Archive for the ‘Family History Search’ Category

Images of Family History Search

Making a very deep connection with one another is a key factor in maintaining close family ties. Reunions and get-togethers, say in barbecues and camping are some of the means in which family accomplish revitalized union and communication. Certain programs, fun games, and gift giving are common happenings during family activities. In this growing world of technology and innovation come and take advantage of a unique way to embody your family?s integrity and solidarity. Learn how you can make images out of your very own family history search.

Family history books are now very common items within the family. You can find lots of stuff in the internet that can help you boost up your plan of making one of your own which you can share with relatives and friends. Show off to your family members in a very good way. By making your very own family history books, you can have the opportunity to not only tell how much family means but you can also let them visualize how having important it is to have a group you can always rely on especially during rough stages on the road.

Books are not only ones that you can make. You can delight the crowd composed of close relatives and of course your loved ones by putting up your very own family poster. Here you can slate up to nine generations of your family?s rich culture and heritage.

Start a project that is not only appealing to the eye but also to the heart. Upon completion of your family history search and your family tree with the help of friends and relatives you can display your family?s unrelenting history in and out your home. Share not only with family but to the world inspiring stories on how a certain groups of people made their ranks into the world. Take advantage of the internet?s technology and browse through different internet sites wherein you can create your very own account and navigate through user-friendly tools to come with the best family history project you can.

You can see that there’s practical value in learning more about Family History Search. Can you think of ways to apply what’s been covered so far?

If you think this project will cost you then you?re having wrong thoughts. This is actually literally priceless when it comes to owning a free online account. And on top of it all you will make surely make your relatives and family members feel good upon seeing the rich heritage. You are the captain of the ship as you choose form different stylish and notable designs and formats. But don?t forget you still need the facts from your family history search.

At this point let?s head on basics of creating a visual of your family?s background. Once you have created your very own account on the internet, you can have your way in decorating each page of your book or the whole canvas of your poster. It?s quite easy to load up those photos from a neighboring internet site or even directly from your computer.

The digital age has really made things easy and reliable for all of us. Place all sorts of stories, maps, designs, and wallpapers to make a family member?s glimpse at your creation magical and worthwhile. Whenever you get lost throughout the process you can rely on easy to follow tool tips within the program.

The added visuals in the family history search have really made it more interesting and enjoying. Now you can load up images to connect the past with the present and possibly in futures to come.

That’s the latest from the Family History Search authorities. Once you’re familiar with these ideas, you’ll be ready to move to the next level.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, now offering the best guide on movie downloads over at free movie downloads

Your Family History Search

Family is an important cog in your so to speak life machinery. The moves, moods, and behaviors you are accounted for are dominantly influenced by the family you grew up with. Different life adventures, journeys, trials, and setbacks are simply shared and withstood within the comforts of this very precious group of persons. In line with the matter it is just right that you get to know each and every member of your family even those that were not part of the generation you grew up knowing and loving. This is for the reason that your family history search can lead you to an understanding of your own self far better than any aptitude or personality test can achieve.

By fact research does not always flow smoothly as you would want it to be. A project such as simple or big as having a family history sort out can have the same road blocks and brick walls along the way. You can fight off these so-called detours by knowing the basics and fundamental aspects of family history search.

You can start the ball rolling by simply figuring out what information you have at hand. No matter how small and basic it is remember that it can lead you to more and more discoveries as you proceed with your search. Start asking yourself. What do I know? You can use information such as first and last names. The birth date and place of your ancestor can also catapult your search to higher levels.

At this point, the best place to get your resources and data is your very own family home. Look for journal accounts, diaries, old photographs, and other documentations of gatherings that may help you get more in-depth information about the person you are looking for. Now, if you?re not contented with what you have do not push the panic button yet. It?s time to make visits and little chats with your relatives and friends.

How can you put a limit on learning more? The next section may contain that one little bit of wisdom that changes everything.

