Wednesday, March 20

Genealogy Research: A Personal Journey

Genealogy Research: A Personal Journey

Who are you?  Where do you come from?  Do you really want to have answers to these questions?

No need to hire a Genealogist or an Archivist.  You can begin your journey here at the Flowood Library.

According to World Book Online, "Genealogy is the study of family history through records. These records reveal important events in the lives of people and their ancestors. Genealogical research is used to identify ancestors from written and oral records. It is also used to establish relationships in families. Genealogical research has become a popular and informative pastime for many people.

People engage in genealogical research for various reasons. Some people search for their family roots out of curiosity. Others hope to establish a legal right to inherit property. Still other people seek to join societies whose membership is based on lineage. In addition, some people search for parents or children whose identity has been lost through divorce or adoption.

A person begins genealogical research by recording his or her name on a pedigree chart—also known as a family tree. The person continues with the names of parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on. The family tree is expanded by completing a family group record for each ancestral couple and their children. Each person on the chart is identified by dates and places of birth, marriage, and death.

The best records for establishing the identity of family members are vital records. Vital records include birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates. These records are kept by government agencies or churches in the area where the family lived. Other useful records include census reports, military records, deeds and other land papers, probate records (records having to do with a person’s legal will), newspaper archives, and cemetery records. Many government agencies and historical and genealogical societies are digitizing (computerizing) their paper records. This enables the records to be stored electronically and viewed on the Internet. These electronic records make it much easier for people to locate vital records of their ancestors.

The world’s largest genealogy library is the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City. Its worldwide microfilm collection includes copies of records filmed at government and church repositories and at other genealogical libraries. In 2009, the library launched an Internet site with a searchable database of vital records. The database contains a wide range of records from the United States and many other countries.

Several businesses and organizations have placed vital records information online. Many of them provide assistance for people researching their family history." and Heritage Quest are offered free of charge through our computer system.

DNA Testing

I have been told that I am primarily of European descent, but I may also be 1/64 Cherokee Indian. I never had reason to doubt this family story until recently when I had my DNA tested through Ancestry and further verified through 23 and Me.

I could not verify my Native American DNA via Ancestry or 23 and Me. However, I did find out that I was less than 1% South African, more specifically from the Bantu Tribe.

I asked my father, where my Native American DNA would have come from, "Are you sure you are my father?" My father responded, "Only your mother knows for sure."

I turned to my mother regarding the South African DNA, and she told me a story of Dutch traders.

Finding out who I am has been an ongoing mystery.

You can begin your Genealogy adventure at the Flowood Library using the library's subscription to and Heritage Quest.

You can research census records, marriage records, family trees that have been placed online by members, and much more.

The scope of your research can be never ending and an adventure in itself.

My journey continues.

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