Helping you discover your treasured African American & Afro Caribbean ancestry. Check out daily posts @goodgenesgenealogy on wordpress, fb, twitter and via firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out @weadwriteandgenealogy on wordpress
Check out the ancestry.com Library edition for free forms and charts
Check out the ancestry.com Library edition for free forms and charts
I did a double take when I was searching for genealogy information via ancestry.com on my local public library’s website. The free Ancestry.com site courtesy of my favorite library, DeKalb County Public Library, has different offerings than my private, subscription-based ancestry.com account.
That’s the first freebie: Use your public library card to log into your local branch’s website and search for ancestry.com. Once in the site, select the “charts and forms” tab and click on to access it.
The second freebie is found in the ancestry.com charts and forms tab. You may wish to download any or all six of the forms and charts. The forms and charts are great tools to help the novice and seasoned genealogy researchers to organize family documents.
The charts and forms from ancestry. com are also exclusively offered on library sites. That’s a bonus for having a library card.
Hurry! Ancestry.com’s Library editions may be ending soon, according to the company’s website.
My ancestry.com family tree is appropriately named: “Bartee Douthy Duncan Fisher Kimbrough Owen Parker Shaw Thompson Wead Weed Wilks Wilkes Family Tree.”
Below is a photo of the Wilkes family and friends in front of their home in Springfield, Missouri. It is estimated that this photo was taken in 1925.
To gain the best results from building your family tree on any ancestry website, list the top surnames. As you build your family tree, remember the surnames and always use the maiden names of your female ancestors in genealogy searches.
In my early years of researching my family, I included my female ancestors’ married names in family genealogy searches. It limited my information collection. Now that I have replaced the married names with maiden names, the family searches are much more successful.
How do you find the maiden names? Check marriage certificates and licenses, marriage announcements and bonds for the correct maiden names of relatives. For instance, as shown below, I located the maiden name of Florida L. Fisher on the marriage license certifying the union with our cousin, Herbert Gerald Parker.
If marriage documents are tough to find, ask your oldest family members to help remember the maiden names. When I used my maternal Great- Great-Grandmother’s Melissa C. Gray Wilkes’ maiden name, I easily located her parents and her grandparents. The Gray surname was the key to finding her parents, grandparents and siblings.
Great-Great-Grandmother Melissa Gray Wilkes (1871 – 1934) is viewed below:
Happy family searches. Build your family trees with maiden names linked to the strong surnames.
For many of us, it is a challenge to learn of our grandparents and their parents. Think about the challenge of locating 10 generations of grandparents, or stated another way, your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents!
While the Good Genes Genealogy cousins are only halfway there with our maternal grandparents, we, like you, will keep trying to reach the 10th generation of relatives.
Here’s some solid advice from us and colleagues who are genealogy buffs:
Decide on your purpose for your family tree. Some prefer to build family tree to only link direct lineage. Others build trees for family history purposes. Both types of family trees are valuable.
Now begin with yourself to begin your family tree, hence the top of the Christmas tree shaped family tree that is displayed in this blog.
Fill in as much as you know about your grandparents and their parents, if possible.
Use death and birth certificates, if available, to verify each grandparents’ parents.
DNA results remain a huge help in filling in the names of grandparents, siblings, cousins and other relatives.
Do not ignore individuals that keep appearing on your ancestry lines that do not appear to be blood relatives. Their records are equally important to locate ancestors as those “nonblood” individuals may share other family relationships.
If grandparents have been married more than once, you have the choice to add each marriage, or directly link your blood lines to the married grandparents. It’s tricky, yet family tree-building technology is now allowing for some flexibility.
Build in lots of genealogy research time to achieve whatever goals you have for building family trees this holiday season.
Have fun, relax, share memories and ask great questions of your relatives to build your tree.
I was busy preparing my holiday cards when my thoughts turned to gift-giving. What is the greatest genealogy gift that I could give to my family? The answer: Ancestral research findings.