This is where your ever reliable relative gets handy. This will also give you the chance to renew or even make amends with people you haven?t seen for a long time. This part of the journey allows you the researcher to get in touch with the people you considered family and has missed over the years due to some unavoidable reasons. You never know how a simple visit can lead you to information that may unlock doors that are shutting your search down. If ever you cannot go and make a visit just pick up the phone and a talk can do the job for you. A family history search is not only finding your way to old ancestors and relatives. It, too, serves as means to get families closer than they?ve ever been.

Research works effectively when done and followed within a system so this is one thing you should not mess up. Actually you should being unorganized. Family history search demands a method wherein you can easily tap into your gathered data anytime you need to. This is the time to utilize your skills in organizing data into different categories. This will help you hasten your search without compromising its integrity and accuracy. One thing more don?t hesitate to adapt what other researchers consider to be effective methods in searching for family history. You never know what good it can give you.

The best thing to put in mind when doing looking back for your ancestors is that this project is your very own family history search. No one can take it away from you once you succeed.

The day will come when you can use something you read about here to have a beneficial impact. Then you’ll be glad you took the time to learn more about Family History Search.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, now offering the best guide on movie downloads over at free movie downloads

Important Things Regarding Online Family Search Resource Programs

One of the most common and often used internet information tool are family history search online engines and when you want to get started with using one, there may be important things you need to know regarding online family search resource programs.

Lots of people nowadays want to know how their family tree developed, especially with regards to their ancestry and genealogies.

Sifting through most family-related ?discovery? chat forums or testimonials, you will never miss encountering someone making that surprising discovery about a popular family background, regardless of it whether noteworthy or infamous.

But truth be told that it is not as difficult to get started than what many would even dare to think.

Gone are the days when people wanting to know their past pay valuable dollars to hire the services of someone to do the insurmountable research task for them.

Nonetheless, there are still people who remain skeptical about the validity or credibility of many information posted on the internet, claiming that some are just tools to scam other people into believing the truthfulness and sincerity of people providng that information.

They claim that nothing still beats the conventional research processes, especially one that involves the old process of the tedious pen and paper note -taking.

This is primarily so because there will always be skeptical people usually not easily being able to embrace new things.

Is everything making sense so far? If not, I’m sure that with just a little more reading, all the facts will fall into place.

But still, this will always remain to be a challenge, after all, looking at the positive aspect of skepticism would also provide good feedback to improve what was originally created or innovated.

One of the biggest concerns many people have tried to charge against online family search resource programs is that online material that is freely given and made available is a ?less respectable? manner of getting the valuable information needed, especially when it does not come from a well-recognized or respected academic source.

But one can rest assured that with the current number of website or family information search engines ensure that web developers offering online family search resource programs will rally behind what may be something new, something extensive and something ?meaty? and credible, especially not wanting to put their name or credibility to shame by placing unfounded information for others to see.

Some people are also reluctant to make use of free online family search resource programs, claiming that it may not provide the accurate information, however, it is still best advised to validate any information that has been collected, regardless of whether the process adopted is conventional or modern and judgment should always be best left to the user whether to make the effort to rather more information to substantiate the claim.

Many believe that online family search programs are easier than traditional research methods, however, just like any other research processes, it also bears the same nature of information needed for the purpose it was established for, depending on the necessity of information available for use.

There are also researches using online family research programs that even takes up more time to complete than traditional ones, especially when the researcher usually take up more time for other non-related work or study.

In a nutshell, regardless of whether you hope to make use of an online family research process or a traditional one, it is best suggested to make sure you get substantiated information to make you more confident and secured that the information you have at hand is the most accurate possible.

Regardless of whether the information you find in the internet is accurate or not, you will always make sure you are fully aware of the things you need to know about online family search resource programs.

About the Author
By Kenneth Allan Crosby jr,feel free to visit his top ranked recycling site: recycling, tips, history

Things You Need to Know About Online Family Search

Much has been said about online family search resource programs and there are things you need to know about some other family search history methods.

There are people contemplating whether to pursue online family search resource programs versus the conventional research set-up, but with the many success stories of individuals that have gone through online family search resource programs, taking the step to make use of online family search resource programs is no longer difficult.

