Over the past 40 years of practice, study and research, I have become quite adept at collecting dead relatives, or to be more pc, genealogy and family history. Some people’s eyes may glaze over about now, but I guarantee you, once you have found your first missing link ancestor, you’ll be bitten by the genealogy bug and never look back.
Out of all the online databases out there (Ancestry et al) both free and for profit, the best by far is FamilySearch. Not only is it free, but it has the most comprehensive database, is very user-friendly and is daily adding to the materials available online. But before you visit that site, there are a few things you should do first:
1. Fill out a Pedigree Chart with as much info as you know
2. Fill out a Family Group Sheet for each couple on your tree (Pedigree chart) with will include the husband and wife and all children
3. Scour your home for documents, photos, diaries, scrapbooks that can provide information on your family.
4. Call, write, email, interview all relatives who may be able to tell you about your family. (In a later post, if there is interest, I can share ideas for interviewing relatives).
5. Now you are ready to visit familysearch.org. Plug in the names you’ve found, and begin to be amazed at all you can discover! Who knows, you may even find your Pilgrim, or link to royalty. But even if you only find the horse-thieves and farmers, they are YOURS and you will gain a greater appreciation of your own life and who you are as you get to know your ancestors. Happy Hunting!
(And contact me anytime with questions if you want to know more!)