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A Thankful Genealogist

This is the time of year when we are thankful for many things. It is a joyous time to celebrate family and friends, extol our blessings and share our happiness.


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Resource: Tracing Lines
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This is the time of year when we are thankful for many things. It is a joyous time to celebrate family and friends, extol our blessings and share our happiness. November and December are some of the busiest months in our lives, but not so busy we can't give thanks.

First and foremost I am thankful for my family, both immediate and extended. There isn't a day that goes by that I am not thankful for my ancestors. Each one on my family tree did something important to get to the bottom line ... ME. They may not have been Pilgrims on the Mayflower, presidents, senators, artists or inventors, but they each had a role to play not only in the history of America and other nations, but also in my life. For that ... I'm thankful!

Today we have much to be thankful for in the way we do genealogical research. There are unseen forces who provide us with new methods, new images, new links and new contacts. Searching has never been so easy from your computer. Those people, famous and otherwise, come alive on your computer screen, urging to you find more.

If you have not tapped into some of the new resources on Internet, take time out of your busy schedule to do so. FamilySearch is growing their Beta web page at a fast pace. While not all databases have images or are completely finished, they are a great start in their digitization process.

Do you want to locate books and text material on Internet. Recently Internet Archive announced they have over 2.5 million of these online. These include over 85,000 digital microfilm images. They can be downloaded in various formats or read online. These came originally from participating institutions such as the New York Public Library, Boston Public Library and Allen County Public Library. Start your search at Open-Access Text Archive.

Subscription databases such as, and (formerly are growing by leaps and bounds. You could easily spend a "thankful" day of searching each of those.

Social networking brings contact with other genealogists. Sometimes a query posted on a message board or forum goes unanswered for months or even years. Then suddenly you are in touch with another researcher who may have the answers you need. Some of my favorites include the Message Boards at and GenForum at You can make great genealogy contacts, learn, share and join groups at GenealogyWise

The learning experience has never been better. There are many genealogy themed videos on You Tube, but you need to also check out others. Wonderful experiences await you at Roots Television, Roots Television. If you have an about hour of free time, sign up for a Legacy Family Tree (software) webinar. Check out their schedule at If you miss something, they are archived for a limited amount of time. These webinars are free.

Everybody needs a break from a busy schedule. Start checking some of these great Internet sites during your break. Don't forget to be thankful for the resources and also your ancestors.

Source Information: Tracing Lines, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2010.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

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