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Genealogy HowTo
Issue: Oct 30, 2003

Just beginning your genealogy research? Here are the 5 Steps to Genealogy Research.
Find out why the experts say the first resource to search is one like MyTrees.com.


The Five Steps To Genealogy Research are:

Step 1. Identify what you know about your family.
Write what you know about your ancestors on a pedigree chart.

a. If you are using an individual pedigree chart start with yourself as number one. If you don't know exact dates or places, estimate them. Use the word "about" next to any date you estimate. List the dates in day, month abbreviation, four digit year order like this: 03 Apr 1895, instead of 3/4/1895. Here is an individual pedigree chart for you to use.
If you are using a family pedigree chart list your birth family first or you and your spouse and children first. Then fill out the husband's birth family in the fields that are up and the wife's birth family in the fields the are below and to the right of the first listing. Here is a sample family pedigree chart for you to use.

b. Gather more information from family members and relatives. In general, the older female members of a family will remember more. Look at family Bibles, journals, photographs, letters, obituaries, and other records you may have. When you find new information, write it on your pedigree chart. Here is a handy check off list that you can print that has suggestions for resources to check.

c. Fill out a Family Group sheet for yourself and your spouse. Then fill out one for both your birth family and your spouses. A second marriage requires a separate Family Group Sheet. Here is a family group sheet and a continuation sheet for you to use.

Step 2. Decide what you want to learn.
Pick one of your ancestors from the pedigree chart and identify the information for which you would like to search, such as, "when and where did they die?" If possible, select an ancestor who was born before 1900. It is usually easier to find an ancestor's death record first as opposed to finding a marriage or birth record. Record your information in a research log.

Step 3. Select records to search.
Start by looking for Compiled Records first. If you find that somebody else has already researched some of your family tree, you could save yourself a lot of time.

** Compiled Records are records of previous research, such as biographies, family histories or genealogy, which are in published form or are online in some cases.
In every Beginner's Guide, the third step always says the same thing -- check compiled records FIRST to see if the research you are planning to do has already been done. Compiled records are pedigrees that have already been researched. www.MyTrees.com has the largest collection of pedigree linked data on the web. Many Professional genealogists use MyTrees.com to help them locate genealogy work that has already been done. The MyTrees Archive is currently 633 million names and is growing at the rate of 2 million names a month. You will want to search this resource often because of the constantly updated pedigrees that are being added.

Remember though that Compiled Records are only as good as the researcher. You would still need to validate the data before adding it to your family records. That's why you search original records next.
**Original records are created at or near the time of an event, such as birth, marriage, death, or census records.

The last two steps will be repeated for first the Compiled Resources and then the Original Resources.

Step 4. Obtain and search the record.
Even if you get no results from your search write that you searched this resource in your Research Log and that you found nothing.

Step 5. Use the information.
Evaluate what you've found. Did you find the information for which you were searching? Is that information complete? Does the new information conflict with other information?

Copy the information you found to pedigree charts and family group sheets. Enter it into your MyTrees Online pedigree or into your Legacy Family Tree Program. Don't forget to include the source for the data you have entered on your Family Group Record and in your online and offline programs.
What next? Select a new objective and start the process over again.

For a more complete Online Free Beginner's Guide visit Genealogy Research Associates, Inc.. Click the link "Education Center" and then click Course 1: A Brief Overview of Family History Research Procedures.

Copyright ©: 2011 Cindy Carman. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of this article may be used without the express written permission of the author.

Newsletters

Select Newsletter by Issue or Topic:

Genealogy HowTo
Issue: Oct 30, 2003

Just beginning your genealogy research? Here are the 5 Steps to Genealogy Research.
Find out why the experts say the first resource to search is one like MyTrees.com.


The Five Steps To Genealogy Research are:

Step 1. Identify what you know about your family.
Write what you know about your ancestors on a pedigree chart.

a. If you are using an individual pedigree chart start with yourself as number one. If you don't know exact dates or places, estimate them. Use the word "about" next to any date you estimate. List the dates in day, month abbreviation, four digit year order like this: 03 Apr 1895, instead of 3/4/1895. Here is an individual pedigree chart for you to use.
If you are using a family pedigree chart list your birth family first or you and your spouse and children first. Then fill out the husband's birth family in the fields that are up and the wife's birth family in the fields the are below and to the right of the first listing. Here is a sample family pedigree chart for you to use.

b. Gather more information from family members and relatives. In general, the older female members of a family will remember more. Look at family Bibles, journals, photographs, letters, obituaries, and other records you may have. When you find new information, write it on your pedigree chart. Here is a handy check off list that you can print that has suggestions for resources to check.

c. Fill out a Family Group sheet for yourself and your spouse. Then fill out one for both your birth family and your spouses. A second marriage requires a separate Family Group Sheet. Here is a family group sheet and a continuation sheet for you to use.

Step 2. Decide what you want to learn.
Pick one of your ancestors from the pedigree chart and identify the information for which you would like to search, such as, "when and where did they die?" If possible, select an ancestor who was born before 1900. It is usually easier to find an ancestor's death record first as opposed to finding a marriage or birth record. Record your information in a research log.

Step 3. Select records to search.
Start by looking for Compiled Records first. If you find that somebody else has already researched some of your family tree, you could save yourself a lot of time.

