Your Genealogy Starting Line

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Want to start over because you didn’t have a plan and now you do?….  Embarrassed to ask or do not know who to ask?  Just getting started and don’t know the genealogy terms or even how to spell geneAlogy?

 

Well, o.k., then.   Get your web, uh…walking shoes on (no need to run), because you are about to cross the genealogy starting line!

Choose A Home

house

Your first step is to choose a genealogy home for all the different bits of information you are going to find.  The wonderful part about finding your relatives is that you have tons of places nowadays to search,  such as online, in libraries, even in your own home!  But the not-so-wonderful part is that you will collect tons of data and will not know where to put it (paper, digital, etc.) store it, or retrieve it!

Choosing a home is an individual decision, just like wanting a perfect house.  You’ll want a certain neighborhood, maybe with a learning center nearby. Of course you’ll want a space that can grow with the family, easy to navigate, lots of storage space with the ability to sort and quickly retrieve what you want.  So where do you start to choose a genealogy home?  If you are just starting, you need to know the genealogy terrain.

What’s Online

Let’s start with what is available online.  Try this link for a great comparison for paid genealogy websites: http://genealogy-search-review.toptenreviews.com/   According to the chart, Ancestry has the largest amount of resources available, but again, it can be expensive to access the resources you desire.

FamilySearch.org is not as fancy, but it is free!   However, it seems to require more of your own information to navigate to your desired results. FamilySearch is supported by the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS).  A benefit for those who appreciate help, there are “more than 4700 brick and mortar LDS family history centers in 134 countries including the U.S.”  (familysearch.org, Introduction to LDS Family History).
Now start by taking advantage of the free trials that are usually available for the different online services…much like kicking the tires of a car you consider buying or getting the feel of a house by visiting different styles of houses.  Even if you choose a service and do not like it,  it is easy to unsubscribe and move on to something else…much easier than buying an actual house, by the way.   Most online sites have  a refund policy for subscription cancellations, so be sure to look at the cancellation policies of the different services you are investigating.

What’s Local

Of course, you can invest in a software program where your family tree can be housed and is maintained by you on your computer.  FamilyTreeMaker is popular because you can sync your computer based tree with an online Ancestry.com tree.The following link gives a good breakdown and comparison chart for the types of genealogy software programs: http://genealogy-software-review.toptenreviews.com

Most of the programs offer free trial periods or have a money back guarantee trial.    If you know someone who has genealogy interests and has tried different programs, you might want to ask if they could show you how their programs work and if they like the features. ” Easy to use”  is a good thing to look for, whether you have your toes on the genealogy starting line or have walked a few hundred steps forward already.  Remember, innovations continue to populate the field of genealogy, so be on the lookout for improvements to websites and programs.

Now go forth and find a home for your genealogy.  Once you do, you can be like these little guys who have crossed the genealogy starting line and are happily on their way to discovering new territory!  duck crossing - Version 2
Happy Explorating!

2 Comments

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  1. TommyBoy

    Lots of really good information

  2. TommyBoy

    Lots of really good information and cute pictures

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