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Genealogy Research: Unveiling the Past

The term genealogy is rooted from the Greek word “genealogia” which refers to the tracing of family. The term genealogia is likewise rooted from genea, referring to a generation or descent.

Genealogy research basically refers to the identification of the lineage, significant information regarding the history of the family.

What is then the importance of tracing the history of your family? Why is it significant to search for your ancestors who are long dead and buried?

The very reason includes a very basic logic. If your ancestors never existed, you will not exist either. Hence, you and your ancestors are interlinked.

Meaning, you still behold a lot of similarity to your ancestors. Those people who have long been forgotten. Those people who have led a very different life before.

Tracing you family’s ancestors is a way of giving honor to them. Not that alone, the process of genealogy research is very fascinating too.

Aside from that, you will be able to learn lots of things. For instance, you would realize why you as well as the rest of your relatives dwell in a place when your race in fact belongs to some other country.

There are many circumstances relating to this occasion. An example of this is the early Hessian soldiers. Historically, British used them to battle the American colonization.

After these Hessian soldiers fought the Americans, many of them deserted Britain. Their descendants are believed to have transferred to Ohio later.

Another thing you can learn about the genealogy of your family is the medical conditions. What are these medical conditions that are running in your family’s blood? You need to be aware of them for they may be transmitted genetically.

It is important to know whether your ancestor died of diabetes or other diseases. Did they suffer from a heart disease or asthma? This knowledge will give you the idea regarding the habits or types of food you need to avoid.

Now, you might be wondering how to trace the medical conditions of your ancestors when in fact all of them are gone already.

You might learn this from the stories of your parents told by you grandparents, which were shared before by your grand grandparents and so on.

But if ever there is no existing stories about your family’s medical conditions. You can easily refer to the old papers of death notices. Most often, the reason of death is detailed here.

Upon knowing the reason of the death of our ancestors you will be more careful on your health, and to your family too definitely.

So, how are you going to begin your research on your family’s genealogy? Fortunately, there are several ways to do it nowadays.

You can conduct your research on a genealogy library in your community or maybe in others. You may also opt to join a genealogy association. These associations usually have numbers of research tool to help you in your research.

Of course, you can also get your needed information by simply accessing the information through the Internet. Here, you can join genealogy forums, which could help you connect with your distant relatives.

Genealogy Online For Dummies: Dummy Survived Genealogical Research

The learning process for genealogists is a continuous challenge. Thus, information have started to explode over the internet. These brought family historians in the world of high technology. Everybody is acquainted with personal computers, websites, and emails. What makes this endeavor rewarding and fascinating is the passion for exploring new things.

The problem is that if you failed to track information then the problem comes. Say for instance, you cannot distinguish which materials are good for your genealogy research. Keep your patience. There is always a solution to it.

One of the most popular sources of information which have started to dominate genealogy research is dummy books. Genealogy Online for Dummies authored by April Leigh Helm and Matthew L. Helm is the latest addition. This book has five parts which is very helpful on guiding you to find your family history.

Beginners as well as those who are starting to research on the internet can find the tips on Part 1 and Part 2 of this book useful for conducting genealogy research. Valuable pointers regarding surnames, ethnic research, government records, and geographical locations are provided.

The most important part of this book is found in Part 4. You can learn about the ten internet genealogical publications, ten guidelines on how to design genealogy webpage, ten genealogy beginner’s sites, and ten guidelines for a smooth sailing genealogical research. Yellow pages containing various sites listings and descriptions are also included. This will enable dummies to have a definite guide when searching the internet.

Exploring websites can be more fun using this directory. Every section on the search engines enables you to obtain the most significant information provided by robots known as spiders. One common mistake done by first timer online genealogists is to go directly on a search engine and type the surname which they are looking. Then they are surprised by the results. Following these tips can prevent these conflicts.

One amazing feature of this book is that it is also available on CDs. Various shareware and commercial programs (Mac and Windows versions), utilities, and multimedia tools are found useful by genealogists.

Keep in mind that not everything is provided by websites or computers. You cannot carry your laptop everywhere even though it is already portable. But books are simply amazing.

Beginner genealogists have rated this book as really cool and informational. Successful genealogy research must start with a plan and orientation about the computer equipment to use. Chronological procedures are provided using certain websites.

