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Florita

I keep a free tree on Ancestry and do my digging on Family Search. If there is something only available on Ancestry I can access it at the library. This has only happened once.

Sometimes it seems as if they are using the same indexing because I'll find the same spelling mistakes at both places, but other times not. I seem to find more spelling problems with the Family Search indexing and their search engine doesn't help. For example, I was looking for a marriage record for a relative named Adora. Ancestry has it indexed as Adora, Family Search has it indexed as Adira and searches for Adora (with the correct date and place) produced nothing at Family Search. I found it there using the grooms name.

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I started doing genealogical research in the mid 1980s and continued it off and on until just a few years back. Ancestry.com was definitely the best research tool I ever used and the money I spent on

I did the DNA thing, which kinda creeped me out, letting some company have my DNA, but WTH, I am innocent () and ever since then, random people email me and say "it looks like you could be my 4th cous

Conversation with my mum, who I set up with a free membership and invited to view my/our tree: Mum: did you see that they added more people? me: who added more people?  Mum: the people

morri

at least you dont have to pay.. Wiki tree is great for looking up names nd family trees. and has a message bard too. is the ancestry .com mailig list defunct? my cousin used to research a lot of his indian and beyond connections.(indian born brits)

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Tikobaby
9 minutes ago, RabbitKM said:

How easy is it for a complete newbie to get into researching genealogy? 

@RabbitKM, IMO it's a lot easier these days with all of the online resources. I used to research in libraries and via snailmail!  I think Ancestry.com is an excellent site with tons of databases to search, plus info about HOW to search. You may find people have already created trees with common ancestors with you. Knowing some basic facts about your ancestors is extremely helpful also, to give you a place to start. Your grandparents' names, dates of birth and death, location of same, where they lived, their childrens' names, are good places to start. The censuses on Ancestry are very important for a basic search and you need some info to begin that search.  Ancestry is a subscription site, though some of the records are offered as free, I think. 

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RabbitKM
7 minutes ago, Tikobaby said:

@RabbitKM, IMO it's a lot easier these days with all of the online resources. I used to research in libraries and via snailmail!  I think Ancestry.com is an excellent site with tons of databases to search, plus info about HOW to search. You may find people have already created trees with common ancestors with you. Knowing some basic facts about your ancestors is extremely helpful also, to give you a place to start. Your grandparents' names, dates of birth and death, location of same, where they lived, their childrens' names, are good places to start. The censuses on Ancestry are very important for a basic search and you need some info to begin that search.  Ancestry is a subscription site, though some of the records are offered as free, I think. 

Would it still work if all four of my grandparents (and obviously any of their ancestors) were born outside of the US? I was thinking about doing the free trial on Ancestry, but waiting until summer break from school so that I don't fall down that rabbit hole right before finals.

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Tikobaby
24 minutes ago, RabbitKM said:

Would it still work if all four of my grandparents (and obviously any of their ancestors) were born outside of the US? I was thinking about doing the free trial on Ancestry, but waiting until summer break from school so that I don't fall down that rabbit hole right before finals.

@RabbitKM, If your grandparents did not come to live in the US in time to be enumerated on the 1940 census or earlier, they won't be on any Federal census available for searching  at this time. The censuses are not made public until 72 years after enumeration, though I think Ancestry has a 1950 "substitute"  available made up of info from city directories and other info that could be useful. It's not the actual census.  However, Ancestry also has international records from other countries available if you buy that subscription. Your ancestors may be on other US databases besides the Federal censuses as well, like the various shipping manifests which could show them actually coming to America.  

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RabbitKM
5 minutes ago, Tikobaby said:

If your grandparents did not come to live in the US in time to be enumerated on the 1940 census or earlier, they won't be on any Federal census available for searching  at this time. The censuses are not made public until 72 years after enumeration, though I think Ancestry has a 1950 "substitute"  available made up of info from city directories and other info that could be useful. It's not the actual census.  However, Ancestry also has international records from other countries available if you buy that subscription. Your ancestors may be on other US databases besides the Federal censuses as well, like the various shipping manifests which could show them actually coming to America.  

Hmm.  I'm not too concerned with documents once anyone is already here, as that story is short (one generation) and easy.  It's the international records that I would be interested in finding and tracing back.  I'm sure it varies country to country, but do you think it would be feasible to find that stuff on Ancestry?  

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clueliss

It might depend on the country and how much information you have.  I have e great grandparents that are german/prussian (and 4 of the 6 kids were born there) and have found sketchy information about 1 of the 3.  

