Constructing Online Family Trees
If you think constructing a family tree is nothing more than a grade school project for kids or a hobby for history buffs, you may be surprised. In fact, constructing family trees is not a simple task. It involves time, research and in some cases a little money as well.
For people who are not familiar with genealogy researching, constructing an online family tree may be quite difficult, unless you learn what to do. However, you do not need to be any kind of expert or have some type of special degree to construct your family tree. The astonishing advancements made by modern science and technology has made it possible for genealogy researchers to save time and money by constructing online family trees, with the help of a number of valuable organizations.
Just sitting around the house with a pencil and a notebook, although a good way to start, is not going to give you the data-filled family tree that you want. You need to start with a computer and a connection to the Internet. If you do not have a home computer, many local libraries have computers that they will let you use to conduct all of your research and help with constructing online family trees.
Even the most novice genealogy researcher is able to construct an online family tree. A quick browse across that Internet and you will see that there are literally hundreds of options available to assist you in your quest to uncover the history of your family.
Before you are ready to construct your family tree online, you need to gather as much information as you can before moving forward with your research. You can go about it any way you like, but most successful genealogy research projects begin with a surname, which means you will begin your research by tracing your father's ancestors.
You may come across some interesting information as you search, but save that for later and stick to your initial research until you have gone as far down that branch of your family tree as possible. Start with your personal information, then progress on to your parents, then your grandparents and so forth and so on as far back through the generations as you like.
Once you have taken the time to learn the basic steps involved in tracing your family history and constructing a family tree, you should have a good idea of the direction you want to take your online family tree. When you have your basic family information gathered together, you are ready to take it to the Internet.
The first choice that you must make when constructing online family trees is to determine which hosting service best suits your needs. Several online genealogy companies will allow you to construct your family tree online for no charge.
The sites that offer such a service are the ones that are similar to popular social networking websites. Many genealogy websites feature forums and message boards that allow you to interact with your family members as well as other genealogist researching their own family trees. You never know, one day you may log on to find a long lost cousin or two, who have already collected an abundance of information on your family tree. You will enjoy comparing notes and filling in holes as you learn more and more about all of the members of your family.
What to Include
Think carefully when constructing online family trees about the information that you want to post. Before you get started, consider if you want your online family tree public for everyone to see, or private and available for viewing to only a select few.
When you are posting information about your family's history on the Internet, be sure to consider their safety and privacy. Banks, credit cards and other institutions use the mother's maiden name to ensure security on many accounts. Think very carefully before posting such information when you are constructing online family trees.
Make it a point to list all of your sources for the information contained on your family tree. Keep a master source list and add to it as necessary. The primary sources for information about your family members will include birth registration, grave stone photos, graduation certificates and diplomas as well as information obtained through the United States Census Bureau. If the information came from Uncle Bill or Aunt Edna, then say so when constructing your online family trees.
The best sources for information are the ones that were written down closest to the time the event occurred, such as a dated ship passenger list, birth registration or burial records. The next best sources are those that came after the event, such as dates of birth listed on a census survey, doctor's file or some other incidents where no original documents were generated. These details are not actual fact, but only recollections of someone's point of view.
The content on your website may be available for many people to see; however, it is vital that you maintain control of your online family tree. Do not make the mistake of allowing your online family tree to be edited by anyone other than yourself. Instead, invite as many people as you like to view your family tree, and should anyone find an error, for them to notify you so that you may make the necessary adjustments to your online family tree in order to maintain the most accurate information.
If you want to keep people coming to your online family tree, be sure to keep it interesting. Track down a few good stories and memories that you can share with your family members. You may also want to create a news page, a photo gallery, a comments area and so much more. The possibilities of the things that can be done to ensure that you are pleased with your online family tree are almost limitless.
You have many, many options for construction online family trees. Be sure to shop around and try out several different online family tree hosting sites.