I have a nephew who is interested in family history and I'd like to tell him how to find the information you have documented on our grandmother's family, including the bios, the journal entries, obituaries, etc. I am having a hard time finding them. What is the best route? Thanks so much, Cousin Jane (Jacobs)
The majority of my personal genealogy work is not online. The best book on the Weiser surname comes from the Weiser Family Organization -- Weiser Families in America.
But for a nephew just starting out, I recommend:
These are just a few from a series of online genealogy training videos designed to help you quickly discover your family history.
Getting Started with Family History Step 1: Finding Easy Information
Getting Started with Family History Step 2: Recording and Sharing Your Family HistoryGetting Started with Family History Step 3: Finding Challenging Information
I'd also recommend using a freebie genealogy program to keep track of what he discovers in his research. One might chose something RootsMagic, which like others has an upgrade if he wants to activate more options. It is a Windows-based program that works fine in a Windows emulator on a Mac. There are other software choices which may be more to his liking. See Cyndi's List: Software.
Since your nephew will be tracing many lines on his family tree, he'll have to study the specific area where the ancestor once lived. There are free online places that may prove useful. For this I recommend http://wiki.FamilySearch.org where experts from throughout the world have placed info about peculiarities of doing research in specific localities. See also:
- FamilySearch (over 1 million new images of birth, marriage records, parish records, etc. each week, most not yet indexed, so browse by locality.)
- USGenWeb (volunteers here sponsor state and county web pages with ideas about where to look next.
Most useful genealogy websites require a membership fee. I consider those fees small potatoes when compared to traveling to each distant ancestral home. The best paid sites include: Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, FindMyPast.com (England & Wales), ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk. I've chosen just a few because so much depends on the ethnicity of the ancestor in question.
I don't recommend he initially use an online tree, but as his experience level increases, he may wish to join MyHeritage.com or WikiTree or WeRelate.org and invite other family members to collaborate.
Happy family tree climbing!
Your friend in genealogy.
Your friend in genealogy.