www.ancestry.com Cost is $20 a month for the US collection, $30 a month for the Worldwide collection, but paying by the year costs less than 12 months. Fold 3 at is useful for military records; cost is $80 a year, but its FREE with membership to the Kentucky Historical Society.http://www.fold3.com There are many others, but the cost/value is not a good deal. Many say Free or Free Trial but either have less info than other sites or their free trial is so limited as to be nearly useless.
is probably the best free site. It is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons), but may be used by anyone. is also free and has many resources. In terms of actual records, it is not as complete as FamilySearch or Ancestry. However, its family trees and message boards are useful. is a free website affiliated with Ancestry.com that has numerous genealogy lessons and how to articles. is the Internets most complete list of websites – every topic imaginable.
is a collection of user-submitted memorials for cemeteries world-wide. Even with 80+ million memorials, they estimate they only have 1/10 of the stones recorded that exist; however, it IS well worth a try and its free. – has many genealogy groups. Click Like to join and find others who are searching for your people, or just to ask questions, even how to questions, or even start your own family group. CAUTION with Facebook – privacy issues have plagued FB even more than the IPO. Set EVERYTHING to friends only wherever you can.
https://www.facebook.com/genealogytip on Facebook, just what it says, tip of the day. https://www.facebook.com/genealogytip is a Kentucky genealogy group on Facebook. the non-members accessible portion of the New England Historic Genealogical Societys website, several free databases, concentrating on New England. Eastmans Online Genealogy Newsletter at contains 3-5 articles daily; there is also a subscription version.
Go to You wont have access to much without paying. Type a first (and middle if appropriate) name in First and Middle Names Type a surname in Last Name. For married women, use the maiden name; if you dont find her, use her married name. Where the drop-down box says Use default settings, click on it and change it to Restrict to EXACT matches and check PHONETIC Matches. The default setting will return hundreds or thousands of wrong leads.
Checking for phonetic matches will catch various spellings of the name, as long as they SOUND LIKE the name you type in – Harlan and Harland, Buster and Bustard, or Kincade, Kinkaid, Kincaide. On places, start with Restrict to this place exactly. If you dont get enough results, expand to County, Adjacent Counties, and keeping working out. Under Collection Priority, if youre searching the US, use the dropdown box to select United States and check the box that says Show only records from these collections.
is a free portion of ancestry.com and has numerous helpful how to articles. Their message boards may be useful for asking questions or finding out what others are researching; often YOU may find clues in the questions OTHERS ask. If you use Family Tree Maker for your genealogy program, Ancestry automatically synchronizes Family Tree Maker with your tree on Ancestry.com. Also, anyone who you invite to edit your tree on Ancestry.com, will have their updates automatically added to your version of FTM.
Log on to https://familysearch.org/.https://familysearch.org/ NOTE this is https not http. Using http yields a different, but less useful, website. Some records are searchable, others are images to browse. Their records are worldwide with strong concentrations in the US, Canada and northern and western Europe. Clicking Learn at the top gets you into free articles and courses to help you. The articles are also in Deutsch, Español, Français, Italiano,,, Português, Русский, Svenska and.
Go to Type in SURNAME In drop-down box, select metaphone – that way youll get all names that sound like the surname you typed Type in GIVEN NAME Enter a birth, death, or marriage year and use +-5 years to narrow down unless you KNOW the exact year. For PLACE, start general (Kentucky), then move to specific if needed (Danville)
Enter Father, Mother, Spouse if known. Check Has Descendants, Has Notes, and Has Sources for the most complete results. ONCE AGAIN, these are user-submitted family trees. Use them ONLY as a guide, not as a Gospel. The Rootsweb discussion boards can yield much information. It is organized geographically, topically and by surname. The Boyle County board had 1045 threads with 2459 messages as of June 18. &o_sch=Web+Property &o_sch=Web+Property
Also an Ancestry.com website, but free to use many of their services. their message boards, are FREE and are very useful. Their family trees have the same issues that Ancestry.coms trees have – lack of accuracy – so use with great caution.
Typing names in quotations – George Washington yields fewer results than George and Washington (49 million vs. 541 million). Adding a spouse in quotations – George Washington Martha Custis cuts it down to 69,000. Adding +family history or +genealogy may help. The + means the word or phrase MUST appear in the result. Typing George Washington + family history yielded 1,280,000 results. Often, the first results are ads. Scroll down to get to the good stuff.
Salt River Genealogy (families of western Boyle Co) at tm tm Boyle County Genealogical Association at Kentucky Historical Society at Kentucky Historical Society digital collections at includes newspapers and other historic artifacts Kentuckiana Digital Library at has historic newspapers, photographs, Sanborn fire insurance mapshttp://kdl.kyvl.org/
Similar collections for Louisville, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia and Tennessee can be found at and The Internet Archive at has books as well as sound and moving images – all restriction- free.http://archive.org/index.php Google Books at has many free, out-of-print family genealogies and local histories online. Search for a name, then on the left click on Free Google eBookshttp://books.google.comFree Google eBooks