Last week, I went home to Chicago to visit my family. While I was there, I got to see my dad's cousin for the first time in YEARS, which really got me wondering about my family's history....which I barely know anything about.
Now, being that I'm nosy, I put on my little FBI hat and got to digging!
On top of being nosy, I'm also cheap AF and didn't want to pay for all the family history websites like Ancestry.com, so that made my investigation a little difficult at first. But then I found FamilySearch.org and it got SUPER easy! Plus its free! And its not one of those things where its "free" to make an account but then you have to pay to view everything. Nope. It's entirely FREE!
The site lets you search all sorts of records (census, birth & death, marriage, military, etc.) and create your own family tree, which I'd never been able to do until now!
In my search, I was able to find out when my family first came to America from Italy, census records from 1920 and 1930, and I even found my grandfather's military records!
But again, I'm nosy. So I didn't stop my search with FamilySearch.org. I continued searching through other websites and was able to find my grandfather's high school yearbook photo (which none of my family had ever seen!) and a U.S. Patent that he had!
So far, the best thing I've found is someone trying to sell a photo of my Great Uncle on eBay! Why are they selling this? I have no idea. But its kinda cool!
Oh! And if your family came through Ellis Island, I highly recommend checking out The Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation! They're another FREE website that will let you search passenger records! They even found a record for Jimmy Fallon's grandmother arriving in America when she was only 1 year old!