Website designed by Jackie Washington  Site Manager, Steven Marques  ©2011
The GHWC Genealogy Group is a small, informal group whose objective is to explore family history, research tools and techniques, and share experiences. The group typically meets on the 3rd Friday of the month, 2:30 p.m., at the Gig Harbor Library.

Harris Atkins currently serves as our group's coordinator.

1940 census

Our group has registered with the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project. Our members will join volunteers from around the world who will be indexing the 1940 U.S. Census beginning in April 2012.

Members of our group find the following online resources useful in pursuing our genealogical research:

Ancestry.com

With seven billion genealogical records from across the globe and millions of family trees, Ancestry.com is the world's largest online family history resource. After the free trial runs out you have to pay to see files. The collection of documents that Ancestry.com offers is diverse and easy to search. With one search term Ancestry.com will look through its many birth, marriage, death, census, immigration, military, court, school and other documents from the U.S., U.K., Europe, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. With more than 4 billion names and 29,000 searchable databases you are more likely than ever to find information on even the ancestors that have been difficult to research before. The site also offers supportive webinars, video tutorials, and links to other genealogy resources. Within the search support menu you can find a list of helpful websites with a description of each site.

An alternative to a personal paid subscription is to use the free subscription available from the Pierce County Library system. You must use a computer in a PCL branch library to utilize their subscription.

FamilySearch.org

Supported by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization worldwide with over 4,000 family history centers worldwide, including the well-known Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. All resources on the website are free including family tree and pedigree downloads; more importantly their comprehensive library and database collections offer a strong foundation for online genealogy. The site does not offer as many digital images of documents as some other sites, but they are currently working on digitizing the billions of genealogical records stored in library vaults.

Information and resources contained on FamilySearch are the most extensive and comprehensive of their kind. Users have access to lists of genealogical data including the Ancestral File. The Ancestral File database is a collection of genealogical information taken from pedigree charts and family group records submitted to the Family History Department since 1978. It contains over 36 million names.

The International Genealogical Index database contains approximately 600 million names. An addendum to the International Genealogical Index contains an additional 125 million names. These names have been patron-submitted or extracted from thousands of original birth, christening and marriage records.

The Pedigree Resource File database contains over 80 million names that are linked into a family’s personal history. Recently 300 million names have been added to the huge database. The names have been extracted from original sources and may not have been included in any online collections before. Users can also benefit from the specific collections FamilySearch has to offer, including the African American collection and the Hispanic collection.

Google.com

Google is the most powerful tool available worldwide for online research! With over 20 billion pages in Google's index of the Web, it's likely that some of them contain clues about your ancestors. With hundreds of millions of users in more than 160 countries searching more than 20 billion documents, countless individuals have searched for their own name, or for their family names, or for individuals in their family tree. Google is most likely the world's leading genealogy search engine.