So I watched Who do you think you are? the other night and it did not disappoint at all. Viewers be warned however, that it often takes years of research to come across this information, not an hour.
I rather enjoyed Sarah Jessica Parker's family story. Its interesting to see how we are all connected. Seeing the shock on her face with her family ancestor in the witch trials-as she said, how do I hope she was one of the accused and not an accusor? I can understand her dilema. On one hand, you don't wish your ancestor to hang, but the other seems less desireable!
Emmitt Smith did not disappoint either. I've always been curious on African American research. I know that their records are limited, Emmitt was lucky that his family took such care to keep records.
Lisa Kudrow's family story was sad too-the plight of the Jews in Europe during World War II seemed more real to me after hearing her story. I didn't have any Jewish ancestors and knew their plight, so to hear someone's family story was heartwrenching. And to be reunited with her father's cousin after all these years was absolutely awesome!!
I only saw bits and pieces of tonight's episode. My neighbor was visiting and I didn't want to be rude and throw her out, although I really wanted to watch it. I'll tune into it online in the next few days.
So, now we're onto part two of my genealogy post. After you get all the information from your family that you can, you can start looking into different sources.
My first recommendation is the LDS website. The LDS library in Salt Lake City is the largest IN THE WORLD. They have tons and tons and tons of items. The best part is that they are working on putting all of their records online and they are all free to the public. If you cannot locate a record on their website, search their library database. You may be able to find a book or microfilm that contains the information that you are looking for. Have the record sent to the nearest Family Research Center in your area-an LDS church nearby. They allow you to go to their research centers and view this information. They also are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. In larger centers, they offer classes and discussions on various types of records.
My second recommendation is Ancestry. Check with your library to see if they have a subscription to them. Ancestry is wonderful and they are putting more records online everyday. However, to use them is pretty pricey. Its $150/year for United States records subscription or (I think) $275 for the International records also. They do offer a monthly subscription rate, if you'd like to try it out. I purchase the United States records subscription every year. For me, its worth it. I do alot of research and its more convenient for me, especially with my hubby gone all the time. Most of the time, when I get time to work on my records, its late at night and the library is closed anyway.
Another advantage to ancestry is that people post their family trees there and you may be able to find your family line on their tree. BEWARE however! Just because its there, doesn't mean its been documented and proven. Without sources listed, don't believe its true. I usually write the info down and try to prove it myself.
And a huge blessing to all genealogists out there is Cyndi's List. I highly recommend going to this website and tooling around some. You'll find thousands of links to websites with valuable information and Cyndi does a great job at trying to keep up with her huge database.
I don't recommend keeping your family tree online with Ancestry as your main source. There are several good programs out there to use, or website in which you can download your tree. The main reason is that if you let your subscription lapse, you cannot access your tree to download the information or make any changes. You can still view the tree, but that's it. I'll discuss some websites and programs in my next post.