Still many remain skeptical about the integrity and credibility of online family search resource programs, since people are used to the conventional research processes, especially one that involves a the old process of tedious pen and paper note -taking.

Stating the obvious – since like many new trends- myths and fallacies abound for online family search processes, especially since it is a common perception that anything new is often met with reluctance and sheer doubts as to its effectiveness and sustainability.

Let us try to break down some of the common perceptions about online family search resource programs and how it can affect your decision whether to make use of one or not.

One of the biggest concerns many people have tried to raise against online family search resource programs is that ?it is a less respectable? manner of getting the valuable information needed.

You can see that there’s practical value in learning more about Family History Search. Can you think of ways to apply what’s been covered so far?

This may have perhaps stemmed from the previous reports that there exists unaccredited online sites that offer online family search resource programs, which are linked to some other sites totally unrelated from what is actually being advertised or promoted.

But one can rest assured that with the current competition from other developers offering online family search resource programs, making their feature offerings that are widely and globally credible will serve as their benchmark attractions for those wishing to make use of their online family search resource programs.

There is also the reluctance of many to make use of online family search resource programs, claiming that it may not provide the most accurate information possible, however, it is still best advised to validate any information that has been collected, regardless of whether the process adopted is conventional or modern.

Many believe that online family search programs are easier than traditional research methods however, just like any other research processes, it also bears the same nature of information needed for the purpose it was established for, depending on the necessity of information available for use.

Some online family research programs may even take more time to complete than traditional ones, where in many cases, researchers usually take up more time for independent studies as they work or study in between, compared to traditional research processes where it is mostly time-dependent.

In a nutshell, regardless of whether you hope to make use of an online family degree or a traditional research process, it would still be important for you to take all the possible necessary precautions to avoid complications later on.

One of your foremost concern would be to do your research and try to establish what you want and what information you hope to get, that way you are well aware of all possible things that you need to know about online family search resource programs.

About the Author
By Kenneth Allan Crosby jr,feel free to visit his top ranked recycling site: recycling, tips, history

Family ? The First Stop in Family History Search

One of today?s exciting hobbies (more are getting into it professionally) is the search for family history, starting with one?s own. With the presence of the Internet and the various databases all over the world, genealogy (as it is popularly called) can be a fulfilling and fascinating pastime.

Aside from knowing your family?s history, you might discover along the way some unknown facts or some surprising turns of past events. These and more are fodder to countless nights of discussions with your relatives.

The ultimate goal, then, is to complete the construction of one?s family tree, accurate in details and full of these interesting pieces of family history.

Sometimes, particularly for the beginner, the whole exercise can be intimidating.
Fortunately, most newcomers start out by wanting to work on their own family trees first. This is good since that would introduce them to the basics.

Where to begin

Start with yourself, your spouse, your children, and your grandchildren, if any. What is initially needed are dates and places of birth, followed by information on marriage and death, if applicable. Individual data for each one (profession, personal statistics, etc.) can be added later.

After you have recorded these, do the same for your parents, brothers and sisters. Include the spouses and children of your siblings. Afterwards, fill in the data of your grandparents? families ? including their children, children’s spouses, and other descendants.


For your sources of information, you have your own household or that of your relatives, your own knowledge of events, the declarations from other family members, and probably past research done by other people about your family. Of course, this is just the start of the adventure of discovering your roots, because you have to piece all of these together in the end.

All the information you gathered needs support documents. But by writing it all down (and probably starting to do a rough family tree), you will already see the missing parts or conflicting information.

See how much you can learn about Family History Search when you take a little time to read a well-researched article? Don’t miss out on the rest of this great information.

Usually this happens within the family?s first four generations or thereabouts. There might be blanks on certain births or marriages, or maybe even unreported deaths.
Some of your older living relatives can help.

The attic, the trunks, the cabinets

Your own house (or a relative?s house) is a marvelous source of information, if you know where to look. Diaries, for instance, can confirm fuzzy dates or conflicting accounts of events, and letters can be consulted by their postmarks.

