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Starting the search for your family's roots can be a daunting task. But the good news is that there are lots of resources available online than can help you find important records, keep yourself organized, and gather the stories and materials that will help you document and share your family's legacy. Here a few of our favorites:
Genealogy resources online: a helpful list of websites.
Selected articles on taking oral histories, staying organized, and more.
Ancestry.com, partners of NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" offers a very broad and powerful set of tools through its websites. You'll find search engines combing literally billions of records; they also offer a free family tree maker, online searching of selected record sets, and a 14-day free trial of their full-featured fee-based website. Here are some of our favorite parts of the site:
Ancestry's Learning Center: A great place to start. It offers getting started videos, tips on how to use the site, plus great articles on a broad range of topics.
Family Tree: An easy to use family tree maker that ties into Ancestry's powerful databases.
Surname Facts: An online tool that can quickly turn up facts--including immigration patterns--about your family's name.
Featured Surname: Lee
Meaning: Topographic name for someone who lived near a meadow or patch of arable land.
Finding the Truth in Family Tales
For many of us, our first foray into the genealogical world may have been through a family story that captured our interest. A military hero, a "rags to riches" story, or perhaps the "black sheep" of the family, all hold the promise of a rich story that will capture the imagination of even the most uninterested family members.
We also often find leads in theses stories that we hope will further our quest. Unfortunately, we also often find "embellishments" in them. Sometimes the stories that are passed down are closer to fiction than fact, and many should come with disclaimers. "Names and facts may have been changed to protect the storyteller, entertain the audience, and confuse the family historian."
So how do we sort out the truth from the embellishments?
Why Genealogy is Important for Children
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