Friday, March 25, 2016

Creating a way to save your family history

In my last post I shared how to start making a tree and this original post I start it with why you should be your family historian. I hope that I have sparked your interest in doing your family history. Now I want to share with you how I save all my information.
If you are like me then you want to have a hard copy of the information you found. Yes, it's nice to have it all handy on your computer but some times it's nice to take a big fat binder full of information along with you to say a family reunion. This way you don't have to worry about internet connections.

This is your standard pedigree layout for your information in your family. Most charts come this way but you can switch them around to what calls portrait or do a fan chart. This would just be a preference thing.

I myself do not print it off this way. I like the idea of each individual family having their own sheet of information.
I want to have LOTS of information to tell a persons story.

I have found so much information that each side of my family has their own binder full. I have even created a binder for my husbands family.

This is my fathers side of the family's binder and I have another one for my mothers side.
What is it that you might want to keep to put in your binder?
Well, I print off at least one census record.
What is a census record? It is a record of where that family lived and it usually has an address, ages, occupations and where they were born! So exciting all the information you can find from a census record, but they also can give you nothing at all. You can only search 1940's and back and the 1900's and back usually are not as detailed as the newer ones. Don't count them out though, search for them.

I also like to find proof of death. Cemetery records also can be full of information. I like to be able to go and see the headstone and get a rubbing of it. I know this may sound weird but that's just my preference. I am not saying it is something you have to do.

Pictures are nice to have but some times finding pictures online is hard. If I have access to the family then I will ask for a picture to go along with the person. Some times you will find that someone put one on to go along with the obituary. Searching newspapers is always an option but some are only available with paid subscription. Google is a wonderful resource. I Google everyone! You never know what you will find.

If you don't want to get all detailed about the information and creating a page for each individual then once you have entered all the information on the person you can just print off the page and keep that. I started to do that after a side of my family got to large to keep doing individual persons. The binder has gone through a thinning out process.

Some people will get a file folder totes and each family will have it's own file. That would confuse me. I have marked all my lines with certain colors and signs to know which person is coming from who, and I think if they each had their own file I would get confused.
But to each his own! Family history can be as easy or a complicated as you want it to be. I look at mine as like a scrap book.

If you have any fun ideas on ways that you save your family information please share. I am always looking for creative ideas.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How to go about creating a family tree?

My last post I talked about why you should do your family history and now I want to give you some pointers as to how to go about finding information and creating a family tree.
Now this doesn't have to be an expensive process. Yes, you do have to pay to use but you can find so much information that is free. is the website I used to create a free tree.
You will have to create an account with some standard information. Once you get your email confirmed you will be able to start your tree.
You can also use, it is free up to 250 people, which happens fast. It is also like where it will give you hints on who could be next in your line. It also has a program you can download to keep all the  information you find saved in your computer, offline. I have this but I don't use it as much as I did at first.

First you will need to enter in your parents information. Date of birth and place of birth. More than likely your parents are not old enough to have a bunch of records yet. Due to privacy laws, records have to be so many years old before you can view them.

You will hopefully be able to move on with information that you have for your grandparents. Place of birth and date. This is where the will start to fill in information for you and this is the point where you need to make sure that the information you are finding is accurate.

It will be tempting to just go with whatever pops up and think that it looks correct but you should always triple check. There should be a few record sources that can back up dates and places and that's how you will know that it's correct. If you can't find records than now is the time to start searching.

All of the information you find will automatically be saved in the site so you can come back to it whenever you want.
You can also be looking for information on family that has passed by using This site has a been a wonderful tool. Some people make it there mission to create profiles for people in cemeteries around them, so if you are looking for proof that a person has passed I would search there. I have found so many relatives and been able to go to the sites to see for myself.

Once you get into creating a family tree you will learn so many little short cuts and find fantastic resources to expand your search.
I hope that I have helped get you ready to create your own family tree and if you have any questions feel free to ask and I will help to the best of my ability or if you have a wonderful trick you use please share.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Why you should be your family historian

I am my family historian and I wanted to share why it is so important to become your family historian.

First: what is a family historian and how do we go about becoming one?
Well it's a pretty simple explanation of a family historian, you are the person in charge of collecting and keeping your family's history. All you need to do is start compiling information from your elders, asking questions. 
Some families will have it easier than others. There doesn't need to be just one family historian if it's a big family and certain people only want to focus on one branch and do all their information, that will give you some idea of information that needs to be recorded.

Second: It gives you a sense of belonging to know your family history.
From experience, I didn't really know much about my family history. It wasn't something that was talked about growing up and also my parents separated so I didn't get to know one side. So in doing my family history it has given me a sense of roots per-say. It makes me wish that I had heard these stories first hand but to find records online will just have to do .

Third: Giving the next generation the gift of knowledge.
I want to make sure that my children and grandchildren know what wonderful, rich history they come from. It is something that everyone should be proud of, even if your line isn't full of history makers and famous people, you should still be proud of the every day struggles that families went through just to survive and thrive.

I have been doing family history for about 3 years now and have binders full of information that I never knew would be possible. I read this article and it encouraged me to write this post to hopefully pass on the urge to look into your family history. It really isn't as daunting a task as some may think, it's actually quite fun!

Feel free to ask what steps you should take to become your family historian. I plan on writing more on this subject.