Free Online Family History Research Guide

Free Online Family History Research Guide


Why?
Why would a craft blog have a Free Online Family Research Guide?  Family-History Crafting is a fun way to preserve your history and teach other family members about their history.   But, unless you know your history, you need to start somewhere.

As you start your research, you may find that your oral history (family lore) doesn’t match with the history you find in documents.  You may be surprised at what you do learn.  It is important to record both the oral and the documented history. 

For example, my grandfather always told us that his 13-year older sister, Elizabeth, was accidentally shot and killed by a nephew.   I sent away for a death certificate, but none was to be found (Death certificates were not always issued in the early 1900s).  I searched newspapers, since if it was an accidental shooting resulting in death, it surely would have made the newspaper.  Nothing was found.

Elizabeth never turned up in the census records.  If she was 13, she should have been listed in one or two census records.  Finally, I asked the church for the cemetery records and found that Elizabeth was only seven days old when she died of natural causes.  Even more surprising was she died five years before her cousin was born.  Now, if you ask me, it’s pretty hard to accidentally kill someone when you are not even born.   Sadly, that nephew died thinking he accidentally killed is aunt.  His family, however, was thrilled that I had cleared his name.

Moral of the story is to have an open mind when you are researching your history.  Go where the facts take you.

Family-History Crafting
What type of crafts can you create with your family history? 
As seen in the above photo, greeting cards are a quick way to share your history but many crafters create scrapbook albums for their history.   But there is more to Family-History crafting that creating a scrapbook album.

Think about creating a framed family-history tree which lists all the members of your tree.  You can use a number of free charts that are available online or create your own. 

Family-history is a great subject for an altered-book project or a collection of Artist Trading Cards.  Remember to use photos of family heirlooms and pets in your artwork as well.  Family histories are all about personalization.   Your family is unique and it is important to document as much as you can.

To learn how to research your family history, visit Family Search.




Research

Where can I find free resources to search my history?
Visit your local library and ask them what is available.  If you do not have a Family History Center (Church of Latter Day Saints) near you, your library may be able to get vital record (birth, marriage, death) films for you to search. 

Your library may have census records for you to search as well as city directories.  If your library is online, you can visit their website to see what they have in their genealogical collection.

Make sure to visit some of my favorite online sites that are listed below.  Keep in mind that they are always adding information to their sites, so make a point of visiting them more than once.

Free Online Research Sites:








Free Family History Forms:
Once you start researching your history, there are a number of free forms that you will want to have.  Visit the following sites for some great forms.



Family Trees:
Family tree charts are important to use.  Below is a great site to use.


Free Software:
I don’t use this software because I have Family Tree Maker.  This software looks pretty good, but I don’t know how it really is.  I just wanted to let you know it’s out there.



Best wishes with your research.  Be sure to let me know how you make out and what great crafts you create from your research!