Another point of interest in this book is the database of land patent from the previous GLO (General Land Office) provided through the BLMESO (Bureau of Land Management’s Eastern State Office). People have the chance to download copies of their early ancestor’s land patents. Some considered this book a good source for every genealogist. It covers not only what is found on websites but also amazing tips on acquiring important genealogical skills.

As your research progresses, you can also discover ways on preserving photos and notes and organizing records. You will also be acquainted on planning trips for genealogical research as well as useful strategies. Numerous resources developed on websites are offered to help you find your family history including foreign archives and sources.

Beginners are dummies no more. Genealogy Online for Dummies has made a big difference.

Professional Genealogy Research Advantages: The Gift of Learning Your Ancestry

Professional Genealogy Research Advantages: The Gift of Learning Your Ancestry

Many people are eager to find out their ancestors as well as where they come from. Thus, learning the history of your family becomes a popular objective. It can start from a hobby during weekends to everyday pastime and even to a regular job. In fact, a very attractive alternative for a day job or incomplete research is to rely on a genealogy research done by professionals. The advantages that it provides can be a gift for you.

1.Speed. Using trained and certified genealogists in conducting research can allow you to take the advantages of their previous experiences and expertise. Certified genealogists already know what they are going to do thus their research are efficient. Let their efficiency and speed work for you.

2.Training. Trained genealogists always have systematic plans. Their tasks are listed from the very beginning of the research until the end. They get the most relevant and the best information rather than sifting over countless census, probates, and other records. Their experience combined with a thorough training is effective for knowing what to find, where to find, and how to find. Researching your family history requires knowledge of various resources, from books to microfilms to computerized records, from correspondence indices to probates to censuses.

3.Geographical access. Even though the internet has become a good source for plenty of records, some information are not yet entered in the computer. To obtain these records, you need to send money and letters to archive offices located in far places. When you choose a professional research service, make sure that the location is closer to a huge resource such as the Family History Library, or the National Archives, each stores millions of important documents.

4.Accuracy. Many years of genealogy practice exposes you to a lot of conflicting information. For example you have learned from your mother that the birthday of your great grandmother is in June however the official record reveals that it is February. There also instances that the documents disagree. You should be able to determine the right source. Say, John Smith is your great grandfather and he passed away in 1995. So, how would you be able to find the true John Smith?

Trained researchers already know everything on how to analyze conflicting sources as well as identify the individuals accurately. Based on their experience and training, they are able to judge the date that appears to be more accurate. Likewise, they can determine your ancestor with the name of John Smith.

Assessment of source material takes several years of experience in the field of genealogy. Professional genealogists can ensure that their works have accuracy.

5.Qualified access. Most resources are very sensitive. Some have even restricted access. Many archives have strict rules regarding the use of their resources. It can include the person who wants to access particular information, the procedure of accessing the materials, the researcher’s return incentives, and others. Certified genealogists are familiarized with these restrictions already. They have the expertise in researching in such environments and handling documents. Moreover, only professional genealogists are permitted to do the research in archives with only limited access.

Learning your ancestry is fun as well as a unique gift. Remember, to avoid any hassles, ask for the help of professionals.

Online genealogy research to understand family history and ancestry

Life is lived onwards but understood backwards. Indeed, there are lot of things to learn in history, more so, with the people for whom you own your heritage. Those people whom youve never ever heard of, the forgotten souls of your great, great, great, great grandparents were the reason why you are on earth right now. Because of this, many peoples interests were captured on studying their own roots, their genealogy.

Over the years, the supreme records that serve as the best research tools on the study of genealogy are held in microfilm reels. The members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were the major collectors of family trees as part of their religion and belief. Because of this, most family researchers seek for their help in tracing their line of ancestors.

Aside from the records of the Mormons, there also other excellent sources to find names of the people. One of which is the newspaper. Newspapers can contain articles about or obituaries of your relatives who lived decades ago. Funeral cards are also powerful tools for researchers. These could be found from the closets of your parents or libraries. Also, you can interview your living relatives about the names of your ancestors, their stories, and their way of living during the time. Nevertheless, all these sum up to the laborious chore of studying your genealogy. And to add to the difficulty is the financial concern. The old methods of tracing the family genealogy are undoubtedly expensive. Tracing the genealogy requires an investment. The introduction of internet to the world of genealogy is a great technological spec.

