<< Back to Steps 5-7
Step 8: Ferret Out Family Trees
Hopefully, by this point, you've found enough names, dates, and other facts to help you distinguish your ancestors from others of the same name -- making it a good time to turn to the family research already done by others. Thousands of family tree have been published online, the majority of them included in one or more of these Top 10 Pedigree Databases
. Be warned, however. Many online family trees are basically works in progress and may or may not be correct. Be sure to verify the validity of a family tree
before incorporating it into your own family tree, and cite the source of the information
in case you find conflicting data as your research progresses.
Step 9: Search for Specialized Resources
Based on what you've learned about your ancestors, now you can search out more specialized genealogical information
. Databases, histories, and other genealogical records may be found online which focus on military service, occupations, fraternal organizations, or school or church membership.
Step 10: Stop by the Subscription Sites
By this point you've exhausted many of the free online genealogy resources. If you're still having trouble finding information on your family, it may be time to tackle the pay-for-use genealogy databases. Through these sites you can access a wide variety of indexed databases and original images, ranging from the digitized WWI Draft Registration records at Ancestry.com
to the birth, marriage, and death records available online from Scotland's People
. Some sites operate on a pay-per-download basis, charging only for the documents you actually view, while others require a subscription for unlimited access. Check for a free trial or free search feature before plunking down your money!