So, you think you want to start chasing down all those relatives that are long gone, or maybe not so long gone, but are obscure? One thing we all seem to do in this respect. In our younger ages we really don't give too much thought to who we are, and where we came from. Too busy with real life things, schools, loves and lovers and starting a career. But then as we begin to mellow out , we have families, and normally a good job, then something catches our interest. Could be a story heard from a parent or an older member of your family, and the wheels begin turning. Wow, One says, I wonder how much of this is true, and wonder what else is out there? Who am I related to? What famous person or persons might I be related to? Maybe Presidents, Royalty, famous movie actors (or actresses)? Maybe even a few black sheep long held in the deepest and darkest closets. We all get that desire to know.
But the problems come when we start to get a bit older, and find that interest. First we find that many or the people and family elders who had a wealth of historical information is no longer around or have passed on. These are the ones we should have had the time to set with, discuss their knowledge base and if you will “pump out” their first hand knowledge. The other part of putting together a really good genealogy research starts with learning what is fact and what is conjecture. Documentation is almost always a required as part the documentation of a family history. Birth and Death Certificates, marriage records, wills that are recorded, and another source many don't realize but during the 17th, 18th , 19th and early 20th centuries… the Family Bible is an invaluable source and many are viewed as a documented record of events. NARA military records, and Census data are excellent records and serve as factual documentation. Don't forget the churches records too, they most always have baptism records, and the county courthouses have many records that were recorded, and even criminal records in case we all uncover a black sheep or two. (smile).
- Here I will try to give you some really good ideas on how to get started.
- Ideas on how to begin your records.
- Brief summation of cheap or in-expensive software (sometime free) to use.
- Provide a list of places to start, and how to document your results.
For your real interests, read the above tutorials, and get yourself a good notebook, loose leaf One is nice. But be prepared to get several of the plastic sheets that are for inserting documents that you need to preserve. (Get the ones that are non-toxic and will preserve important documents). Once you read over the tutorials, sign up for a FREE membership here at Genealogy World. These same tutorials are in the members areas, but are very much expanded, and include downloadable forms such as Family Group Sheets and Links to many resources that I cannot put outside the firewall. Membership is Free, and we also offer an Associate Membership level, that also will give you the ability to post much of your collected data online, as well as a Photo Album that you can maintain and upload your own photos to share with your other family members. Your own Family Group Web Site, which we will assist you in building ALL without advertising and provide security (and backups) to keep your data safe.