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Old 03-31-2008, 09:16 PM
 
218 posts, read 1,278,019 times
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I have been trying to locate family but am a very big skeptic when sites want my $$, So i was hopeing for input from people who use these type of sites.
I guess i am interestened in Ancestry.com since whenever i get looking into things like the census (and think I'm getting somewhere). I always seem to end up on this site, at a dead end because it wants my membership. So my questions are... what do these sites offer after you have a paid membership? how easy is it to track your family history if you have a membership. are there some sites that are better then others. im interested in looking up my grandparents, great gp, etc.
Are they worth the $$?
Any input appreciated.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,148 posts, read 36,637,375 times
Reputation: 3785
Quote:
Originally Posted by catchick30 View Post
I have been trying to locate family but am a very big skeptic when sites want my $$, So i was hopeing for input from people who use these type of sites.
I guess i am interestened in Ancestry.com since whenever i get looking into things like the census (and think I'm getting somewhere). I always seem to end up on this site, at a dead end because it wants my membership. So my questions are... what do these sites offer after you have a paid membership? how easy is it to track your family history if you have a membership. are there some sites that are better then others. im interested in looking up my grandparents, great gp, etc.
Are they worth the $$?
Any input appreciated.
I spent the $$$ for ancestry.com------and, for me at least, it was well worth the money.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:08 AM
 
Location: The Rock!
2,370 posts, read 6,857,865 times
Reputation: 803
I would ask you what all you're wanting to get out of it. How far back do you want to go? Are you more interesting in side branches and connecting with living family you never knew you were related to? Ancestry is well the money if you are really into it and willing to spend the hours needed to do the research.

Things you can really really get out of it:
LOTS of great data on ancestors from the late 1800's through the '30s time frame (some data after the 30's is not readily available because the people are still alive)
Maybe a few hidden skeletons in the closet you didn't know
Connections to those side branches you never knew existed.

What you will have trouble getting out of it:
Unless your ancestors of interest are recent immigrants (by recent I mean 2 or 3 generations removed), good luck tracking them back to the boat. Unless you have a trustworthy and detailed source, getting good data prior to 1830 can be difficult.

I took a LONG time to decide to go ahead and drop the money on ancestry but for me it was worth it, especially since no one else in my family is doing this. When I first starting using it I filled in so many things so quickly I thought, "OMG, I've really wasted a lot of money, I'm going to be done in no time!" But then I started noticing some odd things and realized I was tracking a wrong person here and there and maybe all the trees other people have thrown together aren't all that accurate. So it started getting harder and harder as I got a few people removed from what was already in the family bibles.

What I'm saying is, if you want to really know who your ancestors are, this is an invaluable tool. But don't expect it to work miracles. You're still going to have to keep detailed notes and be very analytical and skeptical of others' research. If you want to go pretty far back, expect lots of roadblocks even with the best data set available. I for sure didn't realize what I was getting into but I'm glad I did it nonetheless.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:04 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
836 posts, read 2,925,336 times
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Let me be Blunt here.......I have been using Ancestry.com for the past 6 years and it has been well worth it for me too! I have also helped other find information on their families as well.
I have found lots of information through ancestry.com and genealogy.com familysearch.org and of course the Library.. in which had the same info I found online. I have also gotten together with cousins that I have found through ancestry.com and genealogy.com and found lots more about things I didn't know or had never heard through out the family. It is what you make of it. If you don't have a clue as to what your doing when researching then You should hire someone else to do the research for you...Or get some help from others who does research, ask them where you should begin.
I always encourage people when they first start out with family research you always start with families first.. go to your grandparents, aunts-uncles and cousins and ask questions get all the info you can from family before you start your research. This always helps. By getting names and dates of birth/death where they might have lived where they might be buried... Info from family is always important in doing this type of research. Getting birth records, marriage records, death records, burial records.. etc... always helps too.
Good luck with your research and if you need help please don't hesitate to ask..
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:19 AM
 
