Ancestery.com has been a common way for people to search their genealogy to fill in their family tree. That isn’t the only way to do your search and you definitely shouldn’t stop there. Some of the information you think is correct will often turn out to be an incorrect path, but there are ways to verify the search results that you get when you find something. You should verify everything unless you know first hand that it is accurate. Otherwise, you could end up with inaccurate leaves on the family tree.
Best ways to find and verify your ancestors:
Ancestory.com- Ancestory.com is a great place to get started on searching for your family tree. There is a vast amount of information to pull from. You can easily get old census records, which is one of the easiest ways to get good information on entire families to make confirmation. You can also get the social security death index records (although you can do this for free as well by doing a Google search). There are also old birth, death and marriage records available. The only problem with that is that you have to have a membership with costs money. Once the membership runs out, you won’t have access to those records anymore unless you decide to re-up your membership.
Social Security Death Index- You can easily find the social security death index on the internet and pull up social security records of people who have passed away. This doesn’t cost a dime and you can often get important information from these records. Here is one example: I was researching my grandmother. When I looked up her social security death index, I found that her birth date on it didn’t match the birth date that we had for her. The month and day were the same but the year was off by one. On further research, it appears that for some reason, her birth year wasn’t proper on one of the records. The problem is, we can’t figure out which one is actually right because she always said that her birth records were destroyed in a fire where the birth records were kept in her town. Anyway, you can find out a great deal of information from the few things that are on these records and it pays to research them.
Family/Friends- One of the best sources to find out about your family tree is to talk to older family members and to old family friends. They will have more personal information about the deceased members of your close family tree. Pull from that information as much as possible. People are usually very willing to talk about these things to give you a better understanding of your family members.
Google- Use Google to your greatest advantage when it comes to genealogy. You can find a lot of information on a person by searching their name on Google. Although you might come up with dead end sometimes, there are still some points that can often come up on a person’s name that you never knew existed. Give it a try.
Geocities- Geocities was a website where thousands of people made their first web pages. It was the ultimate way to share personal information and other such things with the world. It was one way in which early internet users socially networked. Though Geocities no longer exists and Yahoo deleted all the files from Geocities, some of those old pages were actually saved by people outside of Geocities who were able to foresee the want/need for people to find these pages in the future. It isn’t just a piece on internet history, it has a vast wealth of information about people and their families. You can search the information on the old Geocities pages through several websites to see if you can come up with new information on family members. You might be very surprised what you will find there.
Hands on Work- Sometimes it pays to do a little bit of hands on work. Visit places that you know some of your family came from. If your family originated in a another state or country, go visit those places to do some hands on research. Sometimes, the best information comes from the actual place where the family came from. Visiting those places will also give you a feel for what life was like for your family members that once lived there. This is probably the most fun way to verify your family tree.
These are just some of the ways that you can verify the information that you find about your family. The family tree can be very interesting and there may be times that you find out things you wish you didn’t know, but all of it is part of your family history that should be passed from generation to generation. Have fun digging into the family history, but also be accurate about it.