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Old 11-15-2008, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,323 posts, read 23,824,327 times
Reputation: 6433

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I have been interested in my families history along my dad's side of the family for a long time, but I am having trouble finding.....anything!

Here is the deal; My dad died when I was 19, so I can't just ask him and he didn't leave any clues behind when he passed. I never met my grandparents from his side since they died before I was born. I have an uncle from his side that lives somewhere in the Midwest. My mom would know how to get a hold of him, but I have never met, nor spoken to this man, so I feel would awkward trying to get a hold of him.

My last name, while seemingly common around Pennsylvania, is almost complete obscure everywhere else in this country. So you'd think that I wouldn't have any problems finding info. I can find people with the same last name, but I do not know how to link them together, or if they are even related.

I tried some of those free sites, but they weren't much help.

Are the pay sites worth it? The problem with the pay sites is that I would have know idea if they were legit or if they gave me a BS tree.

Any advice would be helpful.
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:49 PM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,583,912 times
Reputation: 1311
Does your mom know the names of your dad's parents? Do you know his date of birth or where he was born exactly? If she dosen't know his parent's name, you might be able to get a copy of his birth certificate. She could also get a copy of her marriage liscence as well. Most will at least have a maiden name of his mother.

I have been doing genealogy research myself for a while now. I have been using as many free sites as possible as I really can't afford the pay sites right now. I do plan on using Ancestry.com's pay areas once I get enough free info. gathered up and can't go any further. That way I can go with a cheaper pay plan because I'll have more of an idea of what I'm looking for and be more specific in my searching.

There are quite of few sites that have a lot info. for free. The social security death index can be helpful, The LDS family search website, and Genweb. You can also find a lot of info. for free on ancestry.com and genealogy.com. Google has also been helpful. I have been able to find obits and other folks doing research on some of my family names. I just type in names or last names with sometimes states or towns I know that a relative lived and see what comes up. A lot of folks are putting their family trees online.

I would do as much reasearch as you can for free first. But if you choose a pay site, I think Ancestry.com is a pretty honest site. They generally don't do up your family tree, usually you do that yourself, but they have a wealth of info. on just about everyone ever born. You have to do a lot of sorting out who is who and how they are related if they are related. Or you can go directly to the LDS and have them do your genealogy. I understand that it's costly and sometimes their info. is not always accurate, but again it comes down to trying to sort out who is who and how they are connected.

Genealogy research can be hard, but it can also be fun. If you are really interested in doing a family tree, don't give up. I know it can be hard at first with little to go on, but just keep digging and soon you'll find more info. than you ever thought you would.

Good Luck!!
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:17 PM
 
838 posts, read 2,086,130 times
Reputation: 732
I love Ancestry.com but I cannot afford it. However, I am fortunate enough to live near a large city library that subscribes to it so I can go in there and use the program for free. I think it is one of the best programs I've ever used for genealogy. You might want to call your local library and see if they subscribe to Ancestry.com so you can do your search for free.
Also, if you want help from people on this site, there have been some amazing results from people who do genealogy here. They would need full names, dates, places to help you, though.
Good luck to you.
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Old 11-16-2008, 09:40 AM
 
91 posts, read 291,477 times
Reputation: 155
Get a copy of dads death certificate. Get a copy of his SSI application. Then get a copy of his parents SSI application. These are really really cheap.

That will give you a base to start from. Then use census records(most are available online for freehttp://www.census-online.com/ ) and one of my favorite sites if genforum.com. You can do it by last name or county or state etc and its free.

If you can find your grandparents names then things like marriage license, census records etc will help you. use genweb for your state or county as well.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:03 AM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,583,912 times
Reputation: 1311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan13202 View Post
I love Ancestry.com but I cannot afford it. However, I am fortunate enough to live near a large city library that subscribes to it so I can go in there and use the program for free. I think it is one of the best programs I've ever used for genealogy. You might want to call your local library and see if they subscribe to Ancestry.com so you can do your search for free.
Also, if you want help from people on this site, there have been some amazing results from people who do genealogy here. They would need full names, dates, places to help you, though.
Good luck to you.
Hey thanks for that bit of info. about ancestry.com and libraries. I would have never thought about a library being a subscribed member. I'll have to check and see if my library is.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,323 posts, read 23,824,327 times
Reputation: 6433
Thanks for the info everybody.

How do you go about getting copies of SSI applications?

My GF's mom completed their family tree a few years ago. I know that it took her a long time to complete and she had to order numerous birth and death certificates to make sure she was looking at the right people.

I am not expecting to find out my complete history overnight, but I assumed that with the internet it would be a lot easier. I am hesitant to register with these 'free' sites, and what I have seen from them so far is nothing worth registering for. Also, in the past I have paid to use something similar in hopes that it would reveal more info, only to have it show me the exact same info I was shown for free.
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:26 PM
 
838 posts, read 2,086,130 times
Reputation: 732
To get the SS applications, go here:
Social Security Death Index Interactive Search
If you know the birth date or place they died, you can go to advanced to limit the choices.
Fill in the info you know and click submit.
After your person pops up, at the end of their information you will see a link that says SS-5 Letter. Click that link.
A preprinted letter pops up to send to the Social Security Administration requesting the application. There is a fee of $27 when the Social Security number is provided and $29 if it is unknown or incorrect. Since you are using the SSDI index, it should be correct.
Fill in the amount of money your check or money order is for and mail it off.
This link gives you more information about what is on the application you will receive.
http://www.ancestry.com/ssdi/ss-5.asp (broken link)
They are very helpful to anyone doing a family tree.
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:43 AM
 
Location: where the moss is taking over the villages
2,179 posts, read 5,185,952 times
Reputation: 1245
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
I have been interested in my families history along my dad's side of the family for a long time, but I am having trouble finding.....anything!

Here is the deal; My dad died when I was 19, so I can't just ask him and he didn't leave any clues behind when he passed. I never met my grandparents from his side since they died before I was born. I have an uncle from his side that lives somewhere in the Midwest. My mom would know how to get a hold of him, but I have never met, nor spoken to this man, so I feel would awkward trying to get a hold of him.

My last name, while seemingly common around Pennsylvania, is almost complete obscure everywhere else in this country. So you'd think that I wouldn't have any problems finding info. I can find people with the same last name, but I do not know how to link them together, or if they are even related.

I tried some of those free sites, but they weren't much help.

Are the pay sites worth it? The problem with the pay sites is that I would have know idea if they were legit or if they gave me a BS tree.

Any advice would be helpful.
After my father & his father passed away, I sent away for their social security records, which were microfiched. Very interesting to see a print out of the form they filled out with their own handwriting.

When I met my half sister (she's 10 years older), I discovered she didn't know him at all & had very similar handwriting: elegant & calculating.

The problem with SS records is that it has gotten quite expensive.

Kate
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Kingman AZ
15,370 posts, read 36,847,568 times
Reputation: 9131
K-Luv...do not hesitate for one moment with familysearch.org [the Mormon church Site] the have free software that is incredibally easy to use [the upgraded software is only about $10 and makes printing out your data much easier] AND no Mormon Crickets will come to your house lol.

There are a LOT iof inaccuracies on their site but just work slowly and cross check and it all clears up....
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Edgewater, Florida
883 posts, read 484,905 times
Reputation: 912
Information on the back of pictures and old documents can help you a lot
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