What Do You Use When You Do Genealogy? – Viewer Question


Oh what do you use when you do genealogy what do you use when you do yeah okay I’m not a great
singer but that’s the question of today’s video howdy I’m Devon Noel Lee with Family History Fanatics where we like to help you climb
your tree faster and further and have a whole lot more fun along the way do you know one of my favorite things to do beyond searching for families it’s to answer viewers questions just like this one
Matthew sent us an email and it reads what do you use when you do genealogical
research I use a combination of Google search operators, Google and various other free genealogy sites that’s a great question and since we
have a worldwide audience it’s very difficult to answer with just an easy
answer now if you’re asking what I use I’ll be happy to show you in just a
little bit but if you’re asking in general what should people use the very
first question comes down to where are you researching because a number of
factors come into play there are a number of countries that never kept
written records so what do you use really is who do you use and you
actually have to find out who knows the oral history of that country that you’re
trying to research and you’re probably not going to get very far accurately you also run into countries that had political upheaval and you know
what the very first thing to be sacrificed on the altar of fighting yeah. paper records for a variety of reasons and so if you’re in that country where
your records are lost because of war blood and other types of destruction
you’re also stuck on how you’re going to do your
research so as my mother and father-in-law are learning as they’re
over in Vietnam you have to talk to people and that’s what you have to use
to do your genealogical research over there and in some other parts around the
world so the first thing you have to do is define where you are researching
because that is going to determine what you use and not only that, that where also needs to address the question of what language you’re researching in I am not able to do a lot of German research right now because I don’t read or speak
the language and I don’t read old German so a lot of that where and defining the where and what your skill set is tells you where online or in person you will
do your genealogical research the next question everybody has to ask themselves is why are you doing genealogy research because you’re why determines to what
level you’re going to do your genealogy research and how in-depth you’re going
to be is going to tell you where you’re going to do your research whether it’s in an archive or more in-depth scholastic based genealogical sites or just something kind of casual
and guess what the answer is different for everyone and the answer is okay no matter
how interested you are so let me walk you through a
couple of suggestions that I have for the varying levels of genealogical
interest you may have Matthew or anyone else watching this video the first level is what I like to call a casual researcher you’re just casually are
interested in family history doesn’t mean you’ll be more interested in going
in depth in the future but you’re just kind of mildly interested and curious
and so what you’re going to be most interested in are search hints Why? Because it takes the hard work out of genealogy oh my gosh when I
started genealogy twenty-something years ago oh yeah Search hints would have been a godsend and you know what even though many of our
genealogists take it for granted there’s still a blessing and you should use them
even if you’re more than a casual researcher so where are you gonna find
these search hints of which I talked about well on some of the
genealogical site like you see right here FamilySearch is free but it’s a
collaborative tree Ancestry and MyHeritage have private trees but they also have search hints if you’re a casual user and you are
frugal or just don’t want to spend any money head over to Family Search but I’m
gonna give you a piece of advice in a moment and if you’re casually interested
and you’re willing to spend some money or somebody bought you a gift membership
for a year then check out Ancestry or MyHeritage especially Ancestry if you have
US-based ancestors and MyHeritage if you have more global ancestors now Matthew said he has a lot of luck with Google search and I’m guessing he uses
Google search to get two different websites out there such as USGenweb
or some of these other free sites that you have to use Google search to find
because you’re not usually going to find them on Ancestry or FamilySearch or the
like beyond that I don’t have a lot of luck with Google search I may think my family is too small or whenever I search for family members I usually find things
that I’ve written so I find myself but I do have some luck with Google books My ancestors still aren’t amazing enough to find in Google books but what I find in Google books are county histories if I want to learn a little bit more about
where my ancestors came from I’ve exhausted some of the hints on the
various websites and now I just want to know a little bit more about
Franklin County, Ohio then I can go to Google books and
look for at Franklin County Ohio county history I can also use Google books and
I did this when I was kind of casually doing research and that was discovered
the unit history for my ancestor William James Townsend who fought in the Civil War I knew his unit the 133rd Company K of