Because of the online genealogy system, all the records and files from the primary documents, to newspaper articles and obituaries down to the funeral cards were all embedded to the vast sea of knowledge. This online system allows the researchers to an easy access to the resources. All the capabilities and authentications of the recorded documents are posted at the internet. And everyday, more sets of information are entered to the web to keep its record updated and reliable.

There are free genealogy search engines that require only certain information such as surname, name, and/or location of your ancestry. In an instant, you can readily find your line of ancestry. However, if you are not satisfied with the results reported by search engines, you can conduct further study of your genealogy. To help you in this quest, you can post at the online message board the specific surname that you are tracing. In this manner, you will be able to meet fellow genealogists who are working on the same surname.

For genealogists, the online research for resources is beneficial. It helps cut the cost of expenses and the time allotted for genealogy research. Aside from this, they can share their documents with other researchers online. The exchange of information speeds up the tracking of heritage.

While you seek to learn more about many things, dont you think it is also fulfilling to know your roots?

Free and accessible sources in your research for your genealogy

Free and accessible sources in your research for your genealogy

Isn’t it interesting to know more about your ancestral timeline several generations ago? If you are on the search for reliable sources that will serve as your reference documents, the internet is a good resource material. It has always contained the vast data that can help in your research. The great advantage when using the internet is that the genealogist can save both money and effort.

Aside from the ancestral timeline, some people also would want to know the details about their recent generations. In the quest of finding this out, genealogy becomes a serious study that takes an investment.

There are some helpful pointers that can give ease to your research. Whether you are new or a professional genealogist, you must know that there could be other researchers that work on your genealogy. One way to find out is to check on the published works of the surnames involved in your family tree. Some of these researchers publish their works on their website for other people to visit. Other helpful tools that can also be found in the internet are the searchable indexes that contain references needed in your study.

The genealogical or historical society is an institution that you can ask help from. They are found in the towns where your ancestors once lived. This is an excellent source of information on how life was during the time of your great, great grandparents. The genealogical or historical society keeps the records of local directories, the list of buried people even in inactive burial spots, and newspaper archives. The advantage of seeking help from this institution is that this is run by volunteers who have been oriented with some genealogical facts. This also contains addresses of other societies which have links to their webs.

Way back in 1800’s, the US and Europe has the long tradition of funeral cards or mourning cards. These are also great sources for genealogists. There are also web sites that deal on the indexing of these cards. You can visit these sites and search for the surnames that you need.

Newspapers are also good sources of local information. They usually contain valuable information about people who have lived a few years ago. The online newspaper archive is a searchable site that takes the place of microfilm reels. However, it would be advantageous if you have some information about your ancestors such as the event where they have been involved. When you search in online newspaper archives, you type the surname and the keyword, which is resembled by the event. The newspaper online is updated regularly that makes their information reliable.

Another research tool that is helpful in genealogy is the indexed census. Aside from this, there are other transcribed records which are also available online. Such records of birth, marriage and death information are available in some databases.

There are various research tools that help in the search of your ancestry. There are free and accessible sources that only proper organization provide.

The Success of Genealogy Research Lies on DNA Testings

There are about 60,000 billion cells found in the human body. It includes muscle cells, cheek cells, and white blood cells. Each cell contains the whole genetic information which is the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The nucleus inside the cell holds the DNA or chromosomal DNA that consists of Y chromosomal DNA, X chromosomal DNA, and autosomal DNA. The external part of the nucleus holds mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The autosomal DNA comes from both the mother and the father, Y chromosomes is inherited by a son from his father, and mtDNA comes from the mother only.

There are advancements made in testing DNA to meet various areas of interests. For example, the most common uses of DNA are related to finding criminals and proving paternity. But today, genealogy research also uses DNA testing.

For so many years, genealogy has become an important element of the society and a favorite hobby of some enthusiasts. Although this is more rewarding, somehow it brings frustrations even to expert genealogists. It can be very time consuming when doing paper research. More often, it can lead to illegible and damaged documents. But, DNA testing provides quick results without questioning its authenticity or quality. Moreover, the genetic genealogy results can endure the tests of time.

