Now that you have gathered together the names and important dates of your relatives in a near branch of your family tree, what should come next? In all likelihood your data has been compiled in note-books form, with expanding files and box files. You may also have transcripts of family member tape-recordings. Now you will want to set the results of your researches out in an attractive and easily accessible format. Where do you start?
There are lots of websites that offer a range of services for the budding genealogist and family historian who wants to build a family tree online. Some websites are entirely free to download and take full advantage of. We recommend that you have a good browse and then select those that best suit your needs. The catchphrase here must be, ‘Keep it simple’ as it’s always best to learn to walk before one starts to run!
A good place to begin is the Genealogy About site. From an excellent range of options you can choose the type of chart that meets your own particular requirements. Some charts are interactive, thus allowing you to type your data into the fields on line before printing or saving to your hard disk. There are interactive Family Tree Charts and interactive Pedigree Charts. As always you can download the free Adobe Reader in line with the declared system requirements.
Another very good source is Obituaries Help. Although the main thrust of this site obviously is the provision of help with the writing of obituaries and death notices, as the name implies, it also has an extremely useful section on Genealogy. It offers a free Family Tree back-up. This is a fast, automatic, off-site storage facility to enable you to keep track of all your family history files that have a recognisable family tree file type.
In addition you have easy access to a very useful downloadable 4 Generation Family Tree Landscape Chart. This basic chart provides spaces for all your usual data gleaned from primary sources such as records of Births, Marriages and Deaths.
If you have been following that intriguing TV series, ‘Who do you think you are?’ you may be interested to know more about the BBC Family History Magazine. There are 5 issues are currently on sale on a trial basis. In addition to being able to download their free forms you can take full advantage of their magazine.
These issues are packed with practical advice and, in addition, provide ‘behind-the-scenes’ stories of the celebrities featured in the BBC Genealogy TV series. Many of the personalities featured in this series have discovered their roots in Eastern Europe, and dire memories associated with the continuing trauma of the holocaust. The BBC Family History Magazine offers an extensive Question and Answer section to help you to surmount those obstacles you are bound to encounter, sooner or later, at some stage in your researches. Readers share their findings and offer invaluable tips to fellow researchers, and there is much more.