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Bear
5th October 2007, 09:57
About to start

Any tips, advice, good resources?

realityhack
5th October 2007, 10:00
genesreunited is a good starting point

My dad's doing this at the moment - that's where he started.

brollyman
5th October 2007, 10:04
I've been doing mine for about 2 years now - I got to the point where the internet runs out of steam (1831 when births and marriages had to be centrally registered) after about a year and I've been trolling around parish records, british library etc since then. Now got back to 1726 in St Kitts and Nevis - fascinating and people really want to help you!

I would start by registering for the free trial with www.ancestry.co.uk and doing as much as you can in the month. If it looks like it's going somewhere, you might as well pay for membership as it's a really useful tool and I think it costs about £75.

Family tree making software is freely available and the better ones automaticall search various databases as soon as you put someone's name in. Make sure the one you use can open .ged files as these are the international standard file.

Watch out for blind alleys, don't make assumptions, persevere and you will soon become totally absorbed.

pm me if you want any specific advice...

Good luck

Zippy
5th October 2007, 10:13
About to start

Any tips, advice, good resources?

If you have any unusual names in the family start there. I did the free trial on Ancestry.co.uk which was good for getting lists of possibles. I also use GenesReunited which enabled me to find a death record which I couldn't find on Ancestry.

Good luck.

TheFaQQer
5th October 2007, 10:14
Ancestry.co.uk do an annual membership, which is worth paying if you are going to be spending lots doing it.

Be prepared to waste time and money on finding the wrong people - my mum has got folders full of birth certificates that relate to people with similar names but aren't actually family members.

That said, she's got one line back to the 1700s when they moved to America - the mormons do loads of family tree research, as part of their religion says that you can take your relatives to heaven if you know who they are.

If you've got some kind of family bible that may help - someone removed the front page of ours so it wasn't.

Also, be prepared for some skeletons and shocks to come out. My Uncle Percy tried to do the research, found out he was illegitimate and stopped (and he even got his fathers date of birth wrong in that little bit of research he did!!). We also found someone in the family who died in a boxing match - something about family honour. And, I finally found out the details (from the army diaries) of exactly what my grandfather did in the war that earned him his medals and mentions in dispatches (he never spoke about what happened).

I find it quite interesting, but my siblings have no interest in it whatsoever.

sasguru
5th October 2007, 10:15
I've gone all the way back to King Arthur. He, ahem, dallied with the local milkmaid and I'm the eventual result.

HTH

DS23
5th October 2007, 10:15
got heavily into it some years ago. can get back to the mid 18c and with tantalising assumptions i can get to early 16c. run out of time to research so it is all just hanging in limbo at the moment. ancestry.com is the best place to start.

DS23
5th October 2007, 10:18
what you will find out is this: you come from a long line of agricultural labourers.

King Cnvt
5th October 2007, 10:22
I traced mine and they all turn out to be cnvts like me.

daviejones
5th October 2007, 10:36
I did this in 2000. I was looking for my dad as he left when I was a baby so I never knew him. I went to the registry office in Edinburgh and managed to find his birth cert. I also traced a few family members back to 1700.

Once I had this, I put an advert in the local paper in Edinburgh and within 1 week I had a call to say that a woman knew where he was. He was in Oregon, USA and had been for over 30 years.

I also found out that I had a half brother. When I got home that evening, I got a call out of the blue...."Hi, my name is Mark, I guess we are brothers"...which was a tough call as you can imagine.

He gave me my dad's email address and I sent him an email with the subject line of "Hey, long time no hear!"

The wait was agonising, I can tell you. It was mazing to get a response thou as one of the things that goes through your mind is "what if they don't want to know?"

I flew out in April 2000 to go spend some time with him after 33 years...the strangest trip I can imagine....

It turned out he was Director of IP Engineering for the largest Telecoms Company in the world and a very clever man.

He died in March from ALS so my thoughts to anyone thinking of looking for anyone, especially family, do it soon because you just never know when it is too late...

cailin maith
5th October 2007, 10:47
I did this in 2000. I was looking for my dad as he left when I was a baby so I never knew him. I went to the registry office in Edinburgh and managed to find his birth cert. I also traced a few family members back to 1700.

Once I had this, I put an advert in the local paper in Edinburgh and within 1 week I had a call to say that a woman knew where he was. He was in Oregon, USA and had been for over 30 years.

I also found out that I had a half brother. When I got home that evening, I got a call out of the blue...."Hi, my name is Mark, I guess we are brothers"...which was a tough call as you can imagine.

He gave me my dad's email address and I sent him an email with the subject line of "Hey, long time no hear!"

The wait was agonising, I can tell you. It was mazing to get a response thou as one of the things that goes through your mind is "what if they don't want to know?"

I flew out in April 2000 to go spend some time with him after 33 years...the strangest trip I can imagine....

It turned out he was Director of IP Engineering for the largest Telecoms Company in the world and a very clever man.

He died in March from ALS so my thoughts to anyone thinking of looking for anyone, especially family, do it soon because you just never know when it is too late...

Wow - well done for being so brave.... After the guy Board Game Geek said about finding out he was adopted and all the chat that initiated, I've thought about looking for my mother but.... still can't decide.

I'm dead pleased it worked out for you.

Bear
5th October 2007, 10:52
Thanks for the advice guys, good to hear ancestry gets votes - this is the one I have joined.

interestingly I'm not getting results on the searches I'm making even though I'm sure I should be getting hits.

keep persevering!

DS23
5th October 2007, 10:53
I'm dead pleased it worked out for you.


:eek:

cailin maith
5th October 2007, 10:54
:eek:

Ah shite - sorry..... two feet straight in there! :o :o :emb :emb :emb :o

rootsnall
5th October 2007, 11:16
About to start

Any tips, advice, good resources?

