Family Trees: An Online Research Tool

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== '''Definition'''<br>  ==
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Return to the [[Main Page]]
  
<br>There are many websites on the Internet that allow you to publish your family tree (pedigree chart) online for free. These sites can be an invaluable tool to the researcher to get ideas of who the parents or siblings or children might be to someone that they are researching. Many of these sites are free to search though some of them charge a yearly or monthly fee. Often there are also message boards attached that can give you additional information. However, these sites must be used with caution!
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== '''Definition'''  ==
  
== '''<br>Sites where you can search others' family trees'''  ==
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There are many websites on the Internet that allow you to publish your family tree (pedigree chart) online for free. [[Major Databases for Beginning United States Research|These sites]] can be an invaluable tool to the researcher to get ideas of who the parents or siblings or children might be to someone that they are researching. Many of these sites are free to search though some of them charge a yearly or monthly fee. Often there are also message boards attached that can give you additional information. However, these sites must be used with caution—verify information before relying on it.
  
[http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ Rootsweb or World Connect] <br>[http://www.genealogy.com/wft.html World&nbsp; Family Tree] <br>[http://www.ancestry.com Ancestry.com ]<br>[http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/frameset_search.asp?PAGE=prf/search_PRF.asp&clear_form=true Pedigree Resource File ]<br>
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== Sites where you can search others' family trees  ==
  
== <br><br>'''Beware of Information without Sources Attached'''<br>  ==
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[https://familysearch.org/family-trees FamilySearch - Trees]
  
<br>Many times people have just looked through these family trees and decided that the people, dates and places that they found are correct, and then add that information to their own family tree without researching whether or not the information is correct. If the data you find on a website doesn't have a source attached or merely says something like: "Note book number 2," beware, the information may not be correct. At least 99% of the time when I have contacted an owner of a family tree regarding some information that they have published, they will respond with the answer that they found that information on someone else's online family tree. In other words, they don't know their information is correct; they are simply copying someone else's dubious posting.  
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[http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ Rootsweb or World Connect]
  
== <br>'''Check For Consistency of Dates and Locations'''<br>  ==
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[http://www.genealogy.com/wft.html World&nbsp; Family Tree] at Genealogy.com, a subscription site
  
<br>Many times there are blatant errors in the family trees that are posted on line. For example, while searching for one of my own ancestors, I found him listed in several family trees as being married to two women in different counties miles apart and having children at the same time with both wives. Now this might be true if he had been a "Mormon" in the late 1800's, but he was a German Baptist or Dunkard and that religion didn't believe in plural marriage, nor was plural marriage even practiced during the period in question (1810-1830). But the most amazing thing about him was that according to Virginia court records he was left an orphan under the age of 14 when his father died in 1792 -- but one of these family trees not only noted the death date of his father in 1792 but also stated that his father married in 1801 and had children in 1803. Now that would be amazing!
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[http://www.ancestry.com Ancestry.com], a subscription site
  
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[http://www.myheritage.com MyHeritage], a free, collaborative site
  
== '''Purpose of Downloading your Family Tree Online'''  ==
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[http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Special:Search?go=true&k=&submit= WeRelate], a free, collaborative site
  
'''I '''just recently watched a webinar at Ancestry.com that taught how to use their family tree section of their website. The teacher encouraged the attendees to guess at the dates and places and relationships. I wondered why he would suggest that, but he went on to explain that the purpose of the family tree section was to assist you in finding out more information about your ancestors. When you upload the information that you have, either by gedcom or by simply typing it into the website itself, the search engines on the site will start searching for matching records for you to look at. Then you can look at the records and correct your family tree. This seems like a wonderful tool and the fun news is that you don't have to be a paid subscriber to upload your tree, though I do believe you do have to subscribe if you want to look at the records it finds for you. Another reason they suggest that you upload your tree even if it isn't correct is that there is a place where other users can comment on the tree and give you correct information if they have it. The teacher went on to warn that these trees are meant to be used by others only as stepping stones to assist them in their search for their ancestors.  
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[http://www.wikitree.com/ www.wikitree.com]&nbsp;, a free, collaborative site with privacy features.
  
<br>
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== '''Beware of Information without Sources Attached'''  ==
  
== '''So how can you use this information? ''' ==
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Often people have just looked through these family trees and decided that the people, dates and places that they found are correct, and then add that information to their own family tree without researching whether or not the information is correct. If the data you find on a website doesn't have a [[Cite Your Sources (Source Footnotes)|source attached]] or merely says something like: "Note book number 2," beware, the information may not be correct. When an owner of a family tree is contacted regarding some information that they have published, they will frequently respond with the answer that they found that information on someone else's online family tree. In other words, they don't know their information is correct; they are simply copying someone else's dubious posting.
  
