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Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes

Book Description

Genealogists are like detectives. Working out puzzles is the name of their game! If you have ever wanted to research and document your family history the right way, then the award-winning Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes is for you! Authored by professional genealogist Shannon Combs-Bennett, this genealogy book explains the joys, challenges, and triumphs of researching your family's origins. While many people assume genealogy research starts online, Combs-Bennett shows the importance of starting a family tree using documents that can be found in your own home! Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes is written in a friendly, easy-to-understand style that avoids complex jargon. While not a comprehensive guide, there are lots of examples, case studies, and advice that can help would-be family historians quickly get up to speed. In addition to listing best practices for conducting genealogical research, Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes also warns readers about the many pitfalls of family research, from "brick wall" mysteries to time-wasting online searches.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. What readers are saying...
  3. Copyright information
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
    1. Why are people interested in family history?
    2. What’s in this guide
  7. Chapter 1: Starting your family tree
    1. The starting point for any family history project
    2. The importance of linking generations
    3. Getting the right records
      1. Vital records, from birth certificates to death certificates
      2. Non-vital records and census forms
      3. Estate records and newspaper articles
      4. Religious records
    4. What it feels like to run into a brick wall
    5. Five things that can trip up newbies researching family history
    6. Case Study: Finding Sarah’s connections to the Mayflower
  8. Chapter 2: Genealogy road trips
    1. The great family document hunt
    2. “You are wasting your time!”
    3. What to include in a portable genealogy kit
      1. Smartphone cameras and apps
      2. Other electronics
    4. Taking notes
    5. How to protect and transport documents and photos
    6. Case Study: David’s Ellis Island mystery
  9. Chapter 3: Online research, genetic genealogy, and other resources
    1. Crossing the paper/digital divide
    2. Where to start online searches
    3. Finding gold in genealogy blogs
    4. The dangers of random searching
    5. Genealogy communities and continuing education
      1. Genealogy societies
      2. Lineage societies
      3. Conferences and seminars
      4. Online forums
      5. Webinars
    6. Genetic genealogy basics
      1. Different types of genetic tests
      2. Haplogroups: Your deep ancestral heritage
      3. Finding skeletons in the genetic closet
      4. Consumer protections under the GINA Act
    7. Case Study: An adoptee’s story
  10. Chapter 4: Tracking and sharing your research
    1. Visualizing family history with charts
      1. Digital vs. paper
      2. The standard pedigree chart
      3. Variations of pedigree charts
      4. Family group sheet or family record
      5. Research log
      6. Other types of charts and forms
    2. Why source citations are so important
      1. How to create good source citations
    3. Save time with templates
    4. Write it all down: Journaling your way to success
      1. Information to include in your genealogy journal
    5. Writing about other family members
    6. Case Study: Rose’s quest to discover her African-American ancestors
  11. Chapter 5: Preserving records and research
    1. How to tame sprawling records
    2. A question of organization
      1. Organizing records using colors
      2. Organizing records using a numbering system
      3. Naming conventions for paper files and digital records
    3. Using spreadsheets to record inventory and other data
    4. Using hardware and other equipment to organize and store records
    5. Computer file formats, from GEDCOM to PNG
    6. Planning for disasters
    7. Case study: Margaret's new approach to organizing records and heirlooms
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. Appendix
    1. Pedigree chart
    2. Cousin chart
    3. Getting kids involved: 20 questions to ask relatives
  15. Index