the Ohio Volunteer Infantry And I went to Google books and found a unit history of that unit and that was really exciting so sometimes the books are for
just more broadening my mind about the history at the time and place my
ancestors lived even though their names aren’t usually going to appear in those
books now when you begin to get a little more serious in your genealogy you want
to organize your data and one of the tools that you might consider using its
genealogical software now some of the reasons why genealogical software is
better than just kind of haphazardly searching online and saving things to
Google Drive or Evernote is that it’s really designed to organize the types of
information you’re gonna find family groups pedigree events in someone’s life
notes media citations it organizes that information and unlike and other
organizing systems such as paper files or Evernote you can analyze data and
clean things up in your family tree this is what genealogy software really excels
at even more so than online genealogy trees and finally I love geneaology
software that becomes a central hinting source so instead of going to Ancestry
and FindMyPast and MyHeritage I can go to one place and right now my place is RootsMagic it has hints to the four major web sites and then with a product called GenSmarts it also gives me some other hints of some records
I might want to investigate so I really love having a central hinting spot for a
variety of places to research using genealogy software now when you’re move beyond casual researching and you’re into more serious research
you’re still gonna use genealogy websites but you’re gonna go beyond the
hinting you’re still gonna use the hints your’re still gonna use the hinting
but you’re going to go more in-depth you’re going to go check out
this thing called the Card Catalog in a video from Ancestry that I interviewed
Crista Cowan she said check out the Card Catalog because in the search form
these smaller collections where your ancestors are hiding aren’t always
bubbling up to the surface you have to go check out the card catalog but not
every collection especially on FamilySearch has a searchable form you can see
the digital images but you have to browse through them much the same way if
you were flipping the pages of a book and the only way you’re gonna get to
those collections is in the card catalog and so when I am really trying to dive
deep into an ancestor’s life and I’m being serious then I will go investigate
the card catalog additionally ever wonder why you can’t
find a particular record I know this is asked quite a bit on our YouTube channel why can’t I find the birth record for an individual you have to go check out the wiki pages
FamilySearch has a wonderful wiki collection the wiki pages on FamilySearch
tell you specifically when were records kept for a particular time
and place and if your ancestor lived in that place did they have their birth
before during or after the institution of records being collected by the state
or the church or not at all that’s where you’re gonna find the answers to those questions so when you’re ready to go beyond casual researching you need to check out wiki pages okay serious researchers have a lot of places they can go and find out
more about their ancestors and once they’ve exhausted or attempted to
exhaust the big four Ancestry, FindMyPast, MyHeritage, and FamilySearch they go off site
kind of like off-roading if you will so they probably have already
investigated some of these record repositories that you see online
cemeteries are usually linked with Ancestry and FamilySearch to
Find-a-Grave and Billiongraves but we go a little bit deeper for me if I know my
ancestors were buried in Cincinnati Ohio and they happen to have been buried and
Spring Grove cemetery then I head over to the Spring Grove Cemetery website and
I find some really great information on that website Courthouse records – I’ve
used the Huron County Courthouse to find probate records and divorce records for
some of the ancestors that I am researching right now the NARA website is a great portal to a lot of other collections that you may be interested in
they don’t always have stuff online but they give you the guides to do
off-site research because yes not everything is online my new favorite
beyond city directories which I have three videos on this channel you can
check the description or the info cards yeah small plug the newspapers-
Newspapers.com Newspaper Archive Chronicling America GenealogyBank these
have great records for you to investigate to find the stories behind
your ancestors rather than just obituaries which most people actually go
look for when they’re searching newspapers there’s so many other great
finds and newspapers and I also said those county histories but it pays to
remind you county histories are fantastic for the social histories about
your ancestors and you never know you might actually find that your ancestor
was published in that county history so here’s my question of the day –
what do you use to research your ancestors and if you’re from any of the
countries around the world that love to watch our channel
tell us where you research so we can all learn together you never know maybe
there’s somebody in this audience who wants to know how to research in South
Africa and you may have the answer for them if you like this video be sure to
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