Summer is winding down and children are getting ready to go back to school. Some stay-at-home moms may be asking the question- Now what can I do for me? Have you ever found yourself wondering about your family history? Have you ever wanted to know more about your family’s past but you were not sure where to start? Let’s explore some options for the beginner below.
With the release of the 1940 United States Federal Census there has been an increase in the number of individuals interested in genealogy. The internet has some great resources for the beginner genealogist. One of the top websites for beginning research is Ancestry. On Ancestry you can sign up for a 14-day free trial. Once you sign up for the trial it is as simple as putting in your name, age and parent’s names to get started. Ancestry offers the user the ability to search several types of records with just the click of the mouse. These records include: Census records, immigration records, military records, birth, marriage and death records. Ancestry even offers the user the option to hire an expert if they get stuck. Once your free trial is over you can purchase two type of access. The 1st access is US discovery, which only covers information pertaining to the United States. There is a monthly fee of $22.95/mo. or if you sign up for six months, the price is lower at just $12.95/mo. To get the most bang for your buck, sign up for World Explorer. This allows the researcher to have unlimited access to all the areas of Ancestry. The price for monthly access is $34.95/mo. or sign up for six months and gets world access for $24.95/mo.
Find A Grave
Find A Grave is a free site where volunteers across the county take photos of cemeteries and headstones. The volunteers then upload them to Find A Grave with information pertaining to where the cemetery/headstone is located. On Find A Grave the researcher can find local graves, famous graves, search by cemetery, and search for interesting monuments. Per Find A Grave’s website there are over 85 million grave records available to search.
Another great resource is the local Genealogical Society. Almost every county has one. The local Genealogical Societies have programs for researchers. They also have tons of historical material for the area they are in. Some Genealogical Societies ask for a small yearly fee to join. Here are a few links for Genealogical Societies around the Fort Worth Area.
Johnson County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1256
Cleburne, Texas 76033
Tarrant County Genealogical Society
Bosque County Genealogical Society
Ellis County Genealogical Society
Hill County Genealogical Society
Museums and Libraries
Don’t forget to check out the local Museum or Library in the area you are researching. Many museums and libraries have history records that you may not find anywhere else.
If you find that you enjoy genealogy and you want a way to keep those records organized. Check out Family Tree Maker 2012. With this program you can download the information you collect on Ancestry.com to your hard drive. FTM syncs with Ancestry every time you log in and sets up your information in an easy to use format. FTM 2012 comes in three different packages. Each package is based on how deep you want to go into genealogy. The three packages are Deluxe, Essentials and Platinum. Each can be purchased on amazon.com or a local store that sells computer software.
Give Genealogy a try; you never know where you might end up.