The most common artifacts of the past, old yearbooks and photo albums, can be a gold mine. (Look at the back for possible written dates.) But one should not discount other loose documents such as wills, titles, deeds, citations and commendations, certificates from school or job, etc. Each item may have such a long, detailed story connected with it.

Other things such as old clothes and jewelry items may substantiate some connections to the events their owners may have gone through. Sometimes, they could be considered like a real-life scrapbook with real-life items.


Next in line would be a formal oral history with your relatives. Be respectful, first and foremost. Ask open-ended questions, so the process would be free-flowing.

The older members of your family often have information about people who are long gone. You might be surprised sometimes how they can all tie up the pieces of history together.

Your own family tree

After you have gathered your data, arrange it accordingly. The first person to go on the chart would be you and your family. Then, arrange that of your siblings and their families, and your parents? family next. Each of the following next generation would be listed after that. Each person has spaces under his entry for date and place of birth, marriage, and death.

You may want to utilize family group records available around at local genealogy shops and bookstores. There are also genealogy software programs available from your local libraries and from the Internet. Study each one as much as you can and ask around before making any purchase. The program should be able to address your requirements.

In your search for your family history, you will meet many of your ancestors who had led lives more interesting than those in the movies. You will get to know great many dates and events that were landmarks in your family?s history. Getting to know all these are reasons enough for you to do the whole enterprise.

Hopefully the sections above have contributed to your understanding of Family History Search. Share your new understanding about Family History Search with others. They’ll thank you for it.

About the Author
By Kenneth Allan Crosby jr,feel free to visit his top ranked recycling site: recycling, tips, history

Family History Search Online

Doing a family history search online makes it all easier for people who aim to create their family tree. Because of the wide reach and scope that the Web offers in terms of information, more and more people are heading online in order to start building up their family trees and pedigree charts. In fact, genealogy, which is the study of family history and descent, has recently become a popular online undertaking.

With the popularity of gathering information concerning one’s family history online, more and more genealogy websites are being set up in order to help fill up the need of people trying to build up their family history online. These genealogy websites usually offer different features as well as options that would help its online users start and establish their family tree and pedigree charts more conveniently. Here are some other tips that might help people start building up their family tree online just as easily.

Use Search Engines

One of the easiest ways to search for information about family members is by using search engines. Although it might be a long shot for some people, especially in looking for information that may have predated the time when the whole Internet came of age, still valuable information can still be sourced out through such means. Search engines still seem to have the best means of searching information on the Web. They can provide a door from which people may be able to locate ad find certain genealogical information and databases available online.

Start From The Middle

If you find yourself confused by what you’ve read to this point, don’t despair. Everything should be crystal clear by the time you finish.

It is not usually the first time that certain family trees have been built up. Other relatives may already have started building up the family tree from a certain point fro which you can continue from. This usually helps keep such a project move a bit faster. Not the only problem would be on how to find out about other previous attempts of building up one family tree have been undertaken.

There are some websites that may already have contained a certain family set up that may have been undertaken by other people once before. There are online pedigree databases such as RootsWeb World Connect, Family Search Pedigree Resource File and others that may have family trees previously researched and may be accessed by its users and usually contain contact information of the previous researcher in case he or she needs to be contacted.

Online Databases

The Web has become a vast source of information that it now has its own archives and databases consisting of stored information such as census and population records, birth, marriage and death record databases, military records, land grants and other similar resources. Many genealogy sites usually have such information available that may prove helpful for those who come looking for such records and documents.

Expand Search

Although online family history search may prove to be very convenient, it may just be a part of the whole research that one does when looking into the family history. There are also more valuable means such as doing personal interviews and other offline tasks that might be a valuable addition to research. Both online and offline resources should be pooled together in order to get the most out of searching for the family’s history.

Hopefully the sections above have contributed to your understanding of Family History Search. Share your new understanding about Family History Search with others. They’ll thank you for it.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, proud owner of this top ranked web hosting reseller site: GVO Hosting

Online Family History Search

Current info about Family History Search is not always the easiest thing to locate. Fortunately, this report includes the latest Family History Search info available.

