Thursday, February 17, 2011

So I've decided that has got to be one of the greatest tools for people researching their genealogy.  They have a massive amount of information and it's all readily available at your fingertips.  Now at first, for me, I was hesitant to pay for because it is a bit pricey and I wasn't totally sure if it was worth it.  When I first started researching my family I was only working on my paternal grandfather's side of the family, the Panfils.  At the time I was getting most of my research done with lots of manual labor on, the website run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  My paternal grandmother was interested in finding out more about her family, so I took on another tree; the Moseleys.  Soon that sparked the interest of both my maternal grandparents so what was originally one family tree became 4, with the addition of the Meeks and Larson trees.

I soon realized that I had WAY to much on my hands to be spending countless hours on looking for documents and information person by person.  I spent some time at my local library, which thankfully had a free library edition of ancestry, and realized how much they had to offer.  After talking it over with my parents and my boyfriend I realized that paying for ancestry was going to be a HUGE help when looking for pieces of my extensive family history. has a ton of tools for you to use as you search for those that came before you, the best of which is being able to create your family tree with all the information you have.  You can create and save as many family trees as you want on ancestry, made up of as little or as much information as you have.  Based on the information give ancestry generates a list of people on each of those trees with hints.  You can then go through & analyze each hit individually, often coming across new family members or facts you never knew.

On ancestry I have gone from having my maternal grandfather's tree be at 37 people to 83 people, and having it trace back to the civil war.  I've found a picture of my great-great-great-grandfather, census records I never knew you could even find, and numerous people searching for the same people I am.  What's so amazing about ancestry is that not only do they give you historical facts, but they connect you to people who have family trees that have the same people on them.  So "Mary" in Hawaii and "Sarah" in New York have the opportunity to compare facts and stories because they both happen to be looking for "Steve Smith" from Iowa.

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