It’s quite an honor to be known as the genealogy researcher. Whether you cherish this role for yourself or have somehow been designated by others to be the ‘keeper of historical memorabilia, old paperwork and dusty mementos’–it’s an important role and one that has been vital to the preservation of history through the centuries.
Being a genealogy historian has little to do with education or age. It has everything to do with passion and understanding the importance of finding, analyzing, preserving, and sharing your research. To keep it simple, here are two things to consider when putting your signature on the role of genealogy researcher.
Love–It helps to be a lover of history. Sounds trite and obvious. But loving history it helps you to stay motivated and passionate about your work. Research your ancestors will help that motivation. Sharing with family members your research may inspire others to get involved. Stay in touch with your discovered family members. Be willing to share what you’ve learned and pass it on.
Share–Finding and collecting your genealogy research is only of maximum value when you share it and make it interesting to others. The information you’ve gathered in ways that will apply to other people’s lives.
You know a professional genealogist can cost quite a bit of money, so why don't you first attempt to find your ancestors free? It will take work, some dedication and even traveling. It's all worth it because you will find your ancestors free and discover what your family tree looks like if you do it.
As a genealogy researcher one of the best ways to begin is by interviewing members of your family. Ask the eldest members first. Try to get birth dates, countries or towns of origin, maiden names of married women and how they are related to you. This is one of your greatest free sources of information when trying to find your ancestors free, without hiring a professional. Not only will you get the facts you need, but you well might hear personal stories about your ancestors. Ask for photographs or show photographs, asking the identity of those you don't recognize. It would be a good idea to record or videotape the person(s) talking about your relatives, because some written information might be lost, misunderstood or forgotten. Do a thorough family interview and have a set of questions written so you don't forget to ask anything. From there, you can go on to more investigative work.
After you have as much known information about your family as you could gather, it's time to hit the internet. A great resource is www.Ancestry.com. Here, although it's a for-profit site, you can find your ancestors free by joining for a trial period. This may be a short time (days), so be prepared with all of your information before you join. At that point, you can look up surnames, input towns or countries, dates and make connections that apply to you and your family. You can turn up some interesting facts and discover a lot on this site.
The World Connect Project is another free internet site you can use. It lets users upload ancestry information they already have onto their free database for other researchers to connect to. Let's say someone else in your large extended family is or has done ancestry research and turned up valuable information. If they enter what they've found onto this site, you can access it. This is a huge genealogy database containing millions of family trees and information for you to search through. It's worth looking at.
Also look at www.internment.net. This will let you access burial records worldwide. Someone would have had to input the information you are looking for though. Another way to search for the dearly departed is through old newspaper obituary clippings. Try the library of the town where the person lived.
Get the word out you are a genealogy researcher. You can set up a web page advertising you research for hire. Sharing helps to bring your research to life. Begin an email list of members and do a broadcast newsletter, start a research group on Facebook, scan photos or documents into your computer and send them out to members, frame vintage family photos and give them out as gifts, start a blog and ask others to contribute to it.