Now you have gotten your feet wet so to speak, you have inquired all your relatives, interviewed all the elders of your extended family. Now is the time to broaden your searches. Where do we go, and how do we go about finding all those illusive patriarchs and skeletons in your closets and start filling in the blanks. Here is a list of places to begin some searches and learn how to find them. First and foremost, you will not find them all, ever! There are dead ends and roadblocks that we can spend years trying to find and never get a good documented answer. But try we must. What you cannot find today, may well become available tomorrow. So never give up the search!
Books: There are many books available for free or minimal costs. One I found to be extremely helpful is one named; Yeah! You guessed it! “Online Genealogy for Dummies” It has a lot of great beginner helps, for a very modest price.
Internet: Search the web, for names and associated name to your surname. Look for web sites that list information on your surname or the names you are following. Do this quite often. (I do searches about once a month), this will let you watch for new ones that pop up. Never can tell when a lost cousin or relative also has gotten the genealogy bug and posts his or her information online. Bingo! You may have just struck gold! Try different queries from different search engines. Google, Yahoo, Dog Pile. Record the top ten hits that you get. Then on your next search look for new ones that were not there before.
Pay Sites: Once you get to needing much more items or person information, you can invest a little in joining one of the bigger, extensive research sites. BUT be prepared to spend some dollars. As an alternate try some of the state and county GENWEB sites. They are generally free and allow posting in different county areas. An many have local Genealogy Societies local to the area you are searching in.
Mailing Lists: This is a great place to start. Rootsweb has hundreds of free mailing lists for surnames. These are people who subscribe to a particular list because they have a connection to the list surnames being researched. Initially subscribe for weekly digests. This gives a brief message about all the postings, and allows you to see who and what was posted. Best of all you Can get the email address of the poster. Then you can correspond directly with that person if you see or feel a connection. This for me has been one of the most helpful in finding remote relatives in areas that are much too far to travel to.
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