U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Genealogy
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-05-2013, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,306 posts, read 79,490,574 times
Reputation: 38666

Advertisements

I have played around for about a year trtying to get some information on our family. I have gotten a lttle but not much. I don't want to get caught up in a monthly fee like Amnesty.com until I am sure I have time to devote to it, but I would like to get started a little. Any ideas on where to begin would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-05-2013, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,415 posts, read 10,039,435 times
Reputation: 5779
At your public library or Family History Center, which likely has a subscription to Ancestry.com.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-05-2013, 01:28 PM
 
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
11,779 posts, read 15,801,092 times
Reputation: 22448
Assuming you have ancestral families in Benton County, here's a couple of starting points:

ARGenWeb Benton County Page

Benton County, Arkansas Genealogy and History

Also, I have found answers here:

GenForum - Surnames

I have also used LDS Family History Centers with much success. Although I am not Mormon, I have found the folks who work at these centers to be very friendly and extremely helpful. Here's one somewhat near to you.

Rogers Arkansas Stake
2805 N Dixieland Rd
Rogers, Arkansas 72712
(501) 636-0740
Tues
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-05-2013, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Canada
3,676 posts, read 2,485,292 times
Reputation: 4737
I'd start by becoming a member of Ancestry.com. Membership is FREE. Then start a private tree there putting in all the information you have along with the source of your data i.e. "citations". Creating a public or private tree is FREE. You'll begin to see Ancestry Hints in the form of leaf icons attached to various people in your tree. Some of those hints will lead you to free record collections while others will lead you to other record collections and trees created by other members which require a paid subscription to view.

I'd research the free collections first. Then, I suggest taking out a FREE trial two-week subscription to Ancestry to allow you to access all of the hints that you have left to view. You'll have to provide your credit card number though as after two weeks the free trial will automatically convert into a monthly subscription and your credit card will begin to be charged. However, if you cancel during within the first few days of your trial subscription, there will be no automatic renewal at the end of the two week trial and your credit card will not be charged.

Almost every holiday during the year, Ancestry opens up selected record collections and allows member to search and read those particular collections for FREE. As an Ancestry member, you'll receive email notification of these promotions.

I take out a paid subscription for a month whenever I have built up several hundred good hints which I cannot view without a paid subscription.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-05-2013, 01:43 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,006 posts, read 17,159,915 times
Reputation: 30152
Or you could write for a birth certificate and work backwards. Let's say you have your grandmother's name, place and date of birth. Call that town or city and find out how much it would cost to get her birth certificate. From that you can tell who her parents were. Assuming it's in the US, you can look on censuses that are online--just use google. If the census isn't online, go to a public library and use their copy of Ancestry to check the census. The people at the library will be glad to help you.

You can find your grandmother at all ages, from childhood living with her parents, to adulthood, married with her children. Just keep working backwards from what you know and always write down your sources. Once you have your grandmother's parents, you go and find THEIR parents the same way. It does cost some money to send for the birth certificates but there will be a lot online too if you use google. USGENWEB often has http://www.argenweb.net/ information too. Once you are sure you really want to do this, it could be time to join Ancestry.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-05-2013, 07:04 PM
 
4,113 posts, read 3,453,068 times
Reputation: 8197
Get a record system and keep everything you find neatly organized. If census always write down all info available...take your time & note all names on page. It can be a three ring binder or stack of file folders.

Get birth, death, marriage certs for your parents- their parents- etc as far as you can get documents. Familysearch.org has some marriage records digitized. It is free. Do not skip generations.

You need census records next so either subscribe or go to a library. Use your known names & follow census records back and check carefully that you have the correct family. Note the neighbors.

Once you have correct names & places you can search locale for interesting tidbits. Go to googlebooks and type in a name & place. You might find local histories etc you can read.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-05-2013, 07:12 PM
 
Location: NC
720 posts, read 1,434,254 times
Reputation: 1067
Our state library in the capitol has a wonderful genealogy section and the people who work there are happy to help. I found my grandmother's and grandfather's original newspaper accounts of their deaths from the 1930's--early 1940.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-05-2013, 11:23 PM
 
2,747 posts, read 3,920,810 times
Reputation: 2419
Try www.familysearch.org

Also, Ancestry is available for free on many public library computers.

This page lists on-line digitized newspapers, some going back to the 1800's. Some of the ones listed are free, some are not.
Wikipedia:List of online newspaper archives - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Library of Congress, digitzed newspapers (free to search & read)
Historic American Newspapers - Chronicling America (The Library of Congress)

Try searching your ancestor's names in Google Books. Put the name in quotes, i.e. "John Smith"
You may find them listed in old city directories, or histories of the town in which they lived.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2013, 10:19 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 1,659,131 times
Reputation: 1577
I agree with signing up for the free account on Ancestry. They seem to do a better job of indexing, esp alternate spellings. Then go over to Family Search and follow up if you can. Familysearch[LDS] doesn't provide all the images a paid Ancestry account does, but much of the info is there - it's just a little wankier searching.

Message boards on Ancestry & Rootsweb can make some great connections with others searching.

Once you get some basics organized and know where you want to go, the resources are out there, but usually involve some legwork and a little $$ depending on the documentation you want. Build your framework and then add on. If you can get to the 1940 census, which is free to view on many resources, you will have a great starting point to go backwards.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2013, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,508 posts, read 26,116,900 times
Reputation: 26477
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
I have played around for about a year trtying to get some information on our family. I have gotten a lttle but not much. I don't want to get caught up in a monthly fee like Amnesty.com until I am sure I have time to devote to it, but I would like to get started a little. Any ideas on where to begin would be appreciated.
Beware, there is no "getting started a little"!

This hobby is addictive!

Before you do anything, get a genealogy program. Search through this sub-forum and you will find multiple threads comparing them. None are outrageously expensive.

Then start with yourself and work back through your parents.

Gather as much info as you can: names, dates of birth and death, locations.

Then, hit the sites others have suggested.

Document where you find every little fact. Otherwise you will waste time retracing your work. The program will let you record your sources.

Take everything you find on the internet with a grain of salt. Try to confirm it with primary sources (like birth and death certificates) when you can. A lot of what you read will be just plain wrong.

Have fun!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Genealogy
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top