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#1: Back to basics... Author: Gina501Location: Houston, Texas PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:43 pm
Ok, so....
The holidays are over, all visits are complete, all family obligations are out of the way. SO....back to researching in full force!

What do I do now???

I know that sounds pretty strange, but if I can't be truthful here, where can i be? When I began researching a year ago, I subscribed to ancestry and started there. I got a good base of names to go on. Then I got involved in the Carmeloni affair (which is still going on today) and of course my 25 different websites and dual citizenship. But now it is time to get serious about researching the other family members that have been waiting. I have learned a great deal by listening to you all, but when I sat down to research, I realized that I don't know where to start!

I have all American documents for all the relatives here in the states and that came to the states. Now I need to work on the ones that weren't born here and go backwards.

I'd love everyone's imput on an ordered list on how to do things. What do I need to do? How do I need to do it? What order do I need to do it in? I'm looking forward to your answers. I think the best Italian researchers are right here on our site. And hopefully we can help some newbies in the process.


#2: Re: Back to basics... Author: nucciaLocation: Toronto, Ontario, Canada PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:24 pm
Well..since you have all the American documents you need, you have to decide how deep into this research you want to dig. Do you want to know about the whole family? Do you want to rent microfilms from the FHC and sit there going through them looking for something? Of course, you could just order the records from the LDS site using the film numbers that you think the records might be on. It's $4 for the first record, or if you order 2 records, then they would be $2 ea..and $2.00 for each additional record you want looked up.

Or you could write away to Italy for the requests and wait for them to mail back a reply..

SO many choices. Tell us what you want to do (your goals) and then we can tell you what you can do from there.

I'll check back later..taking Simy to the airport in a bit. Crying or Very sad

#3: Re: Back to basics... Author: Cathy PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:13 pm
Gina, I think I can offer something here. Nuccia is right – how committed are you? You need to determine how much time and energy you are willing to commit before you make a decision about which route to go. I have practically given up living my life to learn about their lives. It is very time consuming but, in my opinion, well worth the effort. I have learned so much. I have learned about the history, the culture and life in the 1800’s. I love to learn though and I love the hunt for information. That is part of who I am. I hope to never stop learning. I have always been a history buff too so I guess this makes the perfect “hobby” for me. There is so much I still do not know. If you really want to go back as far as you can, you need to know it will take a lot of time and energy. If you are willing to really dig deep, the LDS films are the way to go. For the Syrian information I think the LDS is the only way to go since I don’t know if Syria would even send you copies of records. If you need help with this, you know where to find me. kiss

#4: Re: Back to basics... Author: Gina501Location: Houston, Texas PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:50 pm
Yes ladies....I should have clarified this.

I want to learn all that I can. I am committed to this. I don't know that I have the time that some of you do, but I will give what ever time I can and 100% of myself to this.

So, concentrating on my Italian family (Syria will have to wait - no one is THAT devoted), where do I go from here? I guess since I have passage of my great grandparents to America, I need to start with their birth records? I guess that will tell me my great great grandparents names. Assuming this is how I want to start, what do I do next? Write letters to Italy? Order the microfilm? I haven't done that yet, but I am willing to give it a shot, even though I cannot read Italian.

#5: Re: Back to basics... Author: Cathy PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:03 pm
Start with the person you know the best (or the “youngest”) and work your way back. I started with my grandfather, went back and forward from him. I don’t know how big your towns are or how good your FHC is but based on my personal experiences I would just copy everything. I spent 6 months going back and forth on the same 2 microfilms and wasted a lot of valuable time. As you go futher, you find more surnames, then you have to look at everything all over again for the new surnames. Grab it all, copy it on a CD and don’t forget to clearly mark what is on the CD. Then you optimize the family history center time and can browse the records at home at your leisure. I wish I would have done it that way. I’d probably be finished by now if I had.
Start organized and stay organized! If you know Excel, use it to keep track of the records you have found or have copies of. Put all the pertinent data in there so you can figure out who is who. Nuccia posted once that she puts everything on index cards. I wish I would have taken her advice…

#6: Re: Back to basics... Author: Gina501Location: Houston, Texas PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:07 pm
Ok I have never been to the FHc so I don't know how it works. I know you go through the films but I didn't know that you could copy the stuff to CD and take it home? Is that so you don't have to go through it on microfilm?

#7: Re: Back to basics... Author: BillieDeKidLocation: Illinois PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:06 am
Hi Gina

I don't know if this will help but before I went to view my films I wrote down all the surnames that I remembered my mom, aunt, uncle etc. talk about over the years. When I got to the center I just started looking for surnames. I didn't care if it was death, birth, marriage etc. and I copied as many records as time allowed to CD. When I came home I had the genealogy word list for italian that I bought at the FHC for a dollar and I started going through my documents very slowly. My FHC is only open 4 hours 2 days a week, so I knew I would have to try and decipher the info at home. It took me about a week to get familiar with the documents and their formats but after that I could fly through the films looking for specifics.

You have to buy the CD at the FHC, costs a dollar. They don't let you bring your own. If you have a usb drive, that they will let you bring in and use to copy your documents to.

My FHC is very small so if people are waiting for machines you only get 15 to 20 minutes on a machine then you have to let someone else use it. So depending on how busy and how many machines your FHC has you may have limited time too. I learned to copy real fast and just bring it home with me.

#8: Re: Back to basics... Author: Cathy PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:26 am
I copy everything to CD (like Billie) to optimize my FHC time and then I get a better look at home. If I need the record I have it. Of course it is also helpful if there is something I cannot read. All FHC's have different rules, hours of operation and evidently rates. Billie said a CD costs her $1 while mine charges 80 cents. When I began, I went to the closest location to me which was a big mistake. The LDS website said they were open 3 times a week but they were only open on Wednesday nights for 2 to 3 hours and only had 1 machine that read the Italian films and no copy equiptment at all. Step 1 is to check out the FHC closest to you and if they do not have good facilities or operating hours then check out another location before you order films. Although the location I use is not that close to my home it is well worth the trip. They have books and a huge "permanent loan library and great hours. Mine is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with day and night hours and Saturdays from 10 to 2. Again, you have a great support group here and we are all here to help you.

#9: Re: Back to basics... Author: Gina501Location: Houston, Texas PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:09 pm
Ok thanks Elizabeth and Cathy. i will get started on the films. I am lucky - I have one literally around the corner from me but two more within a 10 mile radius. I should have it covered.

#10: Re: Back to basics... Author: Cathy PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:57 pm
Any more question, please ask. It will help us make a better tutorial for the forum.

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