Step #6: familysearch.org
This is the site provided by the LDS church.
For years it was pretty much just people submitting family trees based on little or poor research.
I used it as a base for getting a start on things (after all, even a broken clock is correct twice a day, right?) but eventually the large amounts of wrong information finally got to me, and I didn’t go back for a number of years.
Then just a couple of years ago, all of a sudden many genealogy acquaintances started buzzing about this familysearch.org site again.
When I mentioned the errors, they would just stare at me, and then say, well, it’s a good list of sources.
Good list of sources? What were they talking about?
Well, I finally gave in and checked it out last year, and I am totally amazed.
This is NOT the same site at all.
If they are still listing family trees, I have not found that section yet, as I am happily still diving in amongst all the wonderful, lovely sources of information WORLDWIDE for FREE.
You have GOT to check this one out, if like me, you haven’t in a very long time.
There are birth records, marriage records, death records, probates, and much, much more.
When I proved my lineage to my patriot with DAR this past spring, I did it using a number of sources from this site.
Even more amazingly, they are adding more information all the time!
I cannot say enough about this fantastic site.
Since we’re on the subject of LDS helpful sources, I also want to add that for years the LDS libraries (often located right in your local LDS church) have allowed non-Mormons to not only access their libraries but request certain microfilms to be sent to the LDS church ON YOUR BEHALF whereupon you could view such microfilms right there at the church site.
I do not know if they are still dealing with microfilm, but it may be worth checking into.
Also, if you ever find yourself in Salt Lake City, a trip to the Family History Center (which anyone can visit) is an amazing source of information all in one location! I spent a day there once a few years ago: I was there when it opened, and there when it closed. I took 30 minutes for a lunch break. I never even scratched the surface. Really. If you ever can. Go.