Two sources many times overlooked by researchers are the IGI (International Genealogical Index) and the Pedigree Resource File (PRF). Both of these are and have been for decades available free through FamilySearch.org. they can also be accessed at any of the Family History Centers across the country or overseas.
So using either one is simple. The IGI is an index of vital records from across the globe. Not every record ever created is on this database but it is being added to all the time. The information comes from original documents, files of records, books of records or from microfilmed records.You search using an ancestor’s name rather than just a surname. If you have an idea of their spouse, place they were born or lived that can be placed in the search to narrow down the results. On the location, it starts with a region of the world, then a country and the name of a state, province or territory for that country. You will not place an exact state or province, but anything you can add does help. You can change which state you are searching also, so try different locations.
Some of the results can be when the person was born and where, their parents name, any marriage or a death date as well as a family listing showing the parents and the siblings. Again it doesn’t mean all that information is available on each person searched, but never know what might show up. If you want you can print out that findings or download to your computer. If you are using the computer at a Family History Center they can assist in saving any finds for you to take home.
Using the Family Pedigree Files can also be extremely helpful to get you on the right track. Only keep I mind these pedigrees are ones done and submitted by family searchers on their ancestors and there can be some mistakes. The FamlySearch.org does not verify the information submitted. This is an example of a secondary source. Where the help is providing the name of a spouse or a hometown you have no knowledge of. It becomes a starting point to see if the information is correct. The submitter’s name and address is also provided in case you wanted to contact them. These submitted pedigrees are also placed on a computer disc by FamilySearch.org. these family histories are available though the FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service. One disc alone can have over a million individuals, not just your family lineage.
When calling up the site, the two tabs on the left are marked International Genealogical Index and the other Pedigree Resource File. Selecting one presents the boxes to fill in a given and surname along with any other items to narrow down the search. Both sites have information added year after year, so if it has been awhile since you investigated these two resources, go back, spend some time and make some new discoveries.