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I just looked at my family tree on Family Search.  I was shocked to find that no genealogy existed on my mother's side.  I'm guessing that means none of the temple work has been done.  A brother and sister are far more active and religious than I ever have been.  It was curious that they had not done anything there.  But neither have I.  

So how do I even begin?  I barely know my grandparents' names.  I'm not quite sure of the accurate spelling.  And I don't have birthdates or marriage dates.  So how does one go about finding records that are dependable?

Edited by Guest

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Quickly contact any living relative, cousins, your parents, and get their dates and full names. When and where born, married. Then any names even if only nicknames of other relatives. Don't wait for this. People get old and their memories go! I waited too long and lost a whole portion of my family!

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There's a whole tutorial series on FamilySearch that's really good.

Sunday21 got the first step right: when research family, start by talking to family.  Recording the conversation is great-- that way you won't forget anything, and you don't have to frantically scribe.

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17 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

There's a whole tutorial series on FamilySearch that's really good.

Sunday21 got the first step right: when research family, start by talking to family.  Recording the conversation is great-- that way you won't forget anything, and you don't have to frantically scribe.

That's not an option for me.

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1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

That's not an option for me.

Ok, moving on to Step number 2: I see you set up a FamilySearch account.  Did you also set up your free LDS Ancestry account?

Also, a few relevant questions: are you parent's or grandparent's still alive?  This question applies to privacy concerns (living people have more privacy laws attached).

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1 minute ago, Jane_Doe said:

Ok, moving on to Step number 2: I see you set up a FamilySearch account.  Did you also set up your free LDS Ancestry account?

Also, a few relevant questions: are you parent's or grandparent's still alive?  This question applies to privacy concerns (living people have more privacy laws attached).

Grandparents are all dead.  Parents are mentally incapable of help.

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12 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Grandparents are all dead.  Parents are mentally incapable of help.

Ok.  Did you set up your free Ancestry account?

You'll want to do your family history research on Ancestry, and once you have a person solid, you click the button to export them over to FamilySearch to submit ordinance work.  

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36 minutes ago, my two cents said:

@Jane_Doe - May I ask why you suggest Ancestry?  I've heard there are a lot of mistakes/inaccuracies on there.  Just wondering.

First of all: you NEVER copy/paste any tree from ANY site.  That's simply a no-go.  Do your own research and/or with a person you're close to and trust their research.  Copy/pasting other people's research is sloppy and begging for mistakes.  

Research = you read the original source documents (or the photocopies/transcribed versions) and link them directly to the person, citing along the way.  Ancestry has a really good network of these documents and great software for tying them all together.  

Edited by Jane_Doe

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If you know your grandparents' names, and they were American, a good first step is to find them in old federal census records (1940 is the most recent one currently available).  That will give you an idea of where they were, rough ages, states of birth, and who they lived with (potential parents/siblings).  Computer searches should let you use a "sounds like" feature so that you aren't limited to a particular spelling (pre-computer they used "sounded codes" to get the same result).

Can you access your parents' birth certificates?  Their marriage certificate?

I know in the past you've mentioned being adopted and of Asian ethnicity.  Are you working your bio line or your adoptive line?

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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38 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

First of all: you NEVER copy/paste any tree from ANY site.  That's simply a no-go.  Do your own research and/or with a person you're close to and trust their research.  Copy/pasting other people's research is sloppy and begging for mistakes.  

Research = you read the original source documents (or the photocopies/transcribed versions) and link them directly to the person, citing along the way.  Ancestry has a really good network of these documents and great software for tying them all together.  

In addition--the tree you build in Ancestry remains *your* tree.  Random eighth-cousins-eleven-times-removed can't log on and fill your tree with a bunch of phoney-baloney dates and places that you disproved through your own research ten years ago.

FamilySearch is good for 1) seeing what other people (think they) know about your ancestors; 2) prepping names for temple work, and 3) sharing documents (pictures, stories, etc) with other people who are also interested in your ancestor.  (I take joy in seeing the old family pics I upload to FamilySearch get gradually distributed--usually without attribution--to Ancestry.com and other sites.  It's the closest I'll ever come to starting a meme. ;)  ). But as a serious repository of one's own personal research--Ancestry is far better.

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16 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

In addition--the tree you build in Ancestry remains *your* tree.  Random eighth-cousins-eleven-times-removed can't log on and fill your tree with a bunch of phoney-baloney dates and places that you disproved through your own research ten years ago.

FamilySearch is good for 1) seeing what other people (think they) know about your ancestors; 2) prepping names for temple work, and 3) sharing documents (pictures, stories, etc) with other people who are also interested in your ancestor.  (I take joy in seeing the old family pics I upload to FamilySearch get gradually distributed--usually without attribution--to Ancestry.com and other sites.  It's the closest I'll ever come to starting a meme. ;)  ). But as a serious repository of one's own personal research--Ancestry is far better.

Amen!

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58 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I know in the past you've mentioned being adopted and of Asian ethnicity.  Are you working your bio line or your adoptive line?

My adoptive line.  My bio line would be virtually impossible to track down.

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Your own birth certificate should give you some crucial information about your parents.  Your parents' birth certificates should give you crucial information about your grandparents - if you don't have your parents' birth certificates, there may be enough information on your own (or on there + what you know personally) to get them.  It's a possible starting point.

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My birth certificate shows nothing.  It is a court ordered birth certificate that is drafted in many international adoption situations.  My sister's doesn't even have the correct birthdate on it.

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Just now, Carborendum said:

My birth certificate shows nothing.  It is a court ordered birth certificate that is drafted in many international adoption situations.  My sister's doesn't even have the correct birthdate on it.

Right, sorry, forgot.  Adoption papers?

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1 minute ago, Carborendum said:

My birth certificate shows nothing.  It is a court ordered birth certificate that is drafted in many international adoption situations.  My sister's doesn't even have the correct birthdate on it.

That's fairly common with Asian to American adoptions.  It's very difficult to chase anything back in these cases.  

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Either FamilySearch or Ancestry.com should also let you search for your grandparents in the Social Security Death Index (the SSA's database of people who died after having been issued a Social Security number).  That would give you their birthdates and their probable residence at time of death.  If you can use that info to pull their death certificates, those might include the names of their own parents, birthplace, etc.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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Census records are a really good place to start and as stated above you can get a free Ancestry account through family search, which usually have census records indexed and easy to search. Each ward and Stake also have Family History consultants that may be able to point you in the right direction.

Edited by miav

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On 6/28/2017 at 4:04 PM, Carborendum said:

I just looked at my family tree on Family Search.  I was shocked to find that no genealogy existed on my mother's side.  I'm guessing that means none of the temple work has been done.  A brother and sister are far more active and religious than I ever have been.  It was curious that they had not done anything there.  But neither have I.  

So how do I even begin?  I barely know my grandparents' names.  I'm not quite sure of the accurate spelling.  And I don't have birthdates or marriage dates.  So how does one go about finding records that are dependable?

Find your mother's birth certificate. It should contain her parent's name and exactly where they lived when she was born.

 

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