Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Two Videos: 5 Simple First Steps to Researching Your Family Tree

This family history researcher gives a simple guide explaining how to begin tracing your family tree. She begins with an explaination of what a pedigree sheet is and how they are used in genealogy.

If you are interested in finding out where you can download pedigree sheets, family group charts, research aids, or census forms, you can find that in the following article Where Can I Download Genealogy Forms And Charts?.

Here are the steps as outlined in the video:
  1. Write Everything Down! Include maiden names and all dates and places that you have
  2. Interview Older Family Members! They won't always be there to answer your questions. Discuss your family with them and videotape them as well.
  3. Put The Info About Each Couple On A Family Group Sheet. By using Family Group Sheets, you will be able to keep better track of what needs to found, as well citing your sources.
  4. Concentrate on locating Birth, Marriage and Death Records. When starting your family tree, you should attempt to gather the vital information for immediate family - parents, and grandparents.
  5. Search Google and Other Search Engines. By simply searching on Google you can find out if others have already completed a lot of the work.

This is the second part of the video. She continues by suggesting you focus on one particular surname to research. By concentrating on a single line you can ensure that you can keep your information about that one family up-to-date and on track. She also gives a number of genealogy websites such as Familysearch which I also recommend. And of course, there's also Cyndi's List.

Finally, there's the wise advise to Cite Your Source! Too many times information is put online with little or no information as to where your family tree data was located or where others who will need to review those same records will be able to look.

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