Genealogy as a Hobby
Have you ever been interested in where you came from or if you are a descendant of royalty? Well, you are not alone. More and more people are taking up the hobby of genealogy to look for their roots. And now, with more and more sites available on the Internet, it's easier than ever.
The best place to begin is with yourself. Know your basic history, and branch out from there. Keep good notes, and begin searching through census records, tax, birth, death, marriage records. Access to the archives of local newspapers can be a blessing. While we have the internet, our ancestors had to trust the community news from the local newspapers to learn what was happening in their city.
Interest in family history is growing internationally, and many amateur and professional genealogists know one of the best sources of information is the LDS church in Salt Lake City, Utah. Can not take a trip to Utah? No worries. The church has a free online website you can use for your study, Family Search.
Another website which genealogist find invaluable is Ancestry. It's one of the most extensive databases, and you can try the service free for 14 days. Do be aware that if you don't wish to continue with the service, you'll need to cancel before the end of the trial or be billed $200 - $300 for a yearly fee.
As soon as you start gathering information, you'll need a place to store it on your computer so you'll want to select a genealogy database program. Roots Magic and Legacy are two which are available for downloading and are good for record keeping. The price of these programs runs about $30- $50. Another good one is Family Tree Maker or if you just happen to have a Mac, Reunions.
If you wish to try a more specific search, there are loads of subscription sites available for you. For instance, if you are primary interest is in military documents, Fold-3 has military records going back to the civil war. Want to find out all the old gossip from your city or where you grew up? Genealogy bank has over 1 billion genealogy records to discover your family history and is the largest digitized paper archive online.
If you wish just to get your feet wet and see if genealogy is something you truly want to pursue, there are many FREE sites on the web which you can try before spending any of your hard-earned money. Apart from Family Search, you might want to try: archive or Google books. Those are merely a few but there are many, many more, just Google free genealogy sites and see what pops up.
New info and new sites are being added daily. All you have to do is begin searching. So, gather up some basic family information, get a hold of the family bible, and begin questioning your relatives. It might be the beginning of whole new interest and who knows what you might find?