Friday, December 19, 2008

Do You Know Your Family History?

One of my "hobbies" has been trying to complete the family genealogy my father started when he became disabled and was confined to a wheelchair. It really kept him active, at least mentally, and he made a lot of progress on both his maternal and paternal sides. Since he started before the Internet became so readily available he spent a lot of time in old dusty courthouses and libraries but it is much easier now. I have extended the lines for my mother's family and his though I still have some roadblocks around the end of the 18th century for my Dad's side. I did do the Y DNA thing to 64 markers so I can trace beyond that on my Dad's side but I just don't have the names for a block of about a century. I know my ancestors from the 1600's but then don't have the documentation for any until 1800 and it is a bit frustrating. My Mom's is a little easier since her line includes the infamous Hatfields of West Virginia and the Hatfield/McCoy dust up precipitated quite a bit of documentation on the families.

Anyhow, if you are interested, the Internet has made genealogical research much easier. All the LDS church stuff is online and there are many other free online sites as well. There is also some good and free software available to help organize the data. I use Legacy Family Tree , the deluxe version, but there are several pretty good free ones out there, even one from the Mormon Church.

Finally, the point of this whole post is that you can get some free online tutoring on how to use the Internet to do genealogical research and it really can be fascinating. I find it a good way to get myself diverted for a few hours and warning, it can be addicting. If you have a computer and an internet connection you can use this podcast to start learning about building your familiy tree and who knows we might be related...and if so...too bad.

I'd be interested to hear from any of you who have done any research and I'll be happy to share any of my small knowledge or resources on the subject. If by chance any of your family includes the surnames Clark, Lawson, Hatfield, Toler, Ellis, Cox, Deskins, Moore, Shue, Workman, Hurt, Burnett, or Francisco I might even have some of your research already done.

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