Genealogy, to most people, is just the simple term ‘family tree’. One would be foolish to not have any interest on his origin. To start with one’s genealogy is like starting a long hike. There are things one needs to know and prepare for. In addition to that, it would consume some of your time. Just have patience and it will all be worth it!
There are many sites offering free information on genealogy. As the saying goes, it is now just a click of a mouse away. As mentioned, one must prepare some information before starting to look for additional ones. What are these ‘information’? Begin with the basic ones like dates (of birth, marriages and death), family names and first names (use of paternal last name, name after marriage, Chinese last names, middle names and nicknames, etc), occupations and places. After gathering all these, read on for the free stuff offered on genealogical sites:
Genealogical forms for downloading like charts as basis for the family tree, calendar (used for research), forms for note taking, deed indexes (grantors and grantees), checklist for libraries or archives the researcher visited), journals and worksheets for research, table of contents, index for marriages (statewide), and vital records.
Other forms are outline for biography, log for correspondence, family group sheet (chart filled out by family groups), time capsules, checklist of military records, tradition records, census records checklist (which includes 1790-1930 censuses). One could also have a checklist of books and articles that the researcher finds to be relevant to the genealogical work.
Some software could also be downloaded for free. Examples are the Brother’s Keeper Genealogy software, Family Tree Legends (claiming to be a powerful software in genealogical search), Gedmark (used in securing any information on an author on GEDCOM files), GeneWeb (genealogy program that has Web interface), and GenFinder Freeware, TimeLine Maker (maker of charts that show histories, also, colored printouts
There are also free tools for translation. The need for them? There are many ancient documents not written in English. Such tools that are for free are: Babel Fish Translation Program, Foreign Language Translation on the Internet, free genealogical translation, Google Language tools, Systran Translation (up to 150 words can be translated), and Xanadu.
The free databases are the following: AccessGenealogy, Digital Archives (Norway), Genealogy service provided by Family Search, and Free Family Surname Search.
For other tools, these are downloadable: Timelines (personalized for your own use), dictionary for genealogy, Letter Generator (Italian Form), Relationship calculator and Converter from surname to soundex.
Tools, databases, software and charts are not the only ones that are offered for free on the net. More good newsuseful tips and classes on genealogical search are also offered free of charge! Some online classes include guide to genealogical research for beginners, advice for more effective searches, preparation of genealogical history to be published, and guide in searching indexes on family trees.
Now, if you are the type that would go for a more fun and relaxed way of keeping records of your ‘finds’ of kindred dead or long lost relatives, then scrap booking is also being offered for free.
With all these, one might be tempted to ask, are these really for free? Well, let’s just say that most of these free stuff are without charge for a number of days. Beyond that, it would be up to the researcher if he would like to continue using the ‘free stuff’. Again, such a tedious task as genealogical work could be made easier (or even fun) nowadays. So would you like to disagree with Charles Darwin’s theory that you came from an ape? Then start searching…