Guess what? I, too, received the greatest gift.
I poured through our family ancestry records and discovered great finds via newspapers.com. I attached the newspaper clippings to my family members’ trees and also printed some records to share as part of my gift giving.
The clipping below was part of my gift to Cousin-by-marriage Florida L. Fisher Parker a year ago during the holiday season. She was overjoyed to see this clipping, her marriage license and other related documents that I uncovered through electronic methods. My discoveries also prompted Florida sharing funny and tearful memories about that great day in her life.
Florida, the widow of Ret. Col. Herbert Gerald Parker, is an enthusiast genealogist. She piqued my interest in genealogy while we all lived in Tallahassee, FL. Typically, I would visit with Florida and we would prepare documents for the family reunion. After the burial of her husband, my cousin, Herb, at Arlington National Cemetery in D.C., Florida chose to live near her daughter and family in Maryland. Distance and COVID-19 restrictions have grounded our travels and frequency of our conversations.
That’s why this year, I bundled up some new finds that are related to her deceased father, Dr. Miles Mark Fisher. During my research of her father, I discovered my greatest gifts.
Gift #1: I learned that Dr. Fisher was the author of several books and articles. One of his books, “The Life of Lott Cary” is out of print. It is about the life of a former slave who toiled many years to earn enough to purchase his freedom and that of his family’s. He became a member of the clergy and also ascended into other high places.
Gift #2: I learned that Rev. Fisher was the longtime pastor of White Rock Baptist Church, Durham, N.C. It was a church that was widely recognized nationwide and in its community for its social activism and highly touted black businessmen and civil rights leaders as congregants. He also initiated a program that held period racially integrated religious services.
Gift #3: I learned that Dr. Fisher was a scholar. He was on faculty at Virgina Union and Shaw University.
Gift #4: I learned the young scholar was one of the first “Negroes to receive the Ph.D. degree in philosophy and religion from the University of Chicago.”
Gift #5: The joy that the printed articles bring to Florida’s life. She doesn’t use technology, yet, she is fond of receiving information about her family.
By sharing your ancestral findings with loved ones, you are giving the greatest gift of all during this holiday season and throughout the year.
The Good Genes Genealogy Services team has been providing free and low-cost services to engaging clients throughout 2021.
To keep our services at this level, we invite you to support us by investing a few dollars into the books we published during this second health pandemic year. The bonus book is written by Dr. Ann Wead Kimbrough about her father, Dr. Rodney S. Wead, a relatively unknown and yet effective community leader.
All of the books genealogy books are written by the cousin duo, Kimbrough and Mark S. Owen. The book illustrator for all books is Veverly Byrd-Davis. Besides our publishing company, http://www.lulu.com (see bookstore, Good Genes Genealogy), our books are offered on many national book sites.
Hear, hear! Rather than dole out hard cash (or credit cards) for an annual audio subscription for books, I choose to make great use of my DeKalb County (GA) Public Library card and tune into hoopladigital.com.
Check your library for free audio book subscriptions.
That’s my best Freebie Friday tip. Sign up and listen to great books like the one I just finished:
Ancestry.com is a premium subscription-based genealogy website with over 8 billion genealogy records, most of which are online images of original documents. In addition, Ancestry has more than 35 million user-submitted family trees, which include photographs, written stories, and scanned documents.
One of Ancestry’s best kept secrets is that they also have over 1,300 always-free databases. To view these free records, you may be asked to sign up for a free account, but the account is free, no strings attached. You do not need a free trial to view these records.
Any USA AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY — CAN AB BC MB NB NF NT NS TT ON PE QC SK YT — INTL Locality
Although this database is called the Free Index, it actually includes indexes as well as images. This Free Index Search contains all the free Ancestry.com record databases but does not include the very popular Family Trees.
Below is a list of the most popular Ancestry free databases. Scroll down to see some of the the free Ancestry databases that are listed by country and state.