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Family History for the Older and Wiser: Find Your Roots with Online Tools

ISBN: 978-0-470-68612-6
340 pages
March 2010
Family History for the Older and Wiser: Find Your Roots with Online Tools  (047068612X) cover image


Discover your roots with Family History for the Older and Wiser. This extremely easy-to-follow book will guide you through all the different stages of researching your family history online and how to record your findings.

Using a case study approach, the book takes a single source item - an 1890 marriage certificate purchased at an antiques event - and uses it to highlight the questions you should be asking yourself about your own family documentation and how this can be used as a basis for online research.

Learn how to:

  • Access and investigate online records
  • Use spreadsheets to record your findings and assess their validity and reliability
  • Incorporate your family tree into online programs
  • Share your research with friends and family and much more…
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Table of Contents

About the Author.


Publisher’s Acknowledgements.

Icons Used in this Book.


Chapter 1 Introduction.

How to Use This Book.

What, Why and How Much?

Case Study.

Chapter 2 What You Need to Begin.

Getting Information from Relatives.

Obtaining Certificates.

Gleaning Information from Photos.

Collecting Family Records.

Computing Requirements.


Chapter 3 The Facts of Life–Birth, Marriage and Death.

Vital Records in England and Wales.

Using Online Resources.

Obtaining Scottish Records.

Obtaining Irish Records.

Chapter 4 Counting the People–Census Records.

How the Census can Help Family Historians.

Searching Scottish Census Records.

Searching Irish Census Records.

Suggested Answers to the Census Research Task.

Reviewing the Evidence Collected So Far.

What Questions Do You Still Need to Ask?


Chapter 5 Family Search.

Sources on the FamilySearch Website.

Searching the Site.

Understanding the Information Each Database Holds.

Using the Library Catalog.

Using Family Tree Software.

Research Guides.

Using the Tutorials.

Using Record Search.

Chapter 6 Using the Ancestry Website.

What's on the Ancestry Website?

Alternatives to Ancestry.

Research Task — Fischer/Smith.

Chapter 7 Using the National Archives.

What is TNA?

What is Available in TNA?

Searching the Catalogue.

Understanding the Difference Between the Catalogue and the Archives.

Using DocumentsOnline.

Access to Archives (A2A).

Finding Welsh Records.

Scotland–National Archives.

Ireland–National Archives.

Chapter 8 Accessing Information from Wills, Newspapers, Directories and Other Sources.


Newspaper Archives.

Historical Directories, Maps and Gazetters.


Family History Societies.

Mailing Lists.

Link Lists.


Chapter 9 Using Spreadsheets.

Choosing Software.

Creating Data Lists from Research Findings.

Indexing Projects.

Printing Your Spreadsheets.

Being Kind to Your Eyes.

Chapter 10 Using Family History Software.

Benefits of Using a Family Tree Program.

Getting Started with Personal Ancestral File.

Viewing Data.

Creating Reports and Charts.

Saving Your Work.

Chapter 11 Working with Family Photos.

Sorting Your Family Photos.

Hosting a Picture-Tagging Party.

Handling and Preserving Photos.

Scanning Photos and Other Documents.

Using Software to Edit and Organize Photos.


Chapter 12 Creating Presentations.

Understanding Your Audience.

Creating Slideshows.

Chapter 13 Publishing a Family Tree.

Creating a Family Tree Online.

Implementing Security and Data Protection Online.

The Fischer/Smith Family Online.

Publishing Your Work.



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