1.Mitochondrial testing is utilized for tracing the maternal heritage of a person. The mtDNA testing is very important since genealogists are mostly females. When they marry, maternal lines are often lost because of changing their surnames. In this manner, they can learn and trace their maternal ancestry.

There are advances made in understanding genetics and using laboratory techniques in helping a person to identify maternal lineage through mtDNA tracing services. The distinct mtDNA of person is analyzed and compared to the databases of other samples of mtDNA worldwide, revealing information about the lost ancestry.

The mtDNA remains nearly unchanged even for so many years. You can share the same type of mtDNA with your mother, maternal grandmother, and maternal great grandmother. The same exact mtDNA code can track your direct maternal lineage way back from the time where mtDNA code’s natural mutation occurred.

Women who are living today can trace their origins 150 thousands years ago through natural mutations or mitochondrial eve. In connection with matrilineal descent, eve is the common ancestor. But it doesn’t necessarily imply that eve is the only woman who lived in that era. There were also other women alive but only the lineage of eve has survived.

2.Y chromosomal DNA testing is the most common used form of genetic genealogy testing. Some people can even trace if a deceased man is related to them by conducting this test.

Like mtDNA, Y chromosomes can be also traced back from one prehistoric father, Adam. The DNA mutation of the first Y chromosomes naturally occurs over many generations. Determining the present Y chromosomes can trace your paternal lineage through searching the Y database worldwide.

Moreover, genealogists can find out if two people are related because they have similar surnames through Y chromosomes testing. It is not impossible since in most cultures, surnames or family names are inherited by children from their fathers like the Y chromosomal DNA.

A successful genealogy research lies on DNA testing because its usefulness is proven as time has passed by.

Using your Research to Stay Healthy: Genetics

Although genealogy may just be an interesting hobby for some, for others it has a very important role-by researching your family, you can learn about your family’s health history. This is especially important for people who have lost family information for as recently as one or two generations ago. Genetics are to blame for many common diseases and body traits, as well as some rare health problems, so by locating information about your ancestors, you can have a better understanding of your own health.

First, you need to understand a little about genetics and how you get specific traits from your parents, grandparents, and so on. Genetics is simply the study of heredity, done mostly by looking at your DNA. DNA is the building block of life, and it is a molecule made up by string four nucleotides together in a specific order. A piece of this string is called a gene. So, DNA is a sentence, genes are the words, and nucleotides are the letters.

DNA, in turn, combines to create chromosomes (like sentences create paragraphs), of which every person has 23 pairs (one from your mother and one from your father). Some genes are, in layman’s terms, more powerful than others are, which is what determines if you inherit your mother’s blue eyes or your father’s brown eyes. To go back to the sentence analogy, think of your 23 pairs of chromosomes as two versions of a story. The more exciting version is the one that people want to hear, so the two stories are combined to create the best story possible, taking characteristics from both versions. During conception, you receive one “story” that is 23 paragraphs long from each parent, and your body develops by copying these 23 chromosomes over and over until your are formed. Remember that your mom and dad each have 23 pairs (one from their own mother and one from their own father), but they only pass on 23 single chromosomes to you, a naturally random process.

There are many different health problems that can be caused by your DNA, but generally, they fall into two categories. Multiple gene disorders occur when your parents both give you a defective copy of the same gene. Generally, defective genes are less powerful, so you only need one healthy gene to override the medical condition. However, single gene disorders are much more easily passed because the defective gene is more powerful than the healthy one. By researching your family history, you can find out what health problems you may have in your future and what you may pass on to your children.

The Secret Files that Might Save your Research

If you’ve never heard of the American Genealogical-Biographical Index, don’t be worried-although it is one of the best research tools available for United States genealogical research, it is also very unknown and unused. However, use this option when you begin your research and you won’t be disappointed; there are over 6 million entries, and most of these have never been published before and do not overlap with information you can collect at other places. Now online and on CD-ROM, the American Genealogical-Biographical Index, AGBI for short, is much more accessible and growing in popularity, as opposed to seven years ago, when only about 200 libraries nation-wide had access to it in print version.

Also known as the Rider Index, the AGBI began as a project by a librarian in the 1930s. He borrowed hundred of different kinds of records from researchers, churches, etc to publish an index in print form. As of the beginning of the 21st century, it included names from over 840 sources, many of which are from the New England states, but records from all thirteen colonies, as well as from other early states, are included. You can find this database online now at, one of the best online resources for people researching their family tree.

