The Genealogist Research Guide

How Do I Start My Research?

Once you have chosen to look into your ancestry, it's best to do some initial research and note taking before you begin.

Sit and chat to any living relatives and ask them how much they know about your ancestors.

Allow them to tell you their precious family stories and share their valuable memories.

Do they know details such as full names, nicknames, ages, birth places, occupations, marriages or deaths? 

Was there any military service? Which schools did they attend etc?

Do they have any old photographs or certificates of Birth/Marriage/Death that they could show you? Gather these or take copies for future reference.

Are there any other family members who may have carried out research previously who would be happy to share their findings with you?

There are also many Family Trees publically available online from various websites and you may well find some clues here.

It's always best to use these trees purely as ‘clues’ and carry out your own research to validate the records before including them in your family tree.

We have seen on many occasions a mistake in one tree has been copied into multiple other family trees of those ancestors.

Choose an ancestor to begin your research journey. It's very easy to get carried away and investigate all the different branches of the family tree, so perhaps concentrate on one specific line to start with.

Don't forget to be flexible when searching records. Especially with dates and spellings of names. We also come across many instances where people swap their first and middle names around or use a nickname.

Remember to save records where possible, download images you find and make a note of the source of the information.

You may wish to use Family Tree Software to record all of your research. TreeView online is included with TheGenealogist premium subscriptions or there are software packages available via www.GenealogySupplies.com, many of which offer free trials so you can decide which one suits your needs.

Finally, keep an open mind, be thorough with your research and enjoy your voyage into your family history!






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