Archive for August, 2009

The Impact of the Internet on Genealogy

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

family silver

The internet has brought about a great number of conveniences. Today, you can buy just about anything under the sun from the comfort of your home, you can find local businesses or services without picking up a phone or a phone book, and you can stay in touch with loved ones, wherever they live, with the touch of a button. The conveniences and benefits of the internet do not stop at allowing you to communicate and buy things, however — these advances have opened up a whole new world when it comes to researching your family’s history. Here are a few ways that the internet has improved your ability to research your own family tree.

Perform a genealogy search from home, easily

tritton family crestIn the past, trying to put together your family tree was a painstakingly monotonous undertaking. While you might have been able to find out some names, birth dates, and other important information from living relatives — there’s a good chance that you would have to head out to the library, scour through Census Bureau records, graveyards, or contact a local LDS Family History Center to obtain even limited information about your ancestors.

By using the internet to research your family and lineage, however — there is a good chance that you could put together a comprehensive family tree without ever leaving your home. Sure, you may have to talk to a few relatives, but by using genealogy software, or an ancestry search website, you can trace a large portion of your family’s roots without all of the physical legwork.

Search multiple family-history resources simultaneously

One of the biggest benefits of performing genealogy research on the internet is that you have the ability to search through multiple resources at the same time. If you were to head out to your local library to try to find information about your ancestors, you would only be able to compile information as fast as your mind and body would permit you. However, because computers can process and sort information faster than we can, and they can store data, even as it is being accessed, the internet really has given us previously unheard of access to a wealth of one-click information about our family members — current and former.

Genealogy research is now easy enough for anybody to do

Not too long ago, you either had to have an analytical mind and quite a bit of free time on your hands, or you had to have some money stashed away, along with the name of a good genealogy researcher, mixed with some hope, if you wanted to piece together your family tree. Today, these former requisites for genealogy research are as outdated as cassette tape players for new automobiles — they are no longer applicable. Nowadays, you can use genealogy software, family crest finder services, and ancestry search websites to help you put together your family tree — no special skills, or large sums of money required.

The internet has greatly improved one’s ability to research their genealogy. While putting together your family tree used to be a time consuming, and possibly expensive endeavour in years past — today, anybody with an internet connection can research their family history, and all you really need is a working internet connection and a little bit of free time.

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