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  1. #31
    Join Date
    19th November 15
    0 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    I've used Ancestry.com with a little success tracking my mother's side of the family. The real problem is that her maiden name is so very common, as are many of the first names of my ancestors that it is entirely possible that you get a few different matches for (for example) a Robert Fairchild who was born to Samuel Fairchild in or around 1835. My family claims Scottish ancestry, and yet when I track what is available on Ancestry I get all the way back to Thomas Fairchild around 1610 somewhere in England - and it seems that most of the Fairchilds you can find all somehow go back to Thomas if you're using Ancestry and other sites that pull information from the same area.

    But, those problems aside, it has been a useful tool to tracking down some other parts of my family after they came to America. For example a movie based on true evenets came out sometime ago that starred Matthew McConaughey that took place during the Civil War - well I found out that I am slightly related (through marriage) to the character Mr. McConaughey portrayed in that movie, and I found that out using Ancestry and verifying records that corraborated with my own. So not only did I get the excitement of having a movie made about my home county, but also that a movie was being made that told the story of one of my relatives.

    The real problem with Ancestry.com is that most of their records come from the US, and the UK, so even with a paid membership it can still not be that useful if you're trying to track down family out of that area. For example, my father's side is Italian. With Ancestry (and even with the international membership) I can only trace my family back to around 1850 when my great-great-grandfather was born, and that comes from his ship manifest (given the date and the age he put down) and his Ellis Island record. But going further back than that is almost impossible if using Ancestry because they don't have as complete records for Italy as they do for the US, also many records would be kept at the local parish, and then lost if the parish ever shut down or mergered. BUT!!! I at least have somewhere to start looking should I ever get the money to hire a geneologist to track my Italian side.

    I recommend using Ancestry, because the family tree is at least free to use, and you can upload your own records and pictures, so your children and their children can look back at these things as well (there is a privacy thing in place so other people can not view living people that aren't in their tree). And I recommend downloading your tree (which is also free) and uploading it to GEDCom (as another user did) and finding matches that way. If you do the DNA test you can download those results and upload them to GEDCom as well and find DNA matches all for free (save the initial cost of the DNA test).

    Now, 23 and Me has an interesting thing where they will show you if you are related to famous people from history. My father did this and it showed a relation to Naploean Bonaparte, Charlemagne, and St. Luke. Keep in mind that this just shows possible relation, not necesarrily descent.

    All of these can be great tools to use, but as with all tools, you have to put in the work to use them.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    15th September 11
    0 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)


    go to library or local library

    many times here it is free ..there are user clubs 1x month to ..get the deep info .

  3. The Following User Says 'Aye' to georgeetta For This Useful Post:


  4. #33
    Join Date
    18th October 09
    Orange County California
    10 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't know if you have an LDS genealogical library there in Alaska.

    Even here in California, having one closeby, is of limited use.

    Everyone tells me you need to go to the main one in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    I've talked to a number of people who have had their big breakthrough there.

    As I've been told, it's not just the records there, it's the people who work there. (Or volunteer, I don't know if they're paid or not.)

    One story is typical: Somebody told me that they always hit a wall with a certain ancestor, never able to go back any further. They finally decided to make the trip to Salt Lake. They discussed their problem with a worker at the Library there, and the worker looked at a few places with no result. Then the worker said "wait a minute, I just had a thought... let's try looking here" and there it was! It was the experience, the knowledge, and the intuition of the worker there that lead to the breakthrough.

    (BTW I'm Catholic, not LDS, but we Catholics don't have a cool library like that!)

    About being related to famous people, go back far enough and we all are. It's because if you go back enough generations, anyone who had children and whose children had children is the direct ancestor of everyone alive today.

    My wife and I did the Ancestry.com DNA thing and it was fascinating. Our results were pretty much as expected, but with some zingers!

