My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Nice to be Back, Connecticut

If you have ancestors in Connecticut, I hope you know about the Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc. (CSG). If not, you're in for a nice surprise. This was the first society I joined in 1990, and was a member for about 14 years, I dropped out for a period and then rejoined a few months ago. When I inquired about rejoining, I was happy to learn that my new membership number would be the same as my old one, it's like I never left. The packet I received was huge, boy it's nice to be back with them.

Their online site has great information, so good in fact, that I made a call to the office and received permission to share some of their information with you. They offer a lot to the members, but this post is about what they offer for free, extremely useful for those new to genealogy.

For example:

Under their first tab, Resources, click on Overview. This will bring you to Getting Started in Genealogy. A part of that section includes:
 Detailed Step-by-step Genealogy instructions

 Download free genealogy charts and forms  Join us for one of our upcoming genealogy events

Under the Resources tab is another nice section on Genealogy Basics. I receive quite a few queries about how do I begin. Now, I can point them to this site! Below is used with permission. Note: The "more detail" in red is only accessed by members.

What do you need to get started?
There are a few basic items you should have available as you begin your project. A few sheets of paper or a notebook, a few empty folders, and a pen or pencil. As your research continues, you may also find a tape recorder, camera, and computer to be useful tools, but they certainly are not requirements to get started. Better to get started and add those tools later.

STEP 1 - Start with Yourself
If you haven't already done so, you should download the free Pedigree Chart to make your note taking more organized. Start with yourself by recording your full name (including maiden name if a married female), as well as your date and place of birth. If married, record your date and place of marriage and the name of your spouse. Continue by stepping back one generation and list the same information for your father (called your paternal line) and mother (maternal line). It's also helpful to make a note of your parents siblings (your aunts and uncles). more detail

STEP 2 - Hunt for Clues
You'll quickly learn that this step is never-ending, but can be one of the most interesting components of your research. Over time, you'll recognize that clues are all around you, but you just need to learn to recognize them. An old letter may have a date and names, but the envelope (if it is still with the letter) may also carry a postmark, as well as a destination and return address which can be used to fix two people at specific places for a particular time period. Newspaper clippings, postcards, family bibles, school yearbooks, and old photographs are just some of the sources that may already be in your possession. more detail

STEP 3 - Interview Relatives
This is no time to be shy - seek out the senior members of your various family lines and initiate a dialog about your family history. Whether it's a phone call, a visit, a letter or email - try to establish a connection which can fill in gaps in your pedigree chart or verify some of what you already have found. Sharing certain items from your treasure hunt (step 2, above) can be a great way to get a discussion going. Studying an old photograph and asking who, when, where, and why can help yield valuable clues. Who is pictured in the photo, when and where was it taken, and what was the occasion for the photo. more detail

STEP 4 - Verify Your Findings
Through the first few steps described above, you will have collected information from a variety of sources. Individual memories, government documents, personal notes, and many other sources will provide a collection of names, dates, and places. Some of these sources will point in the same direction, but others will conflict with one another. In this stage of your research, you will set about to verify the accuracy of what you have found to this point. more detail

STEP 5 - Share Your Findings
Depending upon your goals, you may wish to publish your work for the benefit of distant cousins or simply to organize your findings for your immediate family. There are different points of view and no single correct course of action, but you will generally find that sharing at least some of your work will help connect you with someone sharing at least one line of your family. You can choose to share your research on a case-by-case basis, post files on the Internet, or publish a book or manuscript - the decision is entirely up to you. more detail