An online family history search is most considered by many people today simply for the convenience that it offers. There is certain information about one’s family tree that people may now be able to source out from the Web. There are quite a number of websites now available that offers to provide the genealogical information that people trying to build their family tree may need.

One of the best ways to find such information on the Internet is by using the search engine. Google is considered to be the most widely used search engine around due to the fact that it may provide the more accurate search results most of the time. And this might include searching for people’s fast family history. If it is usually in the Web, it is possible that Google may be able to find it.

One way to get the best possible results with using Google for searching your family history information is by knowing the different features that it can provide its users. If you wish to search for information containing the exact word or group of words as you types it, simply putting quotation marks on the said word combinations when typing them on Google’s search box would do the trick. This will provide results that contain the exact word or group of words as you have types them

One of the best ways to find good information about family history is by knowing which sites to go to. That is where search engines like Google works best. It will provide you with information of sites that relate to the information you need by simply typing a keyword or keywords into the search box. If you wish to find “genealogy sites” or “family tree”, all you need to do is type it on the search box and the search engine would provide you with leads on what possible sites may provide you with the information.

How can you put a limit on learning more? The next section may contain that one little bit of wisdom that changes everything.

Another good feature of search engines like Google is that they also provide you with other links that you can further explore for more information. You can even scour through sites that may be linking into the main site that you are going to. Using the link command (link: website url) will help provide you with leads to other sites that may be linking to the main site that you usually visit. Such leads may further bring you to other possible sites that might just provide some of the missing information that you might need.

Other information besides just the plain textual kind pertaining to your family history can also be searched using Google. If you are looking for certain locations for example, there are certain maps that you can check out. This will help provide you with street address. This will also prove helpful when trying to locate a certain location or even people. Google may also have the means to look for phone numbers at certain addresses and vice versa.

Not only would maps be something that you might need when doing a family history search. You might also be interested in taking a look at images or pictures. Google also has the feature that would help users find pictures and images on the Web. Just click on the Image tab on the Google search page.

Typing a keyword on the search box and hitting “Enter” will provide image results pertaining to the ones that you might be looking for.

So now you know a little bit about Family History Search. Even if you don’t know everything, you’ve done something worthwhile: you’ve expanded your knowledge.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, now offering the best guide on movie downloads over at free movie downloads

Family History Search ? Tools and Resources

In today’s world, it seems that almost any topic is open for debate. While I was gathering facts for this article, I was quite surprised to find some of the issues I thought were settled are actually still being openly discussed.

Archaeologists have their picks and axes. Biologists sometimes need their nets and their microscopes. Like the other practitioners of their respective trades, family history searchers also have their own unique equipments in the exercise of their occupation.

For hobbyists and professionals alike, these are some of the more important resources and tools in searching for family histories, either one?s own or that of others. Some of these are computer programs, some are real office equipments, and some are written compilations (digital and analog alike) of indispensable materials, all crudely bundled up as tools and resources.

Family History Library Collection

This is the world?s largest collection of family history materials and contains records from almost all parts of the world. All true-blue family historians need this.

This is not just a compilation of sources, but it also lists and indexes family histories more thoroughly than any other. It tells who owns the data, where they were microfilmed, and lists additional sources. It is available on the Internet and one can buy it on CD-ROM for home use.

GEDCOM Database Computer Program

The GEDCOM database program is used primarily in organizing and sharing information on the people in your search for family histories. And it is not just this program that had been responsible for the explosion of the number of family history searchers today.

There are also small and relatively low-cost commercial database programs available for every family historian, like the PAF and Family Tree Maker.


Today?s important indexes include the Periodical Source Index, Riders American Genealogical Biographical Index, Filby?s Passenger and Immigration Lists Index and hundreds of smaller but important indexes.

These indexes may come in different forms (electronic, printed, arranged by surname or every-name, card, etc.) but they are all essential to the work.

