Monday, October 5, 2015

Celebrate Family History Month @ Your Library with Try-It! Illinois

Via Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches

October is Family History Month, don’t ya know, and starting your genealogy journey has never been easier thanks to Try-It! Illinois. The Illinois State Library, in collaboration with multiple e-resource providers, launched Try-It! Illinois in 2001 to give Illinois residents the opportunity to explore an extensive list of resources that aren’t always available to them otherwise. This year, the trial will run from October 1, 2015 through November 30, 2015. The trial includes a variety of genealogy and family history research tools including MyHeritage Library Edition and FOLD3 Library Edition. For more information on how to access the trial, stop by the Information Desk. Heck, you can even give us a call at (847) 428-3661.

In addition to resources already offered to Library patrons free of charge, access to these additional databases can make a world of difference for genealogists. For example, FOLD3 is a subscription-based service that provides users with access to US military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of men and women who served. During the trial, these military records are available to view free of charge. 

Getting Started on Your Family Tree

The easiest way to start researching your family history is by writing down what you already know on a pedigree chart. Start with yourself and work backwards. Fill in your parents, your grandparents, your great-grandparents and so on. Use a pencil so you can erase. When you are finished, it will be easy to tell which ancestors are missing. Record birthplaces and birth dates too as you will need these to locate records.
Brothers, sisters, parents, and other family members are valuable research tools. They might have new information to add to your chart, or at least be able to confirm what you’ve gathered so far. Again, keep in mind the importance of gathering dates and locations as you will need these in your future research. You will want to fill in a family group chart to keep track of who was married to whom and how many children they had. Family group charts and other useful forms, like the pedigree chart I mentioned above, can be found on Ancestry.
When you're ready to begin searching for vital and census records online, Ancestry is the best place to start. You can access Ancestry for free from the Library. Happy researching!

Via Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches