Learn how to Get Started in Genealogy with BCPL

The best place is to start with what you know. Write down – take a piece of paper and write
down all the information about yourself – when you were born, when you were born, and any
other information that you have, like place that you were born. Those are the sort of
things that will help you do any sort of research in the future. Then write down all the information
about your siblings, and your parents, and another good thing to do is to send an e-mail
or a letter to your relatives and ask them if they would also give you that information
as to what their full name is, the date that they were born, the place that they were born.
Those are important in any genealogical work that you are going to do. After you’ve done
that, then ask anybody else who might remember, or if you have any information, write down
the information about your grandparents and great grandparents if you can go back that
far. Do all that before you’ve done anything else, and then at that point, the best thing
to do is to get in touch with some sort of program like ancestry.com for instance, which
is very, very good and provides a lot of the information that you might need. But before
you do any contact with ancestry.com, you need to have all the other information. Once
you get used to doing and collecting information in that way, when you go to ancestry.com,
you’ll have a good format and understanding of how to use that, and use all the tools
that ancestry.com has to offer. Music
There’s genealogy.com, myheritage.com, there’s a great place called findagrave.com. It has
an index of all the cemeteries that people have been so kind to go and catalog the names
of all the people that are buried there. Another great one that you can use is legacy.com.
They have obituaries for everybody that has died, where an obituary has appeared in a
major newspaper going back for 50, 60, maybe even as much as 100 years. Also, Baltimore
County Public Library has a wonderful resource in old newspapers. And using your library
card number, you can access the information and look at the old newspapers – The Baltimore
Sun, The African American, The Washington Post, and they are really, really great to
find obituaries, wedding announcements, announcements about what happened with people in their lives,
newspaper articles. You just type in the name and the surname or also any other information
you might know about what you’re looking for, and it will all come up on a search engine
and you just go into those – look at the PDFs and you can find incredible information. And
the good thing about that is, a lot of that information does not show up on ancestry.com
or myheritage.com or some of the other genealogical forums. They were not able to collect it for
some reason, and I’ve found a lot of information, especially through the Baltimore County Public
Library online resources. Remember that there’s some interesting resources like e-bay. E-bay
– you can go online and there are genealogical resources on e-bay – people who are selling
their own family information. I found interesting information on the Hardesty family, which
is one of our lines on e-bay. There was a book on the Hardesty family and people had
a book that actually had the names of my great-grandparents in there, and other relatives, which I never
would have found in any other source. So don’t forget that there are still books out there
on e-bay and records that are being sold by people all the time; it’s a great resource.
Music The best way is to start just with a simple
surname. Put in Sachs; S-a-c-h-s first, and then you can try variations on the spelling,
because a lot of the information came from the census record and it was not the person
who was the actual homeowner that was giving – writing the information down on the census
records – it was the census taker. And he or she spelled the name however they thought
it was going to be spelled. So there are some years, for instance with the Sachs family,
that it’s spelled S-a-c-k-s and not S-a-c-h-s. And other writers might spell it S-a-x-e.
And they might have bad handwriting, so instead of David you might look at it and it might
be Daniel. So put in the letter “D” Sachs if you’re going to look for somebody like
David Benjamin Sachs. And put D B Sachs. But the best way to do it is to start with a surname,
and always try to put the; if you try to put in there with it, the city, the last city
that you know the person lived, that will narrow it down greatly.

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