Monday, August 2, 2010

Free Genealogical Research Tools

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Image by Smithsonian Institution via Flickr

I’ve started my search for genealogical blogs.  Let me tell you, there are a lot of them out there.  It seems a lot of people are researching their ancestry.  I suppose that’s the reason for the proliferation of sites like Ancestry.com.  This blog search is becoming almost as much of a passion as the search for my families history.  I’m going to have my links pages populated before long, but I thought I might share some of the resources I found today. 

The first one is Family Search Engine.  This is a free resource that allows you to search genealogy records and resources from around the world.  It’s simple to use, and the results are fabulous.  I entered one of the names I’ve been having difficulty with, and a known time frame.  I got over 30 results with similar data.  Now you still have to go through and select those that match your data.  You still have to confirm the information relates to the name your interested in, but wow, what a resource.  I got results from Germany, Prussia, Nova Scotia, and many more.  I couldn’t confirm the records related to the name I was searching, but it’s still the best results I have gotten so far.  FamilySearch.org, the host for this search engine also has a wonderful collection of research outlines, for just about every state in the US, and many other countries.  All you have to do is go select the ones that you need, and download them.  Their all in PDF, so as long as you have Adobe Reader, you’ll be able to read and print them.

With any kind of research, it’s nice to have a format to follow, and record your progress.  You can’t always do this on line, so you some paper forms that will help you stay on track.  Family Tree Magazine has a series of free PDF forms, you can use either on the computer, or in printed format.  There are basic charts and reference sheets.   Then you have research organizers and trackers, always needed are forms to records census information.  Ever try to follow and keep track of immigration information, like passenger lists.  Vital Statistic records are a major source of data, so you need forms to record information forms those records.  Probably one of the most important, is the oral histories we all have heard.  They even have a form to record precious memories from  those oral histories or heirlooms .  Family Tree Magazine has so many other free tools and resources, it would require a whole series of articles to cover them.

Another wonderful resource is Free Genealogy.  They list so many different tools and resources, it’s hard to keep up with them.  While there, I found this link to a free Genealogy Toolkit.  It’s another collect of forms in one compact PDF file. 

If you know of other sources, please let me know about them.  Don’t forget, if you have a Genealogy blog, or a family tree blog, leave me your link so I can add it to my list.  Happy research!

Quote of the Day:
”I don't have to look up my family tree, because I know that I'm the sap.”
--Fred A. Allen

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