i have the most common american last name, and i would like to find out where my ancestors came from. my parents are unable to answer my questions, so if i want to know i need to find out on my own. any help?
- HSK's mamaLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
If you are interested in doing your genealogy, the best way to get started is to start with yourself. Write down everything you know about your parents, then keep going back until you run stuck. Most people can get back to their grandparents and maybe a set of great grandparents. At this point there are so many ways to get back further in your tree. Much of it depends on the records available. For instance, it you live in the United States, public records are only going to take you back so far. Many localities weren't required to keep records until the late 1800's or even early 1900's, and many courthouses were burned in the Civil War destroying many of the existing records that were already in place. In Europe and many other countries, records go back a lot further. Other avenues of getting information are studying old land records, wills, cemeteries, city directories, local histories and military records. Another gold mine of information is if your parents kept old letters of the family. It wasn't uncommon in the early twentieth century for women to have post card books. Some old post cards have some interesting information as well. If you are young, you may have the honor of being able to interview your grandparents for information. If you do this, I would recommend taping the conversation because often it is impossible to remember everything they said and you will have a treasure for future generations. Even though tracing your tree yourself takes a lot of time and a lot of effort, you learn so much and it is so much more worthwhile than pulling up a tree on a website and wondering where in the world the author got their information.
I am assuming your family is in the U.S. If it isn't then disregard my answer.
First, ancestry.com does have a 14 day free trial-BUT you must cancel before the end of 14 days or they will charge your credit card. Also, don't be suprised if they ask you to put your cancellation in writing and fax it to them. I have had friends tell me that they had to do it this way to cancel.
Here is a list of some of the free genealogy websites.
www.rootsweb.com -This is a good one that is free. It is run by Ancestry.com but shouldn't be confused with Ancestry.com- the pay site.
www.familysearch.org website for the Church of the Later Day Saints.
www.genforum.com This is a site that is full of individual message boards. You can search and post by last name, state, country, or county. This is a great one. Simply post your question on the respective board, and when people answer you will get a notification on your E-mail. I have had a LOT of success on GenForum.
I must say, however, that a good genealogy query, doesn't just say. " I need information on John Smith" Try to provide as many dates, places, and details as possible. One little thing can make the difference as to the answer you get.
a good query has
1) the persons name
2) all of the biographical information you know to date and
3) asks a specific question
The reason it is so specific is because people won't waste your time and theirs telling you what you already know. Also, by providing ALL of your known information (for example, the childrens names) it gives people alternate people to research to help arrive at your answer.
http://www.usgenweb.org/ -When you get to the main page, you can get to the state and individual locality pages by clicking on the appropriate links. Keep in mind that some towns are going to have more information than some smaller obscure towns. It all depends on what kinds of volunteers contribute information to their sites. Genealogy is very much a hobby that depends on people.
Check your LOCAL LIBRARY. Many libraries have subscriptions to Ancestry.com or hertiage quest that you can Access from home with your library card number. Heritage Quest is geared mostly toward the US records.
www.interment.net or www.findagrave.com These are cemetery sites that have grown by leaps and bounds.
This is the link to the Social Security Death index. This is a very helpful resource to finding death dates of people who died in recent years (since about the 60's)
If your family immigrated to the US in the last 100-125 years you can try
This one is cool because you can actually have a look at the ships manifests!!
If you start your search for your ancestry, it will probably turn into an obsession. It is very addicting and it is like a big puzzle with so many benefits. You learn where your family came from, where they've been, often you can learn about family medical history. There just isn't a down side. Remember the old addage, "If you want something done right, you often have to do it your self." You are not going to just find your entire genealogy in one search. It is an ongoing puzzle. I tell people, if you can find one thing every time you are searching, you are doing GREAT. If you find any more than that at any given time you are LUCKY!! Blessings.Source(s): Personal Experience
- 1 decade ago
Well, in my ancestry are Smith folk too. It is a problem to an extent in GENEALOGY. First, you need to get what you can from your parents. If your last name is Smith, your mothers last name is not likely Smith too. You have 3 Grandparents that are not Smith, and you have 7 Great Grandparents that are not smith. You see my point is that if you want to know your ancestors, only a small percent of them are actually Smith. So, you get your Fathers Birth Certificate, Grandpa's Birth Certificate, and Great Grandpa's Birth Certificate and you are defining 4 generations of the Smith BRANCH. You have 7 other branches, do you have 4 generations on them? If not, you could start to think of genealogy as a TREE, each branch is a different name (usually). When distant cousins marry, and they do, the tree colapses on itself a bit. But you have 2 to the power of (the number of generations) ancestors at any generation level to look for. And for Smith, go to GENFORUM and you can also use DNA, there are many SMITH DNA projects. There are 889 SMITH DNA Surname Projects. Cool stuff. Interesting to see how you fit. You will need a MALE participant for those projects.
With the GENFORUM, you can pick one of 5, or search all 5 forums. Once you figure the branch of Smiths you belong to, you will be amazed how some of the work is already done for you.Source(s): http://www.familytreedna.com/name_search.aspx?sear... http://genforum.genealogy.com/ for a talk with people interested in the same surnames GENFORUM http://genforum.genealogy.com/cgi-genforum/finder.... 5 Forums
- coratelloLv 43 years ago
i did not understand that. Coriamtr decrease off Shiz's head. Shiz raised his neck and breathed his very last. the priority there is how anybody will be in a position to breathe with the mind decrease off. There are few issues that I question - maximum of that are in the BOM. it is one in each and every of them.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Originated in England... early settlers from there came to USA.... no point in going back any further... its too vague and too common a name
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- 1 decade ago
weird...my uncle just emailed my family tree that goes back 500 years..maybe were related ...there were some smiths! anyways, here is where most of his info came from...
the us govnt. census reports
social security death index
- 1 decade ago
well smith is your fathers dad's side..... there's still your mom's side and your dads mom side...... smith is gonna be a hard one..... best wishes with your other relatives
- 1 decade ago
if you're good looking, sure, i would excuse the f**k out of you. all night long