You need to track down an ancestor to the 1901 census ( latest released census ) to get yourself started. Name, age and a good idea on where they where living and you should be able to find them. I think you can get access for a fiver to various websites were you can search online, I'd do that before shelling out on any subscriptions. A rare name will help a lot, a common name and you may struggle.

Bear
5th October 2007, 11:36
You need to track down an ancestor to the 1901 census ( latest released census ) to get yourself started. Name, age and a good idea on where they where living and you should be able to find them. I think you can get access for a fiver to various websites were you can search online, I'd do that before shelling out on any subscriptions. A rare name will help a lot, a common name and you may struggle.

This is exactly where I have been struggling.

I have name and area living for the 1901 census and I'm getting no results! :tantrum:

TheFaQQer
5th October 2007, 12:30
It's frustrating when the family changes the name.

I nearly lost the trace of mine when for some reason they changed it from Saxe-Coburg-Gothe.

Charlie Teck.

rootsnall
5th October 2007, 12:35
This is exactly where I have been struggling.

I have name and area living for the 1901 census and I'm getting no results! :tantrum:

Try derivations of the surname, ages, place name, or think of possible mistakes that could of been made when it was transcribed and search on them. They may also have been avoiding the census man so try the 1891 or 1881 census.

rootsnall
5th October 2007, 12:36
It's frustrating when the family changes the name.

I nearly lost the trace of mine when for some reason they changed it from Saxe-Coburg-Gothe.

Charlie Teck.

I think we could be related ! What colour is your blood ?

WotNxt
5th October 2007, 12:40
If you have any Scottish relatives then I can certainly recommend www.ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk as a fantastic site. It is relatively cheap and has loads and loads of searchable scanned register pages.

Also just try Google searches for your ancestors names as there are a fair few people out there who publish the results of their own research and you may find a match. If you do then these are a gold mine of information.

Additionally, if you have a Mormon in the family anywhere then get in touch with them as they all research their "pedigree" and generate vast amounts of useful data for research purposes - I believe many of the genealogical websites are run by Mormons.

I managed to discover that I descended from the McGregor clan (who claim to be the original line of Scottish kings!) and also from a Norman Conqueror. Also may be related to Grace Darling (inspiration for the founding of the RNLI) but not been able to make the link just yet.

Good luck in your search and I hope you find it rewarding.

ps. I would also recommend GenesReunited which is useful for comparing notes with others as it automatically looks for matches between members' family trees and gives the ability to share trees and discuss connections with other members.

DBA_bloke
5th October 2007, 12:41
Don't get the Family Tree thing. Unless you think there's a hidden legacy, it's an expensive way of finding out that one's ancestors were a bunch of hard-up numpties.

WotNxt
5th October 2007, 12:44
Try derivations of the surname, ages, place name, or think of possible mistakes that could of been made when it was transcribed and search on them. They may also have been avoiding the census man so try the 1891 or 1881 census.

Apparently, it was made illegal to be have a surname of McGregor at some point in the past due to some transgression against the king of the time (Edward 1st I think). Alot of the babies were registered with other names or just were not registered.

Oh yes, and for Scottish names beginning with Mc it could also be Mac - but most of the search engines will match on both for you anyway.

Zippy
5th October 2007, 12:51
This is exactly where I have been struggling.

I have name and area living for the 1901 census and I'm getting no results! :tantrum:

I had this problem - the record may not be on there yet. I could find birth records and marriage records for the faimily before then.
They may have been (e.g.)working away when the census was taken?

DodgyAgent
5th October 2007, 12:53
I am descended from royalty.

I typed in "Dodgy" and every king and queen (:tongue) from the last three centuries popped up :)


Unfortunately so did Hitler's and Stalin's names crop up :emb

Bear
5th October 2007, 13:27
Don't get the Family Tree thing. Unless you think there's a hidden legacy, it's an expensive way of finding out that one's ancestors were a bunch of hard-up numpties.

Neither did I until Little Bear came along.......changes one's perspective!!

Bear
5th October 2007, 13:29
Try derivations of the surname, ages, place name, or think of possible mistakes that could of been made when it was transcribed and search on them. They may also have been avoiding the census man so try the 1891 or 1881 census.

Good point - thanks

DBA_bloke
5th October 2007, 13:31
Neither did I until Little Bear came along.......changes one's perspective!!

How?

Bear
5th October 2007, 14:05
Up until then it was just me ....plodding along doing my thing in my way, where I came from had some relevance but only to the point of repeating anecdotes I'd heard from the family.

Little Bear coming along made me think about these things, you see traits from yourself or your parents in him and it starts you thinking a bit more.

Also I want him to feel part of a family and so I would like to be able to tell him the history of such.

In short - it's made me more sentimental! :emb

salazie
5th October 2007, 14:06
so did anyone else get an email about Genes Reunited after reading this thread????

:eek

DBA_bloke
5th October 2007, 14:20
Up until then it was just me ....plodding along doing my thing in my way, where I came from had some relevance but only to the point of repeating anecdotes I'd heard from the family.

Little Bear coming along made me think about these things, you see traits from yourself or your parents in him and it starts you thinking a bit more.

Also I want him to feel part of a family and so I would like to be able to tell him the history of such.

In short - it's made me more sentimental! :emb

Another excellent reason to avoid having kids.

wendigo100
5th October 2007, 15:45
"Anyone traced their family tree?"

I think for giant alien lizards it is more like a bramble bush! :D

TheFaQQer
5th October 2007, 16:59
If you have any Scottish relatives then I can certainly recommend www.ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk as a fantastic site. It is relatively cheap and has loads and loads of searchable scanned register pages.

Scottish ones also have the church registers online (General Register Office for Scotland has it), whereas not all the English ones do (General Records Office does not have parish records).