Week 3 – Free Online Genealogy Tools: Free online genealogy tools are like gifts from above. Which one are you most thankful for? How has it helped your family history experience?
This challenge runs from Sunday, January 15, 2012 through Saturday, January 21, 2012.
52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy (http://www.geneabloggers.com/tag/52-weeks-of-abundant-genealogy/) by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your thoughts on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.
Free Online Genealogy Tools:
I have to say that my first Online Genealogy Tool if the Find-A-Grave website. In reality, it’s a tool in two ways. 1) gives me a chance to get out and about, to help others (give back to the community) and 2) for my own research.
I was able to put a genealogy together, for a friend of mine by visiting ONE Cemetery, look at ONE Monument and put together a 3 generation genealogy for him. I went to another cemetery and went back two more generations. All of the pictures were on both Find-A-Grave and on my Headstone Blog.
Based on that experience, I have given a number of genealogy talks, in the local area, on how I used the Find-A-Grave website to do my research. Two of the talks were to local Historical Societies. Initially, I thought that wasn’t right, what do I know about a Historical Society. Then it dawned on me that they were trying to document and preserve the history of the Local Area, and I was doing the same for my Family.
The first of those talks, as off shoots, the Historical Society and I went to two cemeteries, to help record and/or update a listing that they had, and I was adding photographs for Find-A-Grave at the same time.
The second cemetery we visited was an old Family Burial Ground, where there was only ONE stone, and it certainly was not in the right place, because the property owner didn’t want the “kids” to get hurt with that stone. A group of 6 of us, and 2 divining rods located what is believed to be the burial ground with, it appeared to be, 15 burials. It was in the “back yard” and neighbor, of where the headstone was. The house was the home for that family who was reported to be buried there.
Two adventures based on the Find-A-Grave website.
For my own research, the Inferential Genealogy series I posted here, also included Find-A-Grave. Both in what I found and didn’t find. But that was also taken care of with a visit to the Cemetery and taking photographs.
But sometimes, Find-A-Grave and visiting Cemeteries lead to other questions about families. Like, why are some members of the family in one cemetery, while others in another cemetery, or even another Plot within the same cemetery.
Another cemetery visit I made, was for a friend, and Genea-Blogger, where I took pictures of the Surname I was looking for, to see if we could put families together to help know down a brick wall. I have to say that this one is still a work in progress.
But between Census Records and Cemetery Plots, without other documentation, families can be put together, or at least that is my experience.
Other Free Online Tools: FamilySearch.org would be my next tool. I haven’t used that site as much as I should, but I do hope to learn more about that website at RootsTech 2012. There are a couple of other Online Tools that I learn more about at RootsTech 2012. I am expecting that after that trip, I will have more to say.
I should mention that having your genealogy research posted online is very helpful. I am in the process of cleaning up my main Genealogy Management file, and realized just how many Onlilne Tree’s I have Source and Citations from. In turn, I have some of my research online as well.
Don’t forget about Blogs. I have received many tips from this Blog. For example, I posted one post, and within an hour I had two “new” cousins. Blogs, as they say, are Cousin Bait.
Social Media is also in the mix. Having a Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter account have helped as well.
Another Tombstone Tuesday Blogger has posted some photographs on her Blog of a number of my ancestors in Kansas. I’ll never get to Kansas, but I have pictures of where they are buried. After I had thanked her, she went out of her way to go back as see if she could find anyone else.
I am sure that I missed some, but these are a couple of my Free Online Tools.