Government Records

I trust that what you’ve read so far has been informative. The following section should go a long way toward clearing up any uncertainty that may remain.

Government may have interfered with our lives far too much for comfort. Census, tax forms, social security, licenses, immigration records, land titles, etc. ? these are just some of the more familiar ones.

But the records that the government had amassed had become a treasure trove for family historians. Another good news is that all these records are found in all ranks of the government ? from townships to the counties, to state archives and all the way to the federal level.

Printed Sources

These are the transcripts, abstracts, indexes and compiled family histories. Also included are directories, gazetteers, and all the other published sources that make the family historian?s research easier.

These materials help us access the records just as well when, on occasions, the original or microfilm records are not available. These sources sometimes help preserve these records from getting lost into oblivion.

Genealogical Societies

For more than a hundred years since these organizations have cropped up, genealogical societies have done the excellent job of preserving records (by way of publications, newsletters, and microfilming), sharing information and easy access to them (through exchanges, conferences, lectures, etc.) and continuous interaction with researchers.

Most of them have their own research facilities and websites all in the name of sharing news and important information. (For smoother access, check out first FGS or the Federation of Genealogical Societies before you start your research.)

The Internet

The growth of quantity (and quality) of data on the Internet makes it an essential tool in the work of the family historian. In the GEDCOM files alone where hundreds of millions of names are at one?s disposal with just a few mouse clicks, the fast email access to anyone in the world makes the Net an important addition to the family historian?s resources.

Material Tools

The invention of the photocopy machine had greatly helped corporate business run smoother. For the family historian, it makes research faster, more thorough and accurate. Rather than writing cryptic notes, an entire article can be copied for later reading.

Cabinets and other filing storerooms are just as important as any of the above-mentioned tools. These are used to organize all the accumulated papers in the pursuit of your work.

All in all, these tools and resources are the basic essentials in your family history search. However you use them depends on your needs and your innate abilities to mix and match such diverse materials.

Now that wasn’t hard at all, was it? And you’ve earned a wealth of knowledge, just from taking some time to study an expert’s word on Family History Search.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, now offering the best guide on movie downloads over at free movie downloads

Derailed Family History Search

The best course of action to take sometimes isn’t clear until you’ve listed and considered your alternatives. The following paragraphs should help clue you in to what the experts think is significant.

The importance of family is given emphasis wherever you go. This group of people are the one mainly responsible in giving you the form and being that you are right now. Family history search may be a laborious task but the rewards that can be reaped after the long and winding research endevours are truly worth the pain and sacrifices. Along the way it is inevitable that certain issues and events may derail you from your historical quest back to the roots of your ancestors. Let?s take a look and investigate further in order to get better analysis.

There are common misconceptions revolving around the field of genealogy. Don?t be fooled and loss your focus on what you are set to accomplish. The first on the list is that your family heraldry as symbolized by a crest can be easily purchased. Certain family items and commodities are widely available stores everywhere and throughout online shops. But to say that families have crest is untrue. Individuals are the ones that have the right and privilege to be given crests. In most cases, these coat of arms are merely granted. How can you do this? Well if you believe that you are qualified as a descendant of a male line who can be granted with a crest then you just have to prove it and the crest is yours.

If you?re from an American descent or root then this is an issue for you. It is said that the 1890 census were voluntarily burnt to the ground. This has been opposed by genealogists. It is said that after the fire that broke down the records were soaked in water and were left in a storage facility without efforts or plans of having it restored.

Another one of the rumors circling around the family history search area is that you can easily and readily find your whole family?s record online within the comforts of the internet?s technology. This is a dream come true for those researchers and historians who doesn?t give emphasis on hard work and self reliance.

Knowledge can give you a real advantage. To make sure you’re fully informed about Family History Search, keep reading.

By fact there are lots of records available online such as those coming from the census, the military, immigration, and other collection resources. But errors are also abundant throughout online facilities. In order for you to really get accurate results you have to spend actual research time within the four corners of a local or large library.