You can start by looking at the censuses as well as the birth, death and marriage records of the locality listed in the family tree. You can use various search engines on different sites to look at the different people in that tree and see if they are really your ancestors or not. Adding verified sources of actual records to your family tree will not only make it more accurate but also assist others in their research efforts. You can also write to the owner of the online tree and give them the correct information along with the sources. They, too, will be grateful for the assistance.<br>Of course it would be wonderful if all the family trees on line had sources attached. That would really help us as we verify our own research for our own family trees!
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== '''Check For Consistency of Dates and Locations'''  ==
  
<br>
+
Many times there are blatant errors in the family trees that are posted on line. For example, one might find inconsistencies with locations in the birth and christening fields. If someone was born in Ohio in the early 1800’s, they probably weren’t christened in England a few days (or even months or years) later. Check to see other spouses. It is doubtful that a man married to one woman in one county and having several children by her, is living in another county married to someone else even if their names are similar. It is also important to check dates out in each field. A man who died in 1793 will not get married in 1801 and have children in 1803. In some family trees, the birth places of the children can be seen jumping back and forth between two states. More than likely the family did not keep moving back and forth between the states every few years especially if the era is in the early 1800’s. Keeping an events timeline is helpful to see dates and locations of people. You will be able to see at a glance if there are inconsistencies in dates and locations. Plus you can use the timeline to know where to look in census to see if the people really did live in the area then.
  
== '''Sites where you can upload your family tree'''  ==
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== '''Purpose of Downloading your Family Tree Online'''  ==
 
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[http://helpdesk.rootsweb.com/FAQ/wcsubmit1.html Rootsweb or World Connect] <br>[http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/sub-faq.html World Family Tree] <br>[http://www.ancestry.com/ Ancestry.com] <br>[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Submitting_to_the_Pedigree_Resource_File Pedigree Resource File] <br>
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== '''Related Content'''<br> ==
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[[Document AS YOU GO!|Document AS YOU GO!]]<br>  
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Recently a webinar at Ancestry.com taught how to use their family tree section of their website. The teacher encouraged the attendees to guess at the dates and places and relationship of the people in their pedigree charts. He went on to explain that the purpose of the family tree section was to assist you in finding out more information about your ancestors. When you upload the information that you have, either by gedcom or by simply typing it into the website itself, the search engines on the site will start searching for matching records for you to look at. Then you can look at the records and correct your family tree. This seems like a wonderful tool and the fun news is that you don't have to be a paid subscriber to upload your tree; however, you do have to subscribe if you want to look at the records it finds for you. Another reason they suggest that you upload your tree even if it isn't correct is that there is a place where other users can comment on the tree and give you correct information if they have it. A third reason to upload your tree is to share with others the information that you have already found. The teacher went on to warn that these trees are meant to be used by others only as stepping stones to assist them in their search for their ancestors. There are many sites where you can upload your family tree and several of them are free. <br>  
  
[[Cite Your Sources (Source Footnotes)|Cite Your Sources (Source Footnotes)]]<br>[[Copying Sources|Copying Sources]]<br>
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== Sites where you can upload your family tree  ==
  
[[Rookie Mistakes|Rookie Mistakes]]<br>
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*[[Submitting to the Pedigree Resource File|Pedigree Resource File]]  
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*[http://helpdesk.rootsweb.com/FAQ/wcsubmit1.html Rootsweb or World Connect]
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*[http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/sub-faq.html World Family Tree] at Genealogy.com, a subscription site
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*[http://www.ancestry.com/ Ancestry.com], a subscription site
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*[http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Main_Page WeRelate], free
  
[[Sharing: a good way to FIND ancestors|Sharing: a good way to FIND ancestors]]<br>  
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== '''How to use the information found on Online Family Trees'''<br> ==
  
[[Guessing the Easiest to Research Person and Event|Guessing the Easiest to Research Person and Event]]<br>  
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You can start by looking at the censuses as well as the birth, death and marriage records of the locality listed in the online family tree. You can use various search engines on different sites to look at the different people in that tree and see if they are really your ancestors or not. Enter the correct information and verifiable sources into your family group sheets. Enter all events that you find. This will allow you to start a timeline or a chronology so you can check for inconsistencies of dates or locations. You can also write to the owner of the online tree and give them the correct information along with the sources. They, too, will be grateful for the assistance. And lastly, you can upload your own family tree with sources and correct information. Adding verified sources of actual records to your family tree will not only make it more accurate but also assist others in their research efforts. <br>  
  
[[Family group record: roadmap for researchers|Family group record: roadmap for researchers]]<br>
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== '''Related Content'''  ==
  