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Tikobaby
31 minutes ago, RabbitKM said:

Hmm.  I'm not too concerned with documents once anyone is already here, as that story is short (one generation) and easy.  It's the international records that I would be interested in finding and tracing back.  I'm sure it varies country to country, but do you think it would be feasible to find that stuff on Ancestry?  

I'm afraid I'm not very well informed on the international records they have. I did find several of my ancestors on various censuses in England after the Civil War when they'd left the US for a time, but almost all of my family lines have been in America since the late 17th century and are well represented in the US records. There may be an issue with the languages international records are in as well. Check out the Ancestry site to see what info they have on their international databases. 

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FundieFarmer

I'm glad you asked that, rabbitkm. I've wondered that for a while. I've been interested for a while. How much time do y'all put into this? How long does it take to make an intensive family tree? How far back do yours go? What are common road bumps you've hit?? These are all of the things I've come up with that have stopped me from setting up an account

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clueliss

I was a bit obsessive (imagine!) about it for a while.  I have lines that - if my work is right (big if) I can tie some things over to Europe going back centuries.  

Things I've learned to watch for:  People suck at math (if  you are looking at someone else's tree) and do not understand geography (example, if he was born in Virginia and died in Virginia, how is it that his parents were born/died in Massachusetts).  And there is an issue of 'fake' genealogies that were put together in the early 1900s and earlier  

I did encounter (partly as a result of my tree work and my dna) one branch of the family that is well researched and am in occasional email contract with them when someone uncovers new research.  

I have dead ends with the German Great Grandparents.  I also have a dead end with a 2x great grandfather who is listed as coming from Ireland on the Census records (and one lists N Ireland)  I believe he fought in the civil war and died leaving a widow and 1 son.  But the immigration records from that point in time are not easy to find and if you are dealing with N Ireland he could be Irish, English or Scott.  

Then there are the women with no last names.  or - Mary Smith (I have at least one on the tree).  

The first census in the US with individuals listed instead of just the head of household with numbers in age/sex categories is  1850,  The first US Census that lists Blacks as people is 1870.  The 1890 US Census is gone.  (Burned I believe).  If you are fortunate you might be able to find state census information.  

Some states have excellent birth/death records and are actually available.  Missouri for instance has an online database that lists births/deaths from about 1910 to sometime in the early 1960's.  Kansas on the other hand (both as an example from my own research) offers a bit fat nada to anyone.  

You can sometimes find county or city websites with genealogy information.  I found one for a county in Illinois where the one great-grandmother on my mom's side that is not german lived for a while that was helpful.  Other counties she lived in (IL as well) are poor or don't exist. 

Also you can sometimes find information if you request (or search for via National Archives) military records.  I have a 2x great grandfather's pension records from the civil war.  he fought for the north and his unit is on his headstone.  My dad's cousin told me what to ask for.  On the other hand southern records can be difficult to locate.   Pension records often list dependents and spouses.

Not sure how much help that was.

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RabbitKM
1 hour ago, Tikobaby said:

I'm afraid I'm not very well informed on the international records they have. I did find several of my ancestors on various censuses in England after the Civil War when they'd left the US for a time, but almost all of my family lines have been in America since the late 17th century and are well represented in the US records. There may be an issue with the languages international records are in as well. Check out the Ancestry site to see what info they have on their international databases. 

That is really cool that your family has been in America for that long! I'm sure your tree is amazing.  I'm only a first-and-a-half generation American (my dad was born here after his parents immigrated, and my mom is an immigrant), so I'm worried that it would end up being a wild goose chase if I tried to track any information down.  Either way, I might give it a go in a few months, and maybe enlist my grandparents to give me as much information as they can.  With my grandparents getting older (and sick, unfortunately), I've been thinking a lot more about where they came from and wanting to learn more about their histories.  

1 hour ago, FundieFarmer said:

I'm glad you asked that, rabbitkm. I've wondered that for a while. I've been interested for a while. How much time do y'all put into this? How long does it take to make an intensive family tree? How far back do yours go? What are common road bumps you've hit?? These are all of the things I've come up with that have stopped me from setting up an account emoji15.png

I second all your questions!  

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clueliss

You might talk to your grandparents and record them.  I have recordings an aunt gave me (if I had a time machine I would go back and move her microphone in one conversation).  One of her cousin who was a best friend of my grandmother's growing up (yes the tree is a bit weird, yes my mother's first cousin was besties with my maternal grandmother) talking about family history.  The other is of my aunt asking my grandmother (who died 20 years ago) some questions.  Hearing that for the frist time took my breath away.  I sighed and whispered "Grandma."  

