Free Ancestry Searches – Professional Research Techniques for Free Ancestry Searches
The key to conducting free ancestry searches is to know the techniques that professional researchers use on a daily basis. There are ways to hone your search so that you find exactly what you’re looking for, rather than getting a million results for material that might or might not be related to your ancestors search. Google is a very effective search engine, but sometimes it can be too good, especially if the search term you use is too broad. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the techniques professional researchers use to conduct their own free ancestry searches.
Conducting Free Ancestry Searches using Professional Research Techniques
The easiest way to conduct free ancestry searches is to go to a site offering just that, but oftentimes there are hidden costs involved. And did you ever wonder how that website located those free ancestry records? After all, if they could find them and paste links to them on their website, surely anyone can, right? Yes, that is right. Most of us can find the exact same records ourselves, we just need to know the research techniques that professionals use to conduct their free ancestry searches, and where to look for those records.
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Though you might think researching is too time consuming or beyond your expertise, it’s really not as complex as you might believe, and it can be very satisfying. The greatest problem of conducting your own research is not to get too distracted. You’ll come across so much information when conducting free ancestry searches, that you really must discipline yourself to stay focused on your own subject matter. But there is a particular methodology to conducting free ancestry searches that anyone can follow. Let’s take a look at the steps followed by professional researchers.
Free Ancestry Searches Step #1 – Find a Topic or Subject
This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people begin free ancestry searches without having a specific topic or subject in mind. This in turn leaves them open to the many distractions that they will inevitably come across. Professional researchers however, pick a subject beforehand and stick to it. If you’re trying to find an ancestor’s birth certificate for instance, don’t be distracted by browsing marriage indexes. Stick to the subject matter and you’ll reap much better results from your free ancestry searches.
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Free Ancestry Searches Step #2 – Formulate Questions on the Topic
After choosing a topic or subject for free ancestry searches, professional researchers will then formulate questions about it that they need or want answered. For instance, if you’ve decided on your maternal great-grandmother as the subject of your ancestors search, what is it about her you want to focus on? Is it her vital stats or rather her place of birth? Knowing what you want to find in your free ancestry searches will help you with the next step; what free ancestry records you should look for.
Free Ancestry Searches Step #3 – Answer Those Questions
Okay, so you know which of your ancestors to search and what you want to know about them. Now it’s time to decide where you’ll find that information. If at this point you’re becoming overwhelmed with what may seem like unnecessary prep work, don’t despair. Believe me, following these steps and mapping out your research before even beginning any free ancestry searches will make your searching more efficient and your results more precise. Knowing where to look for specific information is as important as who or what to look for. Rather than searching randomly in various indexes, familiarize yourself with what different registers contain. Find out what is in Census Reports, Probates, Estate records etc.
By streamlining your free ancestry searches, you’ll save time and effort in the long run. Mapping out your free ancestry searches will help you to search like a professional, and manifest the results that they do. Maybe one day you’ll have your own site offering free ancestry searches!