BEGINNING GENEALOGY CLASS
and Website

Los Angeles FamilySearch Library
formerly Los Angeles Family History Library

Jon Schweitzer - Instructor
Revised 13 February 2014.


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This is a Website companion to the class that was given at the Los Angeles FamilySearch Library.

Unless stated otherwise, the books mentioned below are in this library. Their Call Numbers are in parentheses.

Requirements of a successful genealogist: patience, perseverance, thoroughness and organization. Additional requirements of a superior genealogist: analytical, skeptical, resourceful, requires and records on documentation sheets all excellent sources/ documentation evidence for all data for each person.

Please don't start researching on the Internet.

TOPICS
• Fill out sheets - Pedigree Chart, Family Group Records and Documentation Sheets
• Search home for information
• Ask relatives for more information
• Develop given name and surname lists
• Ask for help and look for self help
• Look at databases for more information and other genealogists
• Attend other genealogy classes
• View or order records
• Ask for help
• Learn about your localities
• Organize
• Develop questions and plans
• Write to other places and visit area libraries
• Ask for help and look for other records
• Record the sources for all information
• Research censuses

FILL OUT SHEETS
Start your work by filling out a Pedigree Chart, Family Group Record Sheets and Documentation/Notes Sheets. Leave room for the middle names. Record the dates like this: 14 May 1878. Record the place names like this: Mankato, Blue Earth, MN.

Obtain a few FREE Family Group Record Sheets at the Help Desk. Read "A Guide to Research" HERE.

SEARCH HOME
Search your home for more information about the names of ancestors, dates and birthplaces to fill out the Pedigree Chart, Family Group Record Sheets and Documentation/Notes Sheets. Examples of sources of information might be: Death Records, Marriage Records, Birth Records, Obituaries, Letters, Family Bibles, Pedigree Charts, Family Group Records, Legal Papers, Personal Papers, Books, Badges, Insignias, Post cards and Newspaper Clippings. Search for and find all siblings of the subject person. If you are unsuccessful in determining the birthplace and parents of the subject person, you will use the siblings as substitutes. Read http://www.lafhl.org/begin.htm

ASK RELATIVES
Persuade all your relatives to search through the same items in their homes.

Try to visit the homes of your parents and grandparents to find and make copies of their genealogy records. Visit all other relatives to obtain copies of their genealogy records.

If you can't visit your relatives in person, you should write to each of them a very simple and concise letter asking only a few simple questions the first time. Ask them if they can tell you the names and addresses of other people who might have more information.
Ask for only a small amount of information each time. Don't mention your religion.
Write the most ill relative first, then the oldest and then all the others. Send a SASE.
Offer to pay for costs. Follow up if you don't receive an answer in a short time.
Recruit other relatives to assist you in securing answers from the unresponsive relatives.

DEVELOP GIVEN NAME AND SURNAME LISTS
Develop a list of all possible spelling, misspellings and nickname variations for each given name and surname you are researching. Use "Names, Nicknames and Missspelled Names" (929.4 C191c).

Consult the book, "A Practical Guide to the MISTEAKS Made in Census Indexes", Richard H. Saldana, 1987, (Rare book 973 X2pra), pages 31 and 32 for other interpretations of each letter in a surname. Use this book to develop additional variations. Read http://www.lafhl.org/begin.htm

Enter the surnames into the Ancestral File to find some of the variations HERE. Contact the submitter(s) in the Individual Record at the right of Submitters under Details.

ASK FOR HELP AND LOOK FOR SELF HELP
Ask consultants in this library to offer suggestions that will help you. Look at and read and reread the "A Guide to Research" https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/A_Guide_to_Research.

Ask questions and avoid telling stories.

Don't buy commercial Family Name Lists or Family Coats of Arms.

LOOK AT DATABASES FOR MORE INFORMATION AND OTHER GENEALOGISTS
Try to find other persons who have been researching your research subjects.

The annual book, "Genealogical Research Directory" (maybe 929.1025 G286grd) at other libraries is a publication that has persons researching specific surnames in specific locations. Write to the persons. If you are having problems contacting them by mail, see Genealogy Rerearch By Mail

ATTEND OTHER CLASSES
Attend other classes at this library that apply to your areas of research. See the online classes at http://www.lafhl.org/onlineclasses.htm

VIEW OR ORDER RECORDS
Consult the Family History Library Catalog to determine if the record has been microformed (microfilmed and microfiched). Print out holdings of Salt Lake and use as a worksheet. Check to see if it is currently in this library and if it is not, order the microform at the Welcome Desk.