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FrumperedCat

I research in the UK with all my discovered ancestors being born in this country which makes research relatively easy. I've managed to get by on the free version of ancestry and made use of the local libraries version in the past. Over here each Easter bank holiday weekend allows free access to census records and the like which I found to be very useful. There are also a few free sites run by volunteers such as FreeCen, FreeReg and FreeBMD that provide UK records for free which are invaluable.

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Tikobaby
1 hour ago, FundieFarmer said:

I'm glad you asked that, rabbitkm. I've wondered that for a while. I've been interested for a while. How much time do y'all put into this? How long does it take to make an intensive family tree? How far back do yours go? What are common road bumps you've hit?? These are all of the things I've come up with that have stopped me from setting up an account emoji15.png

I started doing genealogical research in the mid 1980s and continued it off and on until just a few years back. Ancestry.com was definitely the best research tool I ever used and the money I spent on subscribing was well worth it. Haven't been a member for awhile, but I helped a cousin who has created a huge tree on Ancestry and I made sure all my direct lines were as accurate as I could make them. It takes a lot of time to do it right, (depending on how far back you want to or can go),  and it helps to have common sense, math skills, and be a bit of a detective. There are many, many errors in the records and censuses;  arithmetic mistakes, mistranscriptions of names, people and households that were missed, etc.  Errors are duplicated over and over by well-meaning folks who just aren't paying attention. Sooner or later you'll come to the ancestor whose parents just are not anywhere to be found and that will be a dead end, but that moment when you find an old photo or portrait and come face to face with a direct ancestor you've never seen before is really magical.  It's exciting to find lost family members!  I loved doing research and learning where my ancestors fit into history.

My earliest family lines came to South Carolina from England and France in 1670 and 1680. They were among the first settlers of what was called Charles Town, later Charleston. My ancestors have been very wealthy, very poor, well educated and illiterate.  They fought for the Confederacy and the Union in the Civil War. One of my 3X great grandfathers died in a Union prison camp. One direct ancestor fought in the Revolutionary War. One was hanged and one was born at sea. One of my 3X great grandmothers was a beautiful southern belle and one was an illiterate farm woman who smoked a pipe. My  6X great grandfather was a Scottish baron and his ancient family castle still stands in the Highlands of Scotland. Through his family, via the illegitimate brother of Mary, Queen of Scots, I am the 14th great granddaughter of King Henry VII of England.  At least two of my collateral ancestors killed themselves. Several of my ancestors were poor farmers all their lives.  Everyone's family history has amazing stories to find  and I encourage everyone who has any interest to look into that history. Talk to your older family members and write down whatever names, dates, and places they can remember about their parents & siblings and their grandparents. I have friends who have no idea what their grandparents' names were and that seems sad to me. 

Genealogy rocks!

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Tikobaby
46 minutes ago, clueliss said:

You might talk to your grandparents and record them.  I have recordings an aunt gave me (if I had a time machine I would go back and move her microphone in one conversation).  One of her cousin who was a best friend of my grandmother's growing up (yes the tree is a bit weird, yes my mother's first cousin was besties with my maternal grandmother) talking about family history.  The other is of my aunt asking my grandmother (who died 20 years ago) some questions.  Hearing that for the frist time took my breath away.  I sighed and whispered "Grandma."  

Excellent suggestion, @clueliss.  I wish I had recorded my grandmother when we talked about family history. It was before the time of the internet and all the easy ways to take video, but I could have used a tape recorder. Amazing story about hearing your late grandmother answering questions...chills!

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MarblesMom

@Tikobaby, pretty sure we are cousins, given your background! 

Love doing the research on the family - we have found some really interesting stories.  Two cousins were lynched in Kansas over an alleged murder - turns out the guy they had "murdered" was sitting in jail in the next county over!  Found another relative who "went missing" over a marital spat when her son wanted to join the Union Army, rather than the Confederates - all they found of her was a ring and her dress in a river.  Yikes!

We also discovered a cousin who died shortly after birth that no one ever talked about... and a cousin who (thanks to a nice newspaper person in a small town in Oregon who dug up some articles for me) was murdered while hitch-hiking.... I never even knew this cousin existed....

I love looking at the addresses on the censuses (censii?) and google mapping them to see where relatives actually lived.