Each entry in the AGBI includes six parts: surname, first name, birthday, state of residence, biographical information (whatever is available, such as occupation or military service information), and citation. You can access this information online, or you can find a print version of the AGBI in your state’s major research libraries. Since print copies are huge and hard to find, the Internet is probably your best bet. However, if you live in Connecticut, you might want to consider traveling to Middletown to the Godfrey Memorial Library, where the project began over three-quarters of a century ago. There, not only can you find a print version of the AGBI, but many print versions of the sources sited in the AGBI as well. The Family History Library in Utah is another good place for research based on the AGBI.

Don’t overlook this wonderful tool when you are researching your family tree. Although you may not gain much more information than you already know, what you will find is a source for this information that may lead you to finding more ancestors. Thanks to modern technology, this information is not available online so that you can access it whenever it fits your schedule.

Ship Shape Research

Since the early 1800s, immigrants to the United States have been plentiful-and so have records of their voyage. Luckily for those interested in learning about their family history, almost all of the millions of immigrants to America were registered at Ellis Island when they came across the ocean on ships, and this extensive list of travelers is one of the best resources a researcher can use to find their ancestors. Ship passenger lists can be your best tools to start your search for your family tree.

Until after the end of the French Revolution, there are few records, because immigrants were not required to register. After this, there was an explosion of people moving to the United States and conditions aboard ships deteriorated. To help relive this problem, the government began to regulate the number of passengers a ship could carry, which required that names and dates be recorded and submitted to Ellis Island officials.

Of course, over time, many lists were lost. However, many more survived and those have since become property of the National Archive, with copies being held by the Department of State as well. In the late 1970s, copies of the lists from five of the major United States ports (Boston, New York, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Philadelphia) were also given to the Balch Institute Center for Immigration Research in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is safe to say that, although there was some loss, the bulk of the passengers listed have been saved and are now on microfilm for safekeeping.

By law, after 1819 the following things had to be recorded on the passenger list: name, age, gender, country of allegiance, country of intended destination, and occupation. Later law required information such as country of origin, more specific intended location, previous address, marital status, amount of money, prison records, and health status. By the turn of the century, passenger lists carried 21 points of information. Soon, a physical description was added as well.

The National Archives is in the process of creating indexes for all of the existing passenger lists. This is the best place to start if you know the name of your ancestor. Remember that earlier records will be harder to read and may not exist at all. The indexes are arranged by port, so try to find this information, or at least make an educated guess, to start your search. Once you find the passenger list you need, you can continue on to other countries in your quest for your ancestors.

How to Research Your Family Health

Genetics is an important part of any family tree, as well as any single person’s personal health. Once you understand how the process of inheriting health traits works, it is time to start researching your pedigree. This can be a difficult process, but by taking a close look at your parents’ health histories, and then continuing to work your way back through the generations, you can help you and your children maintain good health conditions or be prepared for problems that may develop in the future. Not everything is treatable or preventable, but knowing your family health history will help you and your doctor make the most educated decisions possible.

When you begin to compile a family health history, your first step is to record information for yourself and your closest living relatives. Even if your grandparents or parents are not living anymore, by speaking to uncles, aunts, and cousins, you can determine some of the diseases that may be common in your family. Record this information carefully and then ask your doctor for help interpreting it. For example, if your sister has a disease that is only possible by receiving two faulty genes, both of your parents and at least two of your grandparents must have been carriers. This means there’s a chance that you are a carrier as well, and you should find your husband’s status to determine if your future children will be at risk.

There are many resources for finding family history. After speaking with relatives who are still living about personal health, ask if they have any information about relatives who have since passed away. You can also check death records for causes of death, which is important if they died due to a specific genetic disease, rather than naturally of old age or by accident. Military records are also an excellent source for this, as are immigration records. Remember, to establish a good family heath history, you don’t need to go back in time 20 generations-four or five should be enough to trace the majority of genetically transmitted diseases that are common in your family.

Once you gather this information, organize it for your doctor and then ask his advice if you see any trends or patterns. Also, consider sharing your findings with everyone in your family. Although you may want to keep you health records private, if your family is at risk, the ethical thing to do is share this information.