    Since mine is purely British and Irish I don't require anything beyond that... well I thought it was, but Ancestry.com says I'm around 10% Scandinavian... who knew?
    Last edited by OC Richard; 13th June 17 at 07:31 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first white settlers on the Guyandotte

  5. #34
    Join Date
    8th September 16
    1 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    Many people are introduced to Ancestor.com through TV programs, with just a few keystrokes you have a family tree going back centuries. Doesn't work like that not even close. I highly suggest, if you are serious about your family's Genealogy, attending a seminar, and registering for several classes to understand the ground rules and what to expect when you start. Many of the records are wrong, you have many issues from misspelled names in census reports, but most of all, to do this correctly you as the researcher will need help and seminars provide you many of the resources you need and who to talk to and HOW to get the information. The green leaf does not always provide you the correct information. I use it for a tool, one of many that I have learned to use over the years. Eventually you will need to travel to the area of your ancestors and research local records, as so many are still not digitized and on line. Remember the TV programs have an army of professional genealogists, historians, and research staff, to make sure when they do a celebrity, they do it right and are accurate. Well, most of us are not celebrities, and we must do most of this ourselves and me totally involved. This is much harder then just typing in a name and getting results... you need to know the history of the period, the area, religion and politics of the time period, and much more. There are many resources and books available, I would go there first before I purchases the subscription for ancestor.com... Just my experience, I have been researching my family for well over 20 years, and still run into roadblocks.....but when you overcome the roadblock, it feels to good....best of luck. GO TO A SEMINAR, worth it....
    Last edited by CollinMacD; 28th August 17 at 11:15 AM.
    Allan Collin MacDonald III
    Grandfather - Clan Donald, MacDonald (Clanranald) /MacBride, Antigonish, NS, 1791
    Grandmother - Clan Chisholm of Strathglass, South River, Antigonish, 1803
    Scottish Roots: Knoidart, Inverness, Scotland, then to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

  6. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to CollinMacD For This Useful Post:

  7. #35
    Join Date
    16th September 10
    18 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by CollinMacD View Post
    This is much harder then just typing in a name and getting results... you need to know the history of the period, the area, religion and politics of the time period, and much more. There are many resources and books available,
    What he said, in spades. Not having the money for the paid sites, I dug through public records wherever I could find them. Court records, wills, land sales, militia rolls, tax lists,....... You will learn history as it happened, not as it is taught. My ears have been soundly boxed for having the temerity to suggest that historical documents from the time might be more accurate than current popular myth. I have, however enjoyed the experience of seeing how different versions of given names and surnames evolved, and how family groups migrated and intermarried over miles and centuries. Enormously educational.

    Accuracy is, of course, paramount, and often maddeningly difficult. My family's story, often and long repeated, was both right and wrong;
    the wrong based in fact but erroneously incorporated. Now corrected. I'm fortunate to be in a family with several known genealogists who amassed huge amounts of info separately, formed their ideas, and then encountered each other and hammered out details from confusing
    and conflicting sources. Enormous break for us was one of our stalwarts had both leisure and money to spare, and then was hired by Ancestry as a consultant, giving him access to everything they had, not all of which is available to the public. Resolved questions we could probably never have resolved otherwise. Some lines we had back 400 years, now 700. Some get vague at 150. A very few connected to
    known historical figures are likely good back more than a thousand years, as far as is known. But how much is not known? How much is
    conjecture? This is the struggle for the average user. Sites like Ancestry and LDS records are filled with conjecture placed by eager and
    well-meaning folk who never realized their leaps of faith had landed them solidly at the bottom of the abyss.

    Blood, sweat, tears, and the ever expanding databases may eventually get it all sorted. Or not. But it's a fun ride, and a huge learning
    curve. Like all hobbies, worth it if you love it. Dig, check, recheck, dig some more, connect with others going over the same material.
    That way, when one of you solves something, you have a greater chance of reaching those who made wrong entries and get them
    corrected to stop endless dissemination of erroneous info.

    Have fun!

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