Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Tip #1 -- Start with what you know

When anyone is about to undertake the task of researching their family history, the most important, and often over looked step, is to START WITH WHAT YOU KNOW.  I have run into so many newbies to genealogy research who have jumped this very crutial step in the genealogy process. when I tell them to go back and start with themselves I get a very puzzled look from them and a response of..." I know when and where I was born."  That's great, and obviously vital information to know about ones-self, BUT..........take the time to go back and look at YOUR OWN BIRTH CERTIFICATE, you can learn vital information about your parents such as their place of birth, their occupation at the time of your birth, their residence.  Each of these is a small clue to THEIR parents.

If you have your birth record, and even perhaps birth records of your own parents, start to compile all that information.  I recommend starting a Family Group Record, A Pedigree Chart, and An Idividual Research Log.

On this document you will write down all the information for your family........Start with you and your spouse, and your children.  Make another for your parents and your siblings, Make the next one for your grandparents and their children.  Each family unit will have their own record.

Start with yourself as person #1, and work back from you.

Start a record sheet for every individual in your family tree.  This log will help you keep track of exactly what information you have for each individual and exactly what information you still need to find.  

All of these forms are crucial tools for any genealogist or family historian, professional and hobbiest alike.  I have created forms and you can download them for free for your personal use simply click on the image or on the highlighted link.

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