Research your family history
Reconnect with your past in this exciting and revealing pursuit that was tailor-made for your PC.
There’s something to be said for connecting with your family history – the thrill of rediscovering your ancestors cannot be matched as you piece together their lives through documents, digging out old family photos and even making contact with distant cousins to share and uncover more insights.
These days, most of that research can be done online, and if you know where to look you can make major inroads into developing and expanding your tree without spending hundreds of pounds on expensive subscriptions. The place to start is www.familysearch.org – this doesn’t simply provide a giant, shared tree of human existence, but it’s also a repository of information, including documents, photos and useful resources for further research via its wiki (www.familysearch.org/wiki/).
You’ll need somewhere to store all this information, and there are plenty of programs out there to lend a helping hand. If you do choose a paid-for subscription site like Ancestry, then it pays to choose a program designed to make it easy to extract information and digitised images of documents directly from the site into your research file.
One free program that supports FamilySearch is RootsMagic Essentials, which you can download and install for free from http://rootsmagic.com/ essentials/ – it’s a cut-down version of the main program (US$29.95 from www. rootsmagic.com), but all FamilySearch functionality is completely free.
LINK TO FAMILYSEARCH
The program is relatively simple to use and will be familiar to anyone who’s previously dabbled in genealogy – when creating a new document, leave ‘Begin typing my information’ selected before clicking OK. A blank tree will appear – click the button to add a person and enter your own information as the home person. From here you can add additional facts, attach photos and
other information as we outlined in detail in our September 2019 issue.
When it comes to linking in information from FamilySearch, select ‘Tools > File Options’. Select FamilySearch, tick ‘Enable FamilySearch support’ and ‘Match person to FamilySearch when hints found’ and enter your login details. Now follow the step-by-step guide to link individuals to FamilySearch and download information from them into your tree in just a few clicks.