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Off-topic: Recommendations for good genealogy (not geneatology) listservs/forums?

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  • Off-topic: Recommendations for good genealogy (not geneatology) listservs/forums?

    As it is evident that most folks who spend time here have also invested much time and energy into good old-fashioned paper trail (and the virtual version of that) genealogical research. I am hoping some of you have recommendations you'd like to share as to what are the best email lists or online forums for getting the kind of help and suggestions we get here, on the topic of DNA and genealogy, but on the topic of straight genealogy.

    I embarked on both - paper trail family tree research AND DNA genealogy research at the same time, last July. I've learned much but have a lot of hard work to do. Been reading some good books and resources, and making some good progress, but it would always be nice to have the opportunity to ask questions as we have here.

    (BTW, I did get Ann Turner's book "Trace Your Roots with DNA: Use Your DNA to Complete Your Family Tree" and it is excellent - including the chapters on paper trail research. Thanks, Ann!)

  • #2
    Since 2001 I've been going to Genforum.com with some success. Case in point: I found a branch of the family that left my area in 1802 with no indication whatsoever as to where they went. Then, to my great surprise, I found a question there left by a descendant. She had no idea where they had come from or ancestry, I filled her in on that information. There are many other sites too, best thing is to sample the most you can.

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    • #3
      Free sites besides Genforum: Rootsweb, Genweb and Genweb archives and if you have a good library, Heritage Quest. Also try local historical and genealogy societies.

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      • #4
        I find the USGenweb sites really useful when you know the locality your ancestors came from or passed through. Sometimes the sites have lots of information and the people on listserves associated with them are a great help. I subscribe to a couple of Ohio listserves, and one related to Denmark. I would never make it through Danish church records without the help of the folks on the listserves. In Ohio the folks have lots of local records, do cemetery lookups, and often come from families who have been there a long time.

        I also find that Google has scanned many of the old local history books. You can get a flavor of the area even if your folks are not mentioned and sometimes you get a story, like how my great great great great grandfather froze to death deer hunting. That got me into his probate records and the guardianship records for his children, etc.

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        • #5
          FamilySearch.org

          This website is really the research arm of the mormons fulfilling their genealogical obligations. Much of the research is sloppy and unproven, however, there can be some excellent leads there. I would start there, then move on. You may get correct names with wrong dates, or a wrong name with correct dates. But you will get something, and then you will need to cross reference, and that hopefully will lead to a proven match.

          This website is how I began my journey some 12 years ago.

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          • #6
            Thanks to one and all for these suggestions - but John, yours here is spot on as I look forward to the day when I'm ready to dive into the likes of Danish church records. Not ready yet as I still know so little about my Danish great grandfather. I don't know yet what ship he came on, what port he left from, what his parents' names were, and I can't even be sure that his name was Charles C. Erichson as he claimed it was. (I've seen him change his story often enough to take everything with a few grains of salt!) And even if he was Erichson, does that mean his father was Erich Lukassen or Lukas Erichson??!? (And why the Swedish spelling if he was really Danish?)

            So many questions/too many unknowns. But the day will come! (Thanks!)



            Originally posted by JohnG View Post
            I find the USGenweb sites really useful when you know the locality your ancestors came from or passed through. Sometimes the sites have lots of information and the people on listserves associated with them are a great help. I subscribe to a couple of Ohio listserves, and one related to Denmark. I would never make it through Danish church records without the help of the folks on the listserves. In Ohio the folks have lots of local records, do cemetery lookups, and often come from families who have been there a long time.

            I also find that Google has scanned many of the old local history books. You can get a flavor of the area even if your folks are not mentioned and sometimes you get a story, like how my great great great great grandfather froze to death deer hunting. That got me into his probate records and the guardianship records for his children, etc.

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            • #7
              Dwight - you might also consider a time limited subscription to Ancestry.com (that is re info as to immigration of your ancestor). Also go to the public library and if there is one in your area, a genealogy library. Write to the family research boards. Most genealogists are helpful people, so write to people you find on the boards. Also, as suggested, use googling.

