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Genealogy & The Internet John LaMont Genealogy Librarian The Seattle Public Library Objectives Learn the basics of genealogy and how to effectively use the Internet to trace your family history. Overview Life events discussion Genealogy basics Genealogy sources The Seattle Public Library Internet resources Online exercises Life Events Discussion Think of some events from your life – Birth, marriage, death, etc. Who was involved? When did these events occur? What records exist for these events? Where might these events be recorded? Why were these events recorded? Genealogy Basics / Getting Started Family sources – Gather what you and other family members already know Organization – Pedigree charts, family group sheets, & research logs. Documentation – Cite your sources Education – Learn about the types of resources used in genealogical research Primary vs. Secondary Sources Primary – Reported at the time of the event and directly involve participants of the event Secondary – Almost everything else – Useful in locating primary sources – Need to be verified Types of Sources Family (S & P) – Aunt Noreen’s Print (S) – Libraries, historical societies Original records (P & S) – State, regional, and national archives, county courthouses, churches, FHL Electronic subscription databases (P & S) – Home and libraries Internet (S & P) – Anywhere Family Sources - letters, bibles, photos, diaries, family stories “My father, Theodore, died at the age of 49 from Bright’s disease in 1899. This was taken not long before he died. . . His fore fathers landed in the Chesapeake Bay area, & settled in the Baltimore County. As it was then.” Nellie (Rusk) LaMont, 1961. Print Sources Guide books – Provide information on methods of genealogy research, types of genealogy sources, and addresses for locating records Abstracts, indexes, and bibliographies – Allow genealogists to locate information in a wide variety of print and original sources Family, local, and other histories – Direct genealogists to previous research, sources, and provide historical context City directories – Location and occupation Original Records Vital (birth, marriage, death) – Civil registration Church – Membership, birth, baptism, and marriage Census – Federal: 1790 through 1930 – State: varies by state – Indexes, Soundex, microfilm, electronic Court – Probate, orphan’s, criminal, equity Original Records (cont.) Land – Homesteads, grants, and purchased land – Location, description, timeframe, relatives Probate & Wills – Real and personal property, surviving descendants, estate distribution Military Service Records – Muster, service, pension, and widow’s pension Seattle Public Library Using the Online Catalog Plan your trip to SPL – Search the catalog from home – http://www.spl.org Finding family histories – Exact subject: Smith Family – Title keyword: Smith Family Finding geographic material & histories – Subject keyword: Scioto County Ohio Seattle Public Library Electronic Databases Ancestry Library Edition / Ancestry.com – Original records viewable online Census, military, directories – Indexes and abstracts Land, vital, court, probate, military, etc. HeritageQuest Online – Census – Books (family and local histories, etc.) – PERSI – Revolutionary War Internet – What to Expect Search engines, Personal Web sites directories, & link lists Locality & ethnic Transcribed and specific sites original records Societies & groups Mailing lists & Research guides, message boards tools & references Searchable Libraries & archives databases Internet – Email You’ll need email for subscribing to mailing lists, posting messages, and communicating with other researchers. You can sign up for a free email account at the following Web sites: Hotmail.com Myway.com Fastmail.fm Yahoo.com Internet – Pros & Cons Access Incomplete – Indexes, abstracts, Missing sources original records, relatives, etc. Unchecked Communication Incorrect information Growth / Expansion Link rot Active community Anyone can participate Anyone can participate Internet – Evaluation Who created the site? Is contact information provided? Where did the data come from? Are sources cited? What time period or geographic location is covered? Are there obvious inconsistencies, omissions, or mistakes? Why was the source created? Internet – Search Engines Are incomplete indexes of the Internet Vary in scope and quality Do not index searchable databases Allow basic and advanced searches Examples – Google. http://www.google.com – Yahoo. http://www.yahoo.com – MSN. http://www.msn.com – Teoma. http://www.teoma.com Popular Internet Sites Cyndi’s List – Indexes over 200,000 genealogy Web sites U.S. Gen Web – County and state resource Web sites Family Search – Mormon Church – Searchable databases including IGI, Ancestral File, 1880 census, library catalog GenForum – postings for surnames, states, regions, and topics Mailing Lists – For just about anything you can think of Popular Internet Sites RootsWeb – The Internet's oldest and largest free genealogy community National Archives – Information about federal records – Requesting military service & pension records – Archival Databases Ellis Island – Immigrants arriving in New York Online Exercises Explore Web sites discussed in class http://home.comcast.net/~jkrasviken/ Try searching for your ancestors, the places they lived, or a genealogy topic of interest: – Google – Cyndi’s List – Family Search – U.S. GenWeb – Other Web sites Genealogy Classes Fiske Genealogical Library – http://www.fiskelibrary.org/ Seattle Genealogical Society – http://www.rootsweb.com/~waseags/ Seattle Public Library – http://www.spl.org Questions?
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