<br>  
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*[[Pedigree Resource File|Pedigree Resource File]]
 +
*[[Major Databases for Beginning United States Research|Major Databases for Beginning United States Research]]<br>  
 +
*[[Cite Your Sources (Source Footnotes)|Cite Your Sources (Source Footnotes)]]<br>
 +
*[[Rookie Mistakes|Rookie Mistakes]]
 +
*[[Sharing: a good way to FIND ancestors|Sharing: a good way to FIND ancestors]]<br>
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*[http://www.ask.com/web?q=how%20to%20start%20a%20family%20tree&askid=ca372504-924b-4f10-a9f5-4e89e2d2d122-0-us_gsb&kv=sdb&dqi=starting+a+family+tree&qsrc=999&o=11124&l=dir&adt=0 Starting a family tree]
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*[[Finding Genealogy Collections|Finding Genealogical Collections]]
  
<br> <br><br>
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[[Category:Genealogy]]

Revision as of 23:24, 14 January 2013

Solovki genealogyRussia.jpg

Return to the Main Page

Contents

Definition

There are many websites on the Internet that allow you to publish your family tree (pedigree chart) online for free. These sites can be an invaluable tool to the researcher to get ideas of who the parents or siblings or children might be to someone that they are researching. Many of these sites are free to search though some of them charge a yearly or monthly fee. Often there are also message boards attached that can give you additional information. However, these sites must be used with caution—verify information before relying on it.

Sites where you can search others' family trees

FamilySearch - Trees

Rootsweb or World Connect

World  Family Tree at Genealogy.com, a subscription site

Ancestry.com, a subscription site

MyHeritage, a free, collaborative site

WeRelate, a free, collaborative site

www.wikitree.com , a free, collaborative site with privacy features.

Beware of Information without Sources Attached

Often people have just looked through these family trees and decided that the people, dates and places that they found are correct, and then add that information to their own family tree without researching whether or not the information is correct. If the data you find on a website doesn't have a source attached or merely says something like: "Note book number 2," beware, the information may not be correct. When an owner of a family tree is contacted regarding some information that they have published, they will frequently respond with the answer that they found that information on someone else's online family tree. In other words, they don't know their information is correct; they are simply copying someone else's dubious posting.

Check For Consistency of Dates and Locations

Many times there are blatant errors in the family trees that are posted on line. For example, one might find inconsistencies with locations in the birth and christening fields. If someone was born in Ohio in the early 1800’s, they probably weren’t christened in England a few days (or even months or years) later. Check to see other spouses. It is doubtful that a man married to one woman in one county and having several children by her, is living in another county married to someone else even if their names are similar. It is also important to check dates out in each field. A man who died in 1793 will not get married in 1801 and have children in 1803. In some family trees, the birth places of the children can be seen jumping back and forth between two states. More than likely the family did not keep moving back and forth between the states every few years especially if the era is in the early 1800’s. Keeping an events timeline is helpful to see dates and locations of people. You will be able to see at a glance if there are inconsistencies in dates and locations. Plus you can use the timeline to know where to look in census to see if the people really did live in the area then.

Purpose of Downloading your Family Tree Online

Recently a webinar at Ancestry.com taught how to use their family tree section of their website. The teacher encouraged the attendees to guess at the dates and places and relationship of the people in their pedigree charts. He went on to explain that the purpose of the family tree section was to assist you in finding out more information about your ancestors. When you upload the information that you have, either by gedcom or by simply typing it into the website itself, the search engines on the site will start searching for matching records for you to look at. Then you can look at the records and correct your family tree. This seems like a wonderful tool and the fun news is that you don't have to be a paid subscriber to upload your tree; however, you do have to subscribe if you want to look at the records it finds for you. Another reason they suggest that you upload your tree even if it isn't correct is that there is a place where other users can comment on the tree and give you correct information if they have it. A third reason to upload your tree is to share with others the information that you have already found. The teacher went on to warn that these trees are meant to be used by others only as stepping stones to assist them in their search for their ancestors. There are many sites where you can upload your family tree and several of them are free.

Sites where you can upload your family tree

How to use the information found on Online Family Trees

You can start by looking at the censuses as well as the birth, death and marriage records of the locality listed in the online family tree. You can use various search engines on different sites to look at the different people in that tree and see if they are really your ancestors or not. Enter the correct information and verifiable sources into your family group sheets. Enter all events that you find. This will allow you to start a timeline or a chronology so you can check for inconsistencies of dates or locations. You can also write to the owner of the online tree and give them the correct information along with the sources. They, too, will be grateful for the assistance. And lastly, you can upload your own family tree with sources and correct information. Adding verified sources of actual records to your family tree will not only make it more accurate but also assist others in their research efforts.

Related Content