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              • #8
                have used ancestry.com extensively (nothing there on my ggf's immigration or naturalization (which was done at county level at that time)); disappointed by the resources at our public library... i'm now at the request vital records stage; soon need to go after wills, probate & land title records...

                what do you mean by "family research boards"? thnx!


                Originally posted by Peacock100 View Post
                Dwight - you might also consider a time limited subscription to Ancestry.com (that is re info as to immigration of your ancestor). Also go to the public library and if there is one in your area, a genealogy library. Write to the family research boards. Most genealogists are helpful people, so write to people you find on the boards. Also, as suggested, use googling.
                Last edited by dwight; 12 January 2011, 12:18 PM. Reason: typo

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                • #9
                  Genforum is one family research board. Also, some libraries are very useful such as NEHGS (New England Historical Genealogical Society) in Boston. Their holdings aren't limited to New England and their index is online.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dwight View Post
                    have used ancestry.com extensively (nothing there on my ggf's immigration or naturalization (which was done at county level at that time)); disappointed by the resources at our public library... i'm now at the request vital records stage; soon need to go after wills, probate & land title records...

                    what do you mean by "family research boards"? thnx!
                    Ancestry has an updated data base as to immigration lists. Check surname boards at Genforum, Rootsweb and Ancestry and aslo check place boards, e.g. County/State boards at same places. Also check State and County archives. Some have a lot of great info.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dwight View Post
                      have used ancestry.com extensively (nothing there on my ggf's immigration or naturalization (which was done at county level at that time)); disappointed by the resources at our public library... i'm now at the request vital records stage; soon need to go after wills, probate & land title records...

                      what do you mean by "family research boards"? thnx!
                      My immigration records were also at county level in the 1880's. I dont know what state or county you are looking for but if your looking for the US/Mex border the early immigration records are housed at the University of TX in Austin on microfilm.

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                      • #12
                        Problem is I don't know but best guess would be somewhere in Illinois or Missouri. Best guess 1865. But it's all guess work at this point.

                        Originally posted by Yaffa View Post
                        My immigration records were also at county level in the 1880's. I dont know what state or county you are looking for but if your looking for the US/Mex border the early immigration records are housed at the University of TX in Austin on microfilm.

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=dwight;289073]have used ancestry.com extensively (nothing there on my ggf's immigration or naturalization (which was done at county level at that time)); disappointed by the resources at our public library... i'm now at the request vital records stage; soon need to go after wills, probate & land title records...

                          Dwight, I saw possible matches to the data you have provided here, at Ancestry, also as to immigration files. When did you last check and at which subsciption level?

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                          • #14
                            Thanks! In fact, I check fairly frequently, (being as obsessive about that as I am about clicking on FF matches and "pending results"!!) but just to be sure, I just checked again. I don't find anything plausible for him. I have the regular (not World) subscription. I'd of course be interested to see what you found! Feel free to take to this to PM...

                            [QUOTE=Peacock100;289683]
                            Originally posted by dwight View Post
                            have used ancestry.com extensively (nothing there on my ggf's immigration or naturalization (which was done at county level at that time)); disappointed by the resources at our public library... i'm now at the request vital records stage; soon need to go after wills, probate & land title records...

                            Dwight, I saw possible matches to the data you have provided here, at Ancestry, also as to immigration files. When did you last check and at which subsciption level?

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                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=dwight;289903]Thanks! In fact, I check fairly frequently, (being as obsessive about that as I am about clicking on FF matches and "pending results"!!) but just to be sure, I just checked again. I don't find anything plausible for him. I have the regular (not World) subscription. I'd of course be interested to see what you found! Feel free to take to this to PM...

                              Dwight, I would put it the other way around that you can contact me personally if you will. Have you eliminated the Charles W Erichson, age 47, b. Sweden,living in Cook Co. Chicago (1880 census), living in same neighborhood as a Christian Holm age 75 of Denmark? Just as an example. Ancestry.com has added a resource as to naturalizations that includes many not included previously and there are several entries for Charles W Erichsons and versions thereof.

                              I might be able to help you but need more info from you which you can provide by contacting me privately here, for a start.

                              Linda

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