** Compiled Records are records of previous research, such as biographies, family histories or genealogy, which are in published form or are online in some cases.
In every Beginner's Guide, the third step always says the same thing -- check compiled records FIRST to see if the research you are planning to do has already been done. Compiled records are pedigrees that have already been researched. www.MyTrees.com has the largest collection of pedigree linked data on the web. Many Professional genealogists use MyTrees.com to help them locate genealogy work that has already been done. The MyTrees Archive is currently 633 million names and is growing at the rate of 2 million names a month. You will want to search this resource often because of the constantly updated pedigrees that are being added.

Remember though that Compiled Records are only as good as the researcher. You would still need to validate the data before adding it to your family records. That's why you search original records next.
**Original records are created at or near the time of an event, such as birth, marriage, death, or census records.

The last two steps will be repeated for first the Compiled Resources and then the Original Resources.

Step 4. Obtain and search the record.
Even if you get no results from your search write that you searched this resource in your Research Log and that you found nothing.

Step 5. Use the information.
Evaluate what you've found. Did you find the information for which you were searching? Is that information complete? Does the new information conflict with other information?

Copy the information you found to pedigree charts and family group sheets. Enter it into your MyTrees Online pedigree or into your Legacy Family Tree Program. Don't forget to include the source for the data you have entered on your Family Group Record and in your online and offline programs.
What next? Select a new objective and start the process over again.

For a more complete Online Free Beginner's Guide visit Genealogy Research Associates, Inc.. Click the link "Education Center" and then click Course 1: A Brief Overview of Family History Research Procedures.

Copyright ©: 2011 Cindy Carman. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of this article may be used without the express written permission of the author.

Newsletters

Select Newsletter by Issue or Topic:

Genealogy HowTo
Issue: Oct 30, 2003

Just beginning your genealogy research? Here are the 5 Steps to Genealogy Research.
Find out why the experts say the first resource to search is one like MyTrees.com.


The Five Steps To Genealogy Research are:

Step 1. Identify what you know about your family.
Write what you know about your ancestors on a pedigree chart.

a. If you are using an individual pedigree chart start with yourself as number one. If you don't know exact dates or places, estimate them. Use the word "about" next to any date you estimate. List the dates in day, month abbreviation, four digit year order like this: 03 Apr 1895, instead of 3/4/1895. Here is an individual pedigree chart for you to use.
If you are using a family pedigree chart list your birth family first or you and your spouse and children first. Then fill out the husband's birth family in the fields that are up and the wife's birth family in the fields the are below and to the right of the first listing. Here is a sample family pedigree chart for you to use.

b. Gather more information from family members and relatives. In general, the older female members of a family will remember more. Look at family Bibles, journals, photographs, letters, obituaries, and other records you may have. When you find new information, write it on your pedigree chart. Here is a handy check off list that you can print that has suggestions for resources to check.

c. Fill out a Family Group sheet for yourself and your spouse. Then fill out one for both your birth family and your spouses. A second marriage requires a separate Family Group Sheet. Here is a family group sheet and a continuation sheet for you to use.

Step 2. Decide what you want to learn.
Pick one of your ancestors from the pedigree chart and identify the information for which you would like to search, such as, "when and where did they die?" If possible, select an ancestor who was born before 1900. It is usually easier to find an ancestor's death record first as opposed to finding a marriage or birth record. Record your information in a research log.

Step 3. Select records to search.
Start by looking for Compiled Records first. If you find that somebody else has already researched some of your family tree, you could save yourself a lot of time.

** Compiled Records are records of previous research, such as biographies, family histories or genealogy, which are in published form or are online in some cases.
In every Beginner's Guide, the third step always says the same thing -- check compiled records FIRST to see if the research you are planning to do has already been done. Compiled records are pedigrees that have already been researched. www.MyTrees.com has the largest collection of pedigree linked data on the web. Many Professional genealogists use MyTrees.com to help them locate genealogy work that has already been done. The MyTrees Archive is currently 633 million names and is growing at the rate of 2 million names a month. You will want to search this resource often because of the constantly updated pedigrees that are being added.

Remember though that Compiled Records are only as good as the researcher. You would still need to validate the data before adding it to your family records. That's why you search original records next.
**Original records are created at or near the time of an event, such as birth, marriage, death, or census records.

The last two steps will be repeated for first the Compiled Resources and then the Original Resources.

Step 4. Obtain and search the record.
Even if you get no results from your search write that you searched this resource in your Research Log and that you found nothing.

Step 5. Use the information.
Evaluate what you've found. Did you find the information for which you were searching? Is that information complete? Does the new information conflict with other information?

Copy the information you found to pedigree charts and family group sheets. Enter it into your MyTrees Online pedigree or into your Legacy Family Tree Program. Don't forget to include the source for the data you have entered on your Family Group Record and in your online and offline programs.
What next? Select a new objective and start the process over again.

For a more complete Online Free Beginner's Guide visit Genealogy Research Associates, Inc.. Click the link "Education Center" and then click Course 1: A Brief Overview of Family History Research Procedures.

Copyright ©: 2011 Cindy Carman. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of this article may be used without the express written permission of the author.

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