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Finding Your Kin: An Introduction to Genealogy

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  1. Finding Your Kin: An Introduction to Genealogy Presented October 16, 2009 by Jean Cooper

  2. Summary • Why genealogy? • How to begin? • Terminology • How to Record Information • Choosing Genealogical Software • Mistakes to Avoid • References Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  3. Why Genealogy? • To satisfy your curiosity about yourself and your roots. • To provide your children with a sense of who their ancestors were, where they came from and how they lived their lives.  • To preserve family cultural and ethnic traditions for future generations. • To compile a medical family history to give family members an advantage in the battle against inherited diseases or defects. • To qualify for a lineage or heritage society. • To assemble and publish a family history book, whether for family members or for profit. • To discover facts that others have overlooked and solve the puzzle of a lifetime. Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  4. Percentage of Americans Interested in Genealogy Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  5. Terminology • Paternal / Maternal • Ancestors / Descendants • Primary sources / Secondary sources • Family history / Local history • Lineal / Collateral / Half / Step • Relationships chart-http://genealogy.about.com/library/nrelationshipchart.htm Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  6. Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  7. Great Moments in Genealogy • 1632 – General Assembly of Virginia requires ministers to keep and report vital records. • 1783 – Society of the Cincinnati organized; membership limited by ancestry. • 1845 - New England Historic Genealogical Society (oldest of its kind) chartered. • 1969 – ARPANET created. • 1977 – First airing of Alex Haley’s “Roots” on television. • 1996 – Cyndi Howells sets up her webpage linking to genealogical websites. Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  8. How to Begin • Start with you & your parents & grandparents • date and place of birth • names of parents • date and place of marriage • names of children • date and place of death • Record everything, even if you don’t think you will need it. Get photocopies if possible. Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  9. Cite Your Sources • ALWAYS record where and when you got the information. • Record everything, even if you don’t think you will need it. • Get photocopies if possible. Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  10. How to Record Information • Charts • Family Group Sheet • Pedigree Chart • http://www.ancestry.com/save/charts/ancchart.htm Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  11. Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  12. Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  13. Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  14. What do genealogists look for? Recorded evidence of the existence of a person (related to them or not), and facts about the person and that person’s relationship(s) with others. Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  15. Primary Sources • U.S. Census • Birth, marriage, death records • Newspapers • Court records • Land records and maps • Medical records Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  16. Secondary Sources • Biographies • Dictionaries, encyclopedias • Guides, handbooks, manuals • Histories Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  17. Choosing Genealogical Software • http://genealogy.about.com/library/onestop/ bl_software.htm • Family Tree Maker • Family Origins • Brother’s Keeper • Personal Ancestral File (PAF) • Cumberland Family Software Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  18. Virginia Genealogy • A Guide to Genealogical Resources in the University of Virginia Library. (2005) http://www.lib.virginia.edu/genealogy/ Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  19. Major Websites Containing Genealogical Information • Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet - http://www.cyndislist.com/ • USGenWeb Project - http://www.usgenweb.org/ • RootsWeb.com - http://www.rootsweb.com/ • Ancestry.com – http://www.ancestry.com • FamilySearch (LDS Genealogy website) - http://www.familysearch.org/ Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  20. Where to Learn More • Introduction to Genealogy (Free) - http://genealogy.about.com/library/lessons/ blintro.htm • American Genealogy: A Basic Course / National Genealogical Society ($) - http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/eduhsc.htm • Brigham Young University Independent Online Courses in Family History ($) - http://ce.byu.edu/is/site/ • Cyndi’s List –Information for Beginners in Genealogy - http://www.cyndislist.com/beginner.htm Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library

  21. Tips for Genealogists • Talk to your relatives ASAP. • Write down your sources (and make photocopies of everything, if possible). • Question all information. • Information found on the Internet is often unreliable. • Verify and cross check your sources. • Family legends must be questioned. • You’re probably not descended from royalty. • Try multiple spellings of your surname. • Dig deeper, past names and dates. • Beware the generic family history. Jean L. Cooper University of Virginia Library