Sunday, August 8, 2010

Expand Your Knowledge

This past year, I finally decided it was time to join some groups where I could learn more about this wonderful adventure of hunting up dead relatives.  So I looked at both the groups at Google and at Yahoo.  evaluating the number of people participating on their forums and the types of questions being asked and the answers received before I made up my mind about the groups I wanted to join. There is a wide varitey to choose from and I would suggest that you consider some of the following things when choosing your groups.

1.    Look for groups that specialize in the areas where your ancestors lived, by city, state or region.  
2.    Go with groups that have the same nationalities as your ancestors
3.    Check out the groups that are of specific religious background as your ancestors. For example,   Huguenots, Quakers, Dunkards, Anabaptist and many others.     
4.    Since your ancestors came from foreign countries, look for groups that are for English, German, Swedish, and African nations.
5.    Groups that specialize in specific groups like Native American Indian or African American heritage.
6.    Brick walls, help with locating people, documentation, grave sites, etc of ancestors that you are having the most trouble trying to get any information on.  

I found that the Yahoo groups were very active and had a much wider variety of forums to choose from. I ended up joining the following groups and have found each one to offer a variety of topics to be discussed, excellent help with any questions and problems that you might have and extremely courteous people. I am going to list these in alphabetical order so they are easier for you to find in case you might like to join also:

Brick wall....
this group goes out of their way to help members tear those stumbling blocks down brick by brick!
Cherokee Genealogy Community ...
        Specializing in Native American genealogy, with an emphasis on the Cherokee Tribe, but helpful with other tribes as well.
Genealogy _Descendant-Charts...
        This group works with descendant charts of Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee but they also tell you to feel free to add others.
Genealogy Research Club.....
        This is an all around nice site.
        Listing of surnames that our members are researching in the database and you can add yours also.
        A listing of popular websites and our own personal websites and you can add on more if desired.  
        They are there to help you whether you are a beginner or an old pro at researching.     
Olive Tree Genealogy...

        I joined this group because I love their website olive tree
        This forum is basically a newsletter, keeping you updated on things that are happening on their website as well as on other sites as well.
        Be sure to bookmark their website you will find you will be using it often as one of  your first "go to" sites for new searches that you are starting on your ancestors or when helping others.
Prussian genealogy......
        This group is for those of you with German and Prussian ancestors. Some entries will actually be in German because they have members in Germany.  So if you don't speak the language grab you a translator off of Google or go to and use theirs for any languages.
        This group is for you who have Scottish ancestors. Lots of interesting information on here.
Surname Search Daily....
        Surname Search Daily: Subscribe for free and get a list of  FREE online surname databases in your mail box every day. Keep up to date with NEW online research  tools as they become available

You will notice that some of my groups are very specific and that is because I am doing research in those particular areas.

One group I haven't added yet and I need to see if I can find, is a group dealing with the Dutch heritage. I had always thought that one of the lines I was researching was of German descent and low and behold it turns out to be Dutch!

Also be sure to take advantage of your library card access to Heritage Quest, which you can access from home using your library card. I have found all types of interesting information on that website from a very thorough Census Reports to information about the colonies and the people who were in them!

I recently learned about all the great books available at Google books. Just by plugging in the surnames of some of my ancestors I have come up with a wealth of information that I never knew was available before.

Is it any wonder I end up staying up till the sun comes up?  I get so wrapped up in all the wonderful things I find on the Internet that have to do with genealogy that I forget about time and the necessity of sleep.

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