Getting Started

So many people are interested in starting genealogy research, but they become overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. There are only two things you need to get started…a paper and a pencil.

FOLLOW THESE STEPS:

#1  Write it down. Write everything you know about yourself, your parents, and your grandparents. You will be surprised how much this information will help you as you start finding generations further out.

#2 Talk to family. Family members will be able to help you fill in the blanks. It’s also so important to interview your oldest living relatives. They will be your most valuable resource when it comes to family history. You will be surprised how much they can remember and how talking about the past brings memories to the forefront of their minds.

#3 Begin your online search. When searching online, too much information will actually hinder your search. Try using a last name, first name and a range of dates. Remember that sometimes spellings change over time so try different combinations. Search for vital records such as birth, marriage, and death certificates. Census records are a great way to find whole families and they can give you so much needed information. There are so many records available online today. From immigration to military and other peoples family trees. Don’t forget this site is free to search www.familysearch.org

#4 Gather records. Gathering the proper documentation to link you and your ancestors is such an important part of genealogy. Vital records such as birth, marriage, and death certificates can lead you to much needed information about individuals as well as their parentage. Just keep in mind that some records will be more accurate than others.

#5 Choose a line. With each generation past yourself, your ancestors will double and by the time you are out four generations you will have sixteen 2nd great grandparents. It’s a good idea to choose one line to start so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Once you get out to the fourth generation then come back and start down another line.

Just setting aside an hour a day or even a week to do your genealogy can add such blessings to your life. When you find that first ancestor online you will be amazed at the special connection you will feel toward them.

Happy Hunting!

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