FAMILY HISTORY CORNER No 3 by Roy Lupton
Today I thought that I would tell you more about creating a family tree.
Pencil and Paper. Up until the mid-1990s family trees were usually hand drawn using pen and paper. These documents were often rough and difficult to correct or modify.
Family History Websites. After the explosion of Internet applications in the mid-1990s Family History websites were developed to enable those of us who are interested to both research our family tree and to display it in a way that makes sense to others.
1. Ancestry.com was started by members of the LDS Church (Church of the Latter Day Saints) in the late 1990s. It went through several different formats before arriving at the enormous company that it is today. Ancestry.com.au is the local website for Australians. This company owns FindAGrave and RootsWeb.
It is free to become a member of Ancestry.com.au and to develop your tree on this website but in order to access their substantial database you would need to subscribe (pay). Subscription options can be found at: https://www.ancestry.com.au/cs/offers/subscribe#offerPageCompare . At the time of publication the annual costs range from $200 - $340.
The following is one form of my family tree in Ancestry.com
During the COVID 19 restrictions Ancestry.com.au records can be accessed for free via the Eurobodalla Library. Use your library card to login to the library website: https://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/council-services/community-services/library-and-information-services and you should see the Ancestry.com option. It would appear that all records are available but it does not appear that these records can be linked directly to a particular family tree.
2. Family Search. The LDS Church started developing a physical collection of genealogical data way back in the early 1900s and with the advent of the Internet in the mid-1990s they began to offer free access to their database and what is now known as “FamilySearch” became very popular. While it is a very popular and totally free source for family history data it can also be used to develop a family tree.
The following is part of my family tree as it appears on FamilySearch.
3. Findmypast. This website was started in England in about 2006. It was initially focused on UK data but has since been extended to include many English speaking countries across the world. Once again access to resources costs money and the present annual cost seems to range from $132 to $300. These options can be found at
The following is my family tree as it appears on Findmypast :
4. MyHeritage was developed by an Israeli company in 2003 and has grown in size over the years. MyHeritage owns Geni.com. This website will often give partial family trees of ancestors on Internet. These can be found by simply entering the ancestor’s full name into your search engine. The results can be very useful but should be supported by documentation (birth certificates etc). The MyHeritage website apparently contains more European data than some of the other products.
5. Other Options. There are other family history websites and a number of stand-alone programs that can be downloaded onto your computer. By using one of the websites above you can add information discovered to the family tree that is being created. It becomes a never-ending and obsessive process.
START. I have extensive experience with Ancestry.com. If you are a beginner then why not become a member of Ancestry. It is not essential to pay for a subscription in order to start building your tree. Begin your family tree with yourself, your parents and your grand-parents. Then continue to add details, searching for new facts in https://www.familysearch.org/search/ (or in ancestry.com if you are a paid-up member or have a Eurobodalla Library membership). Enjoy!
It is hoped to publish Family History articles for the duration of the Coronavirus lock-down period.
I welcome questions relating to Family History Research and will do my best to answer them.
I also welcome the opportunity to help readers develop their Family Tree.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org