Where To Start Looking...
Where To Start Looking...
We have found that some of the best places to get free information is from the family bible, the genealogical society of your county, and your local historian. A lot of counties have history books, of families that have lived in that particular county or region. We have found these to be very informative. One book was even of the cemeteries in the county, and one on the surrounding counties. Be careful though not all information is exactly correct. Make sure your puzzle matches. We had a great grandfather who had the same name as another man, which was unusual because they did not have a common first name. We started getting mixed up at times with families. Be very careful. All I can say is cross reference, cross reference, cross reference.
The library is another good place to look. We have had good luck there, due to the ones we have been to have a section on genealogy. Families have brought notes in, there are books on families, microfilm data, and much more. For a small fee you can get copies while you are there. Also in some libraries they have free access to Ancestry.com. where you can find and copy different documentation that you find. These are not the original but as I said, they are good for documentation purposes.
InternetIn Missouri, you can go to www.sos.mo.gov, which is the Secretary of State web page. There they have a Genealogist and Historian page and a research room where you have access to free resources, such as censuses, land transfers, court records, war records, death records, and much more. Some documents you may have to send for a copy at a nominal fee. It is usually well worth it.
There use to be a lot of sites that were free, now it is getting harder to get that information without paying for it, due to identity fraud. USGenWeb is a good site as is Cyndi's List. Those are still free, though Cyndi's list you sometimes have to pay fee for the document. Familysearch.com is another site that you can go to for free information. It is put together by the Mormon church. I have not been able to find very much pertaining to my family, but there is a wealth of information on this site. Rootsweb.com is a site related to ancestry.com. You can go there and get some information. It might want you to type in some information at the top, but that will send you to the link to sign up for a paid site. Just scroll down to the category you are looking for and click on it. Another site is findagrave.com. Not all graves are registered here, but there are many to be found.
Before I mention the sites for a fee, I want to mention another source that is free, that you can get a lot of information from. Yet again, you have to be careful if it is accurate. It is query boards, such as the Ancestry query board and the GenForum. This will be information that people have already researched, or are trying to research. You may meet up with a family member you don't know, and tag team the assignment of research.
there are sites that you can pay a monthly, bi-annually, or annual fee to view and copy documents, like ancestry.com, or roots.com. These are good sites.There are many other sites as well, but a word of warning, I would not take the annual fee on some of these sites, because they are not worth spending your money on. You might not know that until you have already signed up for it, and they may not give you your money back. One site I looked at showed that they had two documents of my father's birth. I decided to purchase a one month subscription, and I am glad I did that instead of the annual subscription. The document they supposedly had was not there. They had the information that I had put in already, and they were confirming it with the social security office. Then they wanted me to buy the actual copy. Other than the information I gave, I wasn't sure they would be giving me the correct record, so I chose not to buy it from them.
CourthouseYou can go to the court house and find information there as well, such as censuses, land transfers, marriages, births and deaths. You are going to be going through a lot of books! You will need to ask them how to look up an item in the books. When we were new at this, we went to the court house and they said, "Here are all the books." We felt overwhelmed and didn't ask for direction. We didn't walk away with much either.
We were looking for our paternal grandparents graves so we could take pictures of the tombstones, and see if there was any data on the stones. We knew that our father had two brothers, that we thought died in infancy, but we found their graves next to our grandparents graves. We were not only able to find out their names, but were able to find the dates of their birth and death.
Word of caution though, sometimes the data on the grave marker can be wrong too. So don't forget that cross referencing.