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Genealogy

This web page is dedicated to 'newbies' - people who want to begin researching their family tree.

  What do I do first?
Find out if there is someone in the family who has already worked on the family history - contact them. Genealogists love to share their research.

If you are starting from scratch - start with yourself and your immediate family. Write down all the information that you know, here are a few suggestions for things you can record:

Full names
Birth dates
Places of birth
Places you lived
Education
Occupation
Military service
Hobbies
Religion
Medical
Events

Next, talk to or write to your brothers and sisters and parents and uncles and cousins. Don't forget long-time family friends.

  How do I organise all the information?

Many newbies begin with paper and pen but soon realise how invaluable a programme on their computer would be for helping them organise their family tree information.

There are many programmes available; some are free, some will cost you more than a couple of dollars, some are easy to use, some are a little more challenging - this can be a very personal preference.

Whether you are using the Mac or Windows operating systems, there is great software available. (If you use Windows, there is a free programme available from the Mormon Church 'Family Search' web site called Personal Ancestral File, an excellent programme. )
Many of the for profit software programmes have demonstration versions available - you can try the programme before committing to buy.

  How can I share my family tree research?

Most genealogy programmes have the ability to save records in a file known as a gedcom file. This means that if you are running a Mac operating system and using Reunion software programme and your cousin has Windows operating system and is using P.A.F. programme you can still exchange/share your family records.

A gedcom file basically a text file so it can easily be zipped and e-mailed.

  What are the best Links on the web for researching your family tree?

The internet has thousands of invaluable sites that will help you research your family tree - some of the best links below.

Cyndi's List

A great place for newbies and experienced genealogists. You can find links to almost anything to do with Genealogy on Cyndi's List.

Google

One of the best search engines on the web.

Family Search

A web site hosted by the Mormon Church. Search the International Genealogy Index (I.G.I.), assorted Census Records and the Ancestral Files. P.A.F. software is available for download.

CWGC - The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

A searchable database listing the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during WWI and WWII and the details of the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died in WWII.

Rootsweb

THE genealogy e-mail resource list on the web.

Free BMD


An ongoing project to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales.

 Tips and Tricks

When you are recording information please keep in mind that if you can't remember what you had for breakfast that others may not be able to remember what happened twenty years ago. Everyone will be trying their best to help you but the years dull all of our memories.

What we believe to be so may not be so; every family has 'family secrets'.

Years ago, if you didn't like your name, you changed it - you started using a new name; a process that drives your poor descendants researching the family tree just a little mad :-)

Try and get at least two records of a fact.

We often only see the transcribed results; if you have any suspicions or questions, about a piece of information try and see the original records, many are available on microfiche that can be ordered and viewed at your local Library or at the nearest Family History Centre.

Literacy a hundred years ago was not what it is today; names/surnames were sometimes recorded phonetically, for example: Elinor (Eleanor), Edmond (Edmund).

A questionnaire / survey can be a great way to collect information. You can find premade forms via the Links on Cyndi's List.

WARNING: Genealogy is Highly Addictive!

 

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