@cluelissagreed about the math - I think some people just blindly copy and paste from an incorrect tree on Ancestry - we find it all the time.  Also about the names and info on the census data - "someone" had to transcribe that info, and given some of the messes we have found, I am pretty sure the transcription people had frequent flier status at BevMo.  :my_confused:

 

 

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Tikobaby

If you go far enough back, I think we're ALL cousins, @MarblesMom!  :my_biggrin:

1 hour ago, RabbitKM said:

That is really cool that your family has been in America for that long! I'm sure your tree is amazing.  I'm only a first-and-a-half generation American (my dad was born here after his parents immigrated, and my mom is an immigrant), so I'm worried that it would end up being a wild goose chase if I tried to track any information down.  Either way, I might give it a go in a few months, and maybe enlist my grandparents to give me as much information as they can.  With my grandparents getting older (and sick, unfortunately), I've been thinking a lot more about where they came from and wanting to learn more about their histories.  

I second all your questions!  

The first tree I ever saw was when I was a teenager and saw a copy of a tree drawn up in 1900 for the line of the family that arrived in SC in 1680. That sparked my interest and from then on I wanted to know more about the family history. 

It would certainly be very valuable to your family's history if you could talk with your grandparents and write down the fundamentals for as many ancestors as they can remember. It's shocking how soon names and dates can be forgotten. Save your family history while you can!

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Blahblah

@RabbitKM I am an absolute newbie. Just started looking things up on ancestry.com last week. I'm in Australia but came from England. I signed up for a free two week trial 2 days ago.

I have only included direct ancestors and siblings of direct ancestors because I can't be bothered with non-blood relatives for now.

And after 2 days of on and off digging since I signed off (I certainly haven't dedicated my time to this, it's been a couple of hours here and there) I have added 149 people, 50 of whom are direct ancestors.

I have found 14 out of 16 of my great great grandparents.

One branch (my mum's paternal great grandfather, so one of my great great grandfathers) came from Germany and I've hit a brick wall there.

I can go back to about 1720 in 2 lines. That's 7xgreat grandparents. I've found more than a few 5xgreat grandparents.

I'm stuck in all but one line but may be able to go further back however the info is unclear due to one branch using two spellings of their surname (Acres / Akers) and two people with the same birth year and spouse names living in roughly the same town and I'm not sure which ones are mine.

My other problem is that almost my entire family is English with fairly common surnames, limited first names (curses to Mary, Ann, Sarah, Edward, John, Frederick, William and every combination thereof) and they mostly stayed in the same place so it gets very difficult.

TLDR sorry but I wanted to show you what a not-very-committed newbie can do in just over a couple of days.

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
HerNameIsBuffy

I've recently been listening to some youtube vids put out by ancestry.com (kristen something - the barefoot genealogist) which have some good tips.  Different ways of looking at data to try to break through brick walls.

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PennySycamore

@clueliss,  IIRC, I have a Mary Smith in my family tree, as well!  Pretty sure they're not the same Mary Smith, though.  My Mary Smith married Juan/Jean/John Sevier at some church in London I can't recall the name of at the moment after he fled Paris after the Edict of Nantes was revoked.

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nana sew dear

Always fun to have families with the surnames, Smith, Jones, Johnson, Anderson, Young, Taylor, etc. !  I have one 2X great grandmother (Lamira Taylor) who appears to have been plopped down by a space ship in 1890's Eastern Oregon.  I literally have been searching for more on her for 20+ years.

I understand some people have the need for privacy.  I have found some pretty weird stuff researching families and other researchers might not be as amused as I have been.  What I resent is freely sharing my pictures, letters, documents, etc. and then someone will add them to their private tree.  How about sharing some of what you have folks.  I do this stuff with the intention of helping others!

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Blahblah

Any ancestry.com experts who can solve this? Several generations back two of my lines converge with two of my 10xgreat grandfathers being brothers.

Ancestry.com (I'm using the app on my iPad) records one of them as my 10x great grandfather and the other as a first cousin 10x removed. I have no idea how to fix this, or even whether it can be fixed. The next generation down is fine. It just can't deal with the brothers.

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clueliss

Ancestry.com stinks with this.   I can't tell if it takes the shortest route to you or the first established route to you.  Sometimes I can get it to calculate the person right if I establish what they are to me and then add the person as a sibling/child to the original family.   But if you do it that way - don't recalculate or it will go back. 

Ancestry spends a lot of effort on how things look on their site but not enough on issues like this that users have complained about for years.

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Karma

@Blahblah I've had this problem as well.

Ancestry also didn't cope with the woman who had kids with her stepson after her much older husband, his father, died.  He was half brother to her eldest children and father of the youngest....  My gg grandmother eloped and emigrated to Australia not long afterwards. Maybe she wasn't too happy about it all.

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