Order the necessary copy of the record if it has not been microformed.
Don't use the word "Certificate" when ordering vital records. Try asking for an "uncertified" copy of only the original "record" from only the county. Send a "not to exceed" check that is shown at http://www.encinojon.com/nottoexceed/ Use "The Redbook" (Ref 973 D27rd) or "The Handybook for Genealogists" (Ref 973 D27e) for the addresses of the county offices. Ask for copies of all records that were made for the marriage or probate process.
Read Twenty Ways to Avoid Genealogical Grief and More

ASK FOR HELP
Ask teachers for assistance before, during and after their classes. Have the "consultants" look at your work. The list of LAFSL consultants and teachers is at http://www.lafhl.org/consult.htm

LEARN LOCALITIES
Look at the Research Outlines at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Retirement_of_Research_Outlines.

Use the large commercial atlas and gazetteers (place names) and the "Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses 1790-1920" (973 X2th) in the Book Room.

Browse the shelves in this library for other titles of books that might assist you.

ORGANIZE
Carefully organize your papers using manila folders and store them in a secure area.

Start keeping a Correspondence Log.

Prepare a Research Log Sheet for each person.

DEVELOP QUESTIONS AND PLANS
Carefully analyze your problems. Obtain suggestions from others and then develop good questions to find answers using good plans.

WRITE TO OTHER PLACES AND VISIT AREA LIBRARIES
Write the library in the research area and ask for names and addresses of persons who have inquired about your research persons. Use the American Library Directory (973 J54a) or http://www.worldcat.org/libraries to obtain library addresses.
Contact all libraries in area that you are researching that has genealogy collections.
See A Bibliography of American County Histories (973 H23bi) 1985, for the county histories in all the states. Write your research area county seat library and ask if they have separate all name indexes for each of the county histories listed in the latter book. Also, do they have all the county histories listed and do they have newer county history than 1985 for their county? If they have the county history and the all name indexes, you can ask them to make copies of the pages from the county history and send them to you. Include SASE. Links to county history indexes is at http://www.genealogybranches.com/countyhistories.html You may search for publications at the U.S. County History Catalog page on Ancestry.com at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3227

ASK FOR HELP AND LOOK FOR OTHER RECORDS
Question genealogists who are experienced in your research area about your research.

Look for other records that will supply information.

RECORD THE SOURCES FOR ALL INFORMATION
Reread your beginning genealogy self help "A Guide to Research" HERE and this Web site several times in the future months.

Good general references: "The Source" (Ref 973 D27ts), "The Redbook" (Ref 973 D27rd) and "The Handybook for Genealogists" (Ref 973 D27e).

RESEARCH ON THE INTERNET
Search all appropriate federal and state censuses using all possible given name and surname variations. Use Ancestry.com at this library or at a public library.
Use at this library and at home the FamilySearch https://familysearch.org/ and http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/

Send comments about this Web site to the Webmaster.
Click here to E-mail him.

This site may be freely linked, but not duplicated.
Copyright © 2007-2014 by Jon Schweitzer. All rights reserved.
This site and any internal links are copyrighted.


USE PRINT PREVIEW TO CORRECTLY PRINT OUT THE FORMS BELOW
and send out to people that might have information for you.



Please try your best to fill in the information and return to:

NAME _____________________ ADDRESS _____________________________________

PARENTS OF:____________________________________

Born on_________

Birthplace: farm______________parish______________town___________________

township_______________county_______________state__________country_______________

Married to:________________________on___________Place:_______________________

Died___________Place__________________________________________________

FATHER'S FULL NAME, BIRTH, BIRTHPLACE, DEATH AND DEATHPLACE:

first______________middle_______________last_________________________

His birth was on________________

Birthplace: farm______________parish_______________

town____________________township__________________county__________________

state_____________________country___________________

Died___________Place_____________________________________________________

MOTHER'S FULL NAME, BIRTH, BIRTHPLACE, DEATH AND DEATHPLACE:

first______________middle_______________last_________________________

Her birth was on________________

Birthplace: farm______________parish_______________

town____________________township__________________county__________________

state_____________________country___________________

Died___________Place_____________________________________________________



Documentation / Notes MRIN______

Father_______________________________________RIN_______

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother_______________________________________RIN_______

 

 

 

 

 

Child #1_____________________________________RIN_______

 

 

 

 

 

Child #2_____________________________________RIN_______

 

 

 

 

 

Documentation / Notes MRIN______

Child #__ ___________________________________RIN_______

 

 

 

 

 

Child #__ ___________________________________RIN_______

 

 

 

 

 

Child #___ ___________________________________RIN_______

 

 

 

 

 

Child #___ ___________________________________RIN_______

 

 

 

 

 

Documentation / Notes MRIN______

Child #___ ___________________________________RIN_______

 

 

 

 

 

Child #___ ____________________________________RIN_______

 

 

 

 

 

Child #___ ___________________________________RIN_______

 

 

 

 

 

Child #___ ____________________________________RIN_______