Along the way you may come across a data stating that you are part of a family related to some historically acclaimed personnel such as one of the presidents of even one who is a member of a royal clan. Legends are easily formed by mouth and eventually in written form. So before you jump into conclusion and you spread the word about your famous ancestry take time to prove the acuity level of such information. Remember even if you have the same surname with a proven celebrity that doesn?t mean you are actually related.

After the courthouse came down because of a fire all the records were gone. This is not entirely true as some of the records may have been salvaged or copies were done and sent to other offices and agencies.

Do not be easily derailed by certain misconceptions about genealogy. Family history search really entails hard work and common sense. You just have to learn to work your way and come on top of the entire information overload that may occur.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, now offering the best guide on movie downloads over at free movie downloads

The Search For Family History Begins With Names

What?s in a name? For anyone, a name defines who a person is. It is how one is addressed, how one signs, and the central feature that differentiates one from the other person. To the family history searcher, one?s name is a concrete marker that tells of the place where one comes from, a bit of history across time.

Names are important because it points to the general direction of the origins of the owners. Constructing a family tree becomes a tad easier because now it has a place to start ? the family name.

A broad understanding on the origins, characteristics and nature of names and name-giving is needed to undertake the search for your family history.

History of names

Until about a thousand years ago, people got by with just one name. And that was all one actually needed in those times where only a few ventured more than a few miles away from their homes. Even members of the royalty did not complain about having only one name each.

Later, as the population grew, people began the practice of further distinguishing a person from his friends and neighbors. ?Paul the son of Robert? is called such because he is different from ?Paul the farmer?. ?John the smith? is called to distinguish him from ?John the son of Thomas?. Around the year 1500, most surnames (the affiliation to the first name) became inherited and the practice is thankfully still used today.

For the people who come from Europe, most of their surnames drew meanings from their occupations, their father?s name, the place where they came from, or some descriptive words.

Names from occupations

Someone named MILLER essentially worked in a place where they ground grains to flour. BISHOP could be somebody working for the Bishop, and CARTER could be a maker or a driver of carts. Today, however, it is hard to accurately pinpoint names and their meanings because of changes in pronunciation or spelling.

Names from the fathers

Different countries have different variations on how the father?s name is inherited by the sons. The Irish ?O?, the Gaelic ?Mac?, the Norman ?Fitz? are some of them. Examples are Johnson (the son of John), MacDonald (the son of Donald), Fitzgerald (the son of Gerald) and O?Connor (the son of Connor).

How can you put a limit on learning more? The next section may contain that one little bit of wisdom that changes everything.

Names from places

Ancient people usually named newcomers with the name of the place where they came from. A guy who came from the east had EASTWOOD for a surname. CHURCHILL came from a place near a church on a hill. BROOKS is someone who lived near a creek or brook.


Sometime in the Middle Ages, people created pet names for their neighbors and friends based on personality or looks. These names evolved and later became surnames. Examples are Michael ARMSTRONG, John GOODMAN and Peter WHITE.

Wrong spelling

It should not surprise a family historian going over old records to find errors in spelling and other inconsistencies in the names. Such problems certainly make the job of a family historian difficult, but not impossible.

There were many reasons for these problems. First, spellings were not standardized before. Anyone could spell their names every which way they wanted or how they heard them.

Sometimes, the problem was in the pronunciation. Or it could be in the handwriting where the ornate old style had some different letters looking the same. (Capital letters L and S used to be written the same way and the old writing of letters A, O and U were almost identical.)

Importance of names

Surnames are usually given the more attention because it is inherited. Even if it may be altered and corrupted in many ways through the passage of time, some original form is retained somehow.

Given names are also important in a way that they were given intentionally by the parents and represent their special thoughts and feelings for the individual. While they may not have the same weight of attention given to surnames, they still merit careful study because they can have in them valuable intimations about your family history.

So now you know a little bit about Family History Search. Even if you don’t know everything, you’ve done something worthwhile: you’ve expanded your knowledge.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, now offering the best guide on movie downloads over at free movie downloads