Sunday, July 20, 2014

5 sites everyone searching their family tree should be using

Working on your family tree can be a long & exhausting process, but technology can help.

It's amazing how many tools there are to help you search, however, not every tool is free & some can be quite expensive.  Here are a few tools that have been lifesavers for me.

  1. My favorite site is ancestry.com  I have been a member since I starting tracing my tree in 2007.  I can't say enough about the number of features ancestry has to offer even a brand new genealogist.  My favorite is the monthly youtube videos Crista Cowan, the Barefoot genealogist produces monthly describing what's new with ancestry.  Even if you don't want to pay the monthly fee (which is only a little over $20 of month) you can still utilize ancestry's tree maker & several of their records, including some of the 1940 census records free.
  2. familysearch.org is free!  I had no idea about this site when I first started searching, but now I use it as often as I do ancestry.  In fact, I've came across records quicker with familysearch than with ancestry with certain family members. (My two times great grandparents marriage record.) 
  3. The Indianapolis recorder-being an Indy native, I am familiar with this publication, but others outside of Indiana may not be.  When I first started searching through these records, it was an endless process, but I quickly learned how to narrow my search & came up on a wealth of African American history.  (It amazed me how much info they documented back then.  There use to be a section called Teen Talk that was strictly for the high school dating scene.)  
  4. Chronicling America has newspapers on a wider scale (just in case none of your ancestors came from Indiana).  The unfortunate thing about this site is that it is very difficult to search through because the info is not as widely indexed as the other 3 sites. Which means you may have to get really good at looking at very tiny print to find the info you are looking for.  Also, the records are very limited &  most of the newspapers are from before 1922.
  5. Find a grave is my new favorite site.  It is definitely more reliable in regards to info.  Most of the sites I frequent, the info is provided by the users & that is findagrave, but it's different because it is a picture of the actual grave site/headstone.  How much more reliable can your information get?