If you haven't yet discovered the webinar classes on Ancestry.com let me recommend them to you! They are the best resources around!
Tonight's webinar was titled: "European Research: Tips and Tools for Success".
The webinar was hosted by Juliana Smith, editor of Ancestry Weekly Discovery and Jana Lloyd, editor of Ancestry Monthly Update.
The webinar was recorded and will be available in a few days to review and see at your leisure on Ancestry.com.
First of all, you will need to be armed with good information before you even begin your European research project. The Internet has opened us to repositories and records like never before.
There are some basic tools and techniques that will help you.
Diving in to International Research
* What you need to know
* Learning what's available
* Overcoming obstacles
* Getting Help
Our first order was to take a poll:
Have you begun your European research on your family?
There were over 1,000 attendees to the webinar, and the results of the poll were as follows:
34% - Making Progress
43% - Just Getting Started
23% - Haven't Started Yet
What You Need To Know:
* Name and approximate date of birth of the individual you are seeking
* County or province of origin
* City or town is even better
* Names of other family members [this will help you locate your family member in census
records or other records]
* Other identifiers
The more information you have when you start, the better off you will be.
Second Poll Question
Have you identified 1 or more of your ancestors cities or towns of origin?
Yes - 85%
No - 15%
[Wow! A great start!!!]
Sources of More Information
* Home Sources
* Heirlooms [an example was given of a woman who had an ancestors piece of lace; come to
find out, the pattern of the lace was indigenous to a particular region of Germany and enabled her to locate records for her family member!]
Sources on Ancestry.com
* Passenger Arrival Records
* Check more than once! Check different ports of entry and dates for multiple entries into
* US Passport Applications
* Naturalization Records
* Other Unique Collections
* New York Emigrant Savings Bank, 1850 - 1883
* WWI Draft Registration Cards
* There are more than 40 million pages of newspapers on Ancestry.com with extensive obituary collections!
* Church Records
* Vital Records
* Cemetery Records
* Card Catalog
* Over 28,000 types of records available!
* Use Keyword rather than Title search terms
* Filters are available by collection and location
* For foreign languages there are helps to assist and translate documents. Interpretation tools
are also available.
Learning What's Available
* Family History Library and Family History Centers
* Through these centers you can order records from Salt Lake City on microfilm to be viewed and printed out at your local Family History Center.
* Helpful articles and tools in their online library.
* Search the Family History Library catalog
* You can perform a Place Search to limit to the area you want to search
* Genealogical Word List to help with foreign languages
* Cyndi's List
* World GenWeb Project
* Translational aids
* Research Guide
* Links to repositories
* Geographical Information
* Links to other online resources
* Online queries and sometimes records
* Carpatho-Rusyn Knowledge Base
* Jewish Genealogy
* Federation of East European Family History Societies
* National Archives - Ireland
* Genealogical Society of Norway
* Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA)
Overcoming Obstacles - Language
* Ancestry.com and Family Search
* Online Translators - Babelfish ; Google
* Form Letters - Family Search ; Polish Genealogical Society of America
* Names - Behind The Name ; Google Names ; Polish Roots
Overcoming Obstacles - Geography
* On Ancestry.com -
Germany, Topographic Maps, 1860-1965
Meyers Orts Gazetteer
Cassell's Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland
* Oddens Bookmarks
* Perry-Casteneda Library (University of Texas) - sorry I didn't get this URL, but you can catch it once the webinar is in the library on Ancestry.com)
Connect With Others
* Roots Web - Mailing Lists ; Message Boards
* Online Trees - Member Connect ; Online Messaging
* Online Phonebooks
* Use a search engine to locate directories from your ancestors country or city of origin, you
may be luck enough to locate a family member still there!
* Reference books
* Ancestry Shop
* Local Library
* Webinars in the Learning Center - Special webinars for the following research:
Again, be sure to check out the webinar once it has been placed in the Learning Center.