5,640 posts, read 16,936,457 times
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It is worth it, but before you pay for ancestry.com, see if you can get access through your public library. Ours has it, and it is free to me. Also, do as much research as you can beforehand before you get ancestry so you will know what to look for once you do get it.
Also, I have used something called "heritagequest" , at my public library too - this is free and I can access through the internet in my home using my library card. It is mostly for census records.
Seriously, see what your local libraries have for you.
Check the censuses first - you learn so much from those. i.e. areas where they lived, how many kids, where they were born, years, etc.
Then, get a genealogy program to keep all this information straight. Personal ancestry file is from the latter day saints website. and is practically free. Although you can get the fancier programs that do more extensive charts and stuff.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:06 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
836 posts, read 2,925,336 times
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Yes you can access ancestry.com through the Library but I don't think you get everything free... I do believe some things you still need to buy a membership for. But it doesn't hurt to do research from the Library since you can also research books in the Genealogy Room.
Reading census records can be difficult some spelling may not be correct or some things maybe unable to read. But it can be well worth the hunt if you know what you looking for....Also when looking through the census records.. from 1800-1840 there is only names for the Head of Household... and marks such a / for the person who lived in the household at that age. From 1850-1870 you will find names of all whom lived in the household, what state they were born in, age, race, what they did, who went to school, whether or not the person spoke or was deaf/dumb/blind etc.. From 1880-1930 You will find alot more info, such as dob-month/year, age, race, same as 1850-1870 but just a little more added to it. You can goto Staples, Walmart.. and buy what they call a Family Tree Maker usually runs about 30-50 bucks depending on where you buy it or you can purchase it through ancestry without buying membership. This way you can add all of your family into the database.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:34 AM
 
13,779 posts, read 23,218,536 times
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The Church of Latter Day Saints supposedly has the largest geneaology data bank in the world. I have found their website hard to use but have heard it is a great resource.

This is great information though! I get inspired to research, do some of it and then put it aside. Maybe this thread will keep me motivated! Thanks!
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:13 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
836 posts, read 2,925,336 times
Reputation: 670
I use that website also.. ancestry.com and genealogy.com (these two have joined together) also I use familysearch.org. I also use these sites below....All of these are great resources for genealogy research. There are tons more sites out there you can use at home on your own computer without buying a membership.
kindredkonnections.com (membership)
CyndisList.com/ Free
Ancestry.com Some Free, but to gain access to most there is a membership fee..
genealogy.com/ Some Free, but to gain access to most there is a membership fee..
familysearch.org/ Free
rootsweb.com/ Free
usgenweb.org/ (Free)
ellisislandrecords.org/ and immigrantships.net (both sites Free)
archives.gov/index.html (Free) to do research and get Military records.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:57 PM
 
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
1,354 posts, read 5,630,042 times
Reputation: 1270
Ancestry.com was well worth the membership money when I had it. There are different levels of membership. You might want to go with the cheaper membership and get all the info you can before upgrading for the extra ship logs, censuses, etc.

What I did before I got my membership was print out what I had on each family line. Then highlight what I was looking for on each page. That worked out really well for me. I didn't miss anything.

Be prepared, this is going to be a major undertaking and will take quite awhile. When adding the info to your tree, be sure to include the documents, page numbers, websites, etc that you used. I found I had to go back a few times and correct or compare info. Having the source right at your finger tips makes that much easier.
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:14 PM
 
218 posts, read 1,278,019 times
Reputation: 177
Wow! Great input, Looks like i'm gonna have to take the plunge! Unfortunetly Most of my "known" relatives are no longer around to be able to be asked. I have done a lot of "snoping around" but think I am going to get serious about it. The library is a great idea, but with a toddler, I'm better off at home doing the research. Thanks for all the sites to check out, I am definetly going to.......... starting now!
Thanks everyone.
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