A free online resource with advice and guidelines about geneology and searching for ancestry and family histories
Please note geneology is an incorrect, but common, spelling of genealogy
Glossary Genealogical Terms
Dictionary definition of Genealogy
Genealogy - The study or investigation of ancestry and family histories. An account or history of the descent of a person or family from an ancestor. The word Genealogy is derived from Middle English genealogie, from Old French.
Geneology - On a baby names site?
The logical progression of many people when searching for baby names is to take a long look at their own family, or surnames and their family ancestry. The section on Surnames and their origins helps with some basic information which is useful when studying Geneology. The subject surrounding the search for family ancestry is vast and the advice we offer is for those starting out on geneology research and tracing their family trees and family history.
Family Geneology Search Guidelines
Geneology - What do I do first?
The first question to geneology is "What do I do first?" Research is the key to success! There are no quick answers to geneology research and tracing family trees and family history but the following information will certainly reduce the time required.
Geneology - understand the history, origins and meanings of surnames
A couple of minutes reading through our section on Surnames will help with this task and will prove to be very enlightening!
Geneology - understand the category of name
Understanding the category of a surname will help with research into the geneology. It will provide a good starting point and eliminate any unnecessary areas of research. How would the name relate to or describe your ancestor?
- Did it relate to a place?
- Did it describe a trade?
- Was it an 'adopted' name?
- Was it a descriptive name - describing a physical or characteristic attribute?
- Could it have been derived from a nickname?
There are many reference books that can help - it's just knowing which ones to ask for! Check out Surname Dictionaries and Place Name dictionaries in your local library when you start you genealogy quest. There are also many on line resources that you can access - using Surname Dictionaries and Place Name dictionaries as you search words.
Official records will help provide detailed information in relation to geneology - huge databases can be found via the following:
- U.S. Federal Census Records (1790-1930)
- Birth, Marriage & Death Records
- Historical Newspapers dating back to the 1700's
Family History and Geneology
Talk to members of the family! Research into your own family history will provide you with excellent genealogy information about events and places. And will, no doubt, provide some fascinating insights that are just not available from any other sources. Encourage your family to become involved with your project.
Language and Geneology
Ensure that you are clear on which language and nationality your Surname belongs to. Family members can help with this type of confirmation.
Spellings can create a Geneology minefield!
Many of our ancestors would have been illiterate! How were names recorded in the past? Many administrators spelled names incorrectly - so many official documents have resulted in different name spellings leading to the creation of a geneology minefield! This can be illustrated by looking at a name that is known throughout the World - William Shakespeare. The name Shakespeare was spelt in an astonishing variety of ways including Shakspere, Shakespere, Shakkespere, Shaxpere, Shakstaff, Sakspere, Shagspere, Shakeshafte and even Chacsper. The name of William Shakespeare's father, John Shakespeare, occurs 166 times in the Council Book of the Stratford corporation, and appears to take 16 different forms! Our thanks go to the highly recommended www.william-shakespeare.info for this information.
Changes of Name - Emigration - Forced and Voluntary
Many of our ancestors left their homelands for the chance of a better life in a different country. The USA welcomed many such people. However officials were unable to understand the many different languages and so names were registered in a phonetic fashion by using the closet spellings that sounded similar to the original names. Many of our ancestors, however, had no choice in their lives due to the practice of buying and selling people into slavery. One of the most famous books relating to the forced slavery of an African in America was 'Roots' by Alex Haley. According to research into genealogy compiled by Alex Haley his ancestor was a man called Kunta Kinte who was an African from the Gambian town of Jufferee. A vital element in the story of Kunta Kinte is that he desperately wanted to keep his own name rather than taking the name of his owner. Name changes obviously make investigations into family geneology more difficult but this outcome is worth all of the effort.
Geneology - a fascinating subject!
We hope that our guidelines will help with your interest in geneology and assist you in searching for ancestry and family histories. We would be delighted to hear about your stories relating to this great hobby!