Sunday, September 8, 2013

When in Doubt, Google!

When you throw up your hands in frustration as you search the regular genealogical websites for information on an elusive ancestor, I have some advice. Try searching in Google. It’s not just for researching living people or ideas. It is amazing what could be out there.

Here’s an example. I have an ancestor from the 1800s named Valentine Sevier Babb. I already have a lot of information on him, but just for fun, I thought I’d see what else Google could tell me. Here are some of the results:

  •  Information on Greene county and Sevier county Tennessee where the Babbs lived
  •  Tennessee Historical Society
  •  Early Virginia immigrants
  • DAR Tennessee chapter
  • Tennessee cemeteries (including the Babb cemetery)
  • The Tennessee Genealogical Magazine
  • Nathaniel Greene Museum Home (Nathaniel Greene is also an ancestor but this is the first time I found a link between him and Valentine Babb.)
  •  Tennessee State Library
  • Tennessee Patriots

That’s just the first five pages! Now, granted, there is a lot of stuff out there on this particular guy. I need to try searching for one of the more elusive ancestors, maybe, George Roberts. Or Janez Znidaric. Or Nancy Reynolds. You get it.

We may not have this kind of success with every search, but it's worth giving Google a try. Gotta go - Janez needs Googling! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Not Quite Ready to Jump into Genealogy?

If you are feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of family history, here's some advice. Just sit back and relax! Watch someone else do it and then get inspired.

Here are some genealogy-themed TV shows with links to their websites:

1. Who Do You Think You Are? This year's show moved from NBC to The Learning Channel. It's on Tuesday nights this summer. There are about three more episodes left this season, but you can go back and watch previous episodes of celebrities finding out about their past ancestors. Who Do You Think You Are?
2. Family Tree - This is a comedy about a guy that inherits a box of family treasures from a great aunt and the interesting information he uncovers about his family. HBO. Family Tree
3. Genealogy Roadshow - Ever hear of Antiques Roadshow? This is a similar show that will debut this fall on PBS. People will be able to ask the experts about their genealogy.
4. Finding Your Roots - This show is more about culture, roots, and DNA. New episodes are scheduled for PBS. Finding Your Roots
5. Faces of America - This show was on PBS in 2010 and featured ten celebrities including Dr. Oz, Meryl Streep, and Stephen Colbert. You can buy the DVD or watch episodes on the website. Faces of America
6. History Detectives - This show features historical mysteries and is also on PBS in the summer and fall. You can go to the website and see all 11 seasons of the show. History Detectives

So that's all you need to do. But if these TV shows don't get you off the couch and off to the Family History Center, I am just not sure what will. Have fun!