The "Mc" Family Site.

Researching Our Family History
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Researching family history is fun and rewarding.

This page describes some of the "how to's" of researching our family tree in the hope that it will inspire others to give it a try. Some of the processes and tools used, and some of the software you will hopefully find to be helpful.

Also included are links to interesting genealogy web sites I came across in the course of doing my research, such as:

AfriGeneas Library

Support for research of African American ancestors

African American history and genealogy divided into 17 categories

General U.S. Records; Census, Military, Social Security Death Index, Homestead

Genealogical Research

Records of the Underground Railroad (alternate)

Research Tips

Be sure to evaluate the source of your information. Remember, you can't believe everything you read!

Remember, most everyone has two family names: your father's, but also your mother's. Don't feel you must restrict your research to just your paternal family tree.

Search as many kinds of records as you can find to document the lives of your family back to 1870.

Study the lives of all family members, including aunts, uncles, and cousins--not just direct ancestors.

Look for changing surnames. Some African Americans changed surnames several times. (McClerklin, McClurkin, McLurkin is a prime example).If you can't find your family in a census record, but you know the family's location at the time of the census, look for first names and approximate ages of family members. You may find a match.

If your ancestor is not listed in an index, check the original records anyway. Some indexes do not include African Americans.

Understand that some old records may have described your ancestors in terms used at the time that are not flattering or appropriate.

African Americans may be listed in "colored" registers. You may also see the abbreviation "Col" next to your ancestor's name. If your ancestor is not in a "colored" register, try the "white" register. Your ancestor's race may not have been reported accurately.


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