Discover your Family Tree Today

Create your Online Family Tree

Keep in mind when creating your online family tree, it is more than just dates and places. Finding documents, sources, photos, wills, probates, deeds, marriage certificates, military, birth, death and census records are all important. They validate your family history and bring your family tree to life.

Creating your online family tree can be a family event. Getting everyone involved with gathering photos, documents, and family stories can help bring your family together by spending time discussing and sharing your findings. You can also find other researchers through genealogy boards and forums that are willing to give you hints and helpful tips and may even do research look-ups for you.

Research Planning

Before you get buried with information; you should decide what type of information and documents you are looking for. This can help you keep focused on what you need to search for. Then you can devise a research plan. Being organized and knowing as much as you can about the area your ancestor lived in and what documents are available for the time period you are trying to discover/uncover will help you immensely in tracing your family tree.

Documenting your Research

If you document your successes and dead-ends, it is easily used for future reference. It becomes a trail, helping you to stay on track and not do research multiple times in the same place. Document, date, and annotate everything. Genealogy is a very detail oriented hobby and requires you to keep track of what you are working on, what you have worked on and what you want to research.

You will get stuck looking for a document to substantiate a fact. This is known as hitting a brick wall. When this happens, you will most likely go onto a different family member and eventually return to the task you started years ago. If you do not document your research, you will end up starting from scratch and redoing the same search over and over again, creating a cycle of brick walls.

Organizing your Research

You should set up a filing system to organize your findings before you get consumed with lots of information and documents. There are several options to setting up a filing system to organize your findings and assembling your family tree documents. You can file your documents by year, alphabetically, or by setting up folders for direct family members. If you have many documents for family members, you may want to set up 4 main files for each direct grandparent and file all your findings by year, then alphabetically for each direct family member within the 4 main files. Putting all similar documents in color coded folders filed by year alphabetically is another option.

Whatever your organization preference is, folders, notebooks, boxes, large envelopes, etc., be consistent with your filing system. Scanning all your documents and adding them to your online family tree will help keep you organized. Also, make sure you have a back-up of all your information. You can lose your data if your computer crashes and well as if a natural disaster hits your home. Having an external recovery plan is always a good idea.

Genealogy Etiquette

Once you become immersed in the genealogy hobby, you will communicate with all types of genealogy hobbyists from around the world with different backgrounds. You need to become aware of “diversity.” Some will be professionals doing genealogy for years, and others will be new to the hobby. Be respectful and remember not everyone has the same intentions that you do. Someone may approach you for your information and won’t care how they obtained it. Make sure you feel comfortable in sharing your information, before you do. Ask questions like “what is the intent of wanting the information”, “do you plan to post the information in a public realm”, if so, “are you going to cite the source of the information”. Then you can make a judgment if you want to share information or not. Be generous with your information especially to your family, your hard work should be passed forward for future generations.

Copyright

Copyright is always a topic of discussion amongst genealogists. Once you find documents, what can you legally do with them? Can you publish them on your personal web-site or online family tree? Can you reproduce them? Can you sell them for profit? What is protected and what is not?

Facts and data cannot be copyrighted. Original expression and how data is arranged, compiled, and presented is protected by copyright. Works published before 1923 are no longer protected. Published works from 1923 to 1963 are no longer protected if copyright was not renewed. Original published works created after 1977 is copyrighted.

     
from Research Team...
Family Tree Research
Adding Data to Family Trees
Genealogical Research
Family Ancestry Search
Online Family Tree
Military Service Records
Military Genealogy
Program Features
Unique Features
Color Coded Family Progress Rating Chart
Source Rating Calculator
Easy Tracking Features
Ability to recall changes
Link people across multiple trees
Add documents for use later
Prioritize your tasks
Research Tools
Over 1,000 genealogy research links
Access New FamilySearch
Genealogy Wiki
Collaborate with other researchers
Online Program Management
Web enabled genealogy program
MAC and PC friendly
Import GEDCOM files
Export partial GEDCOM files
Build multiple trees
Data Entry
Add LDS Ordinances
Create and manage custom events
Automatic date format
Relationship options
Merge, link, detach, or delete people
Checks and Balance
File and people statistics
Monitor all your changes
Privacy options
Automatic check for data entry errors
Program Features
View, add, and edit sources
View, add, and edit notes
View, add, and edit tasks
View, add, and edit media
Add documents, even multiple page PDF files
Import multiple images at a time
Send messages to contributors, visitors & researchers
Program Tools
Date calculator
Relationship calculator
Map your ancestors
Update locations easily
Document Organization
Cross file documents easily
Quickly link attachments to multiple people
Filter and sort documents and media
View, Print, & Export
Reports
Charts
Lists
Sharing Your Genealogy
Invite people to view your website
Invite contributors to help build your tree
Privacy options for people and documents
Support
Help desk for technical issues
Online video tutorials
Online users guide
Genealogy research hints and tips
Security
Back-up of last 2 saves
SSL secure website
Password login required for everyone