Use the following steps to find your genealogy .

1.  Every section of a family history should be as extensive as possible.  Endeavor to assemble a precise account of each family’s history.  In the future, we will all be the ancestors .  Those who come after us will appreciate working with correct and detailedinformation as they research their genealogy.

2.  Avoid being a copyist. Do  accumulate as much information as possibly can for proper evaluation .   Just because it is in in print or on the internet does not make it a correct statement.  Many early  family histories were based on  incorrect research.

3.  A  family genealogy ,  to be useful should cite  the sources that were used in the compilation.  Use a reference list and assemble your own genealogy research ,  when ever possible .  The other person’s interpretation of the information may not be accurate .  Copying someone’s error only perpetuates the mistake.

Types of  data fall into two categories, secondary and primary.  Primary sources are those statements or records , written or verbal , made near or at the time of the event .  The source will be an eyewitness or someone closely associated with the happening . The  quest to find primary sources should be obvious . A secondary source comes from someone not present at the time of the event, or  from one not closely associated with the event .  The recollection possibly may have been made later , from memory.  Information sources are found in many different types of documentations including   census, vital records and obituaries.

4. Do not put it off .  Relatives can give first hand eye witness versions which may never be found elsewhere.   Many years may be needed to discover the answers to questions  that could have been asked “today” .

5.  With records, as with sources ,  there are two factors in judging credibility.  Are the records original, or copies?  An original record is the first recording of an happening in  conformity with the lawor custom.  

The event may be recorded in more than one orginal records.  The birth of a  child could be recorded in Vital Statistics, in the Church Registry,  and in a Family Bible.  These records   would be classified as originals because,  in each case, it was the initial entry of  that birth in that  locality.  A copied record is one that has been  copied, transcribed and compiled from another record.  The other record may have been  a copy, or it may have been an orginal.  Each time a copy is  transcribed there is a possibility for error.  The more times that the document has been copied ,   the greater the possible number of errors .

6.  A certified copy  is an official copy, but it still is a copy, and is subject to error.  This  problem has been  partially eliminated with use of  scanning or photocopying .   A  scanned copy of an original  record should be considered    the same as the original.

7.  No genealogy is considered  close to completion unless family tree research is done for each  individual of the family.  No one should be unnoted and no one should be excluded.

8.  A name should be recorded as the entire name.  Avoid using ditto marks.  Always record the complete names of the children  in your computer database or on a family group sheet.  When If a person has been called by a name other than the given name,  be sure to include it . 

9.  If you find a  certain name is used, such as  Elizabeth, on some documents, and or nickname for the same person on  another records, be sure to make note of the two names.

10.  A child born out of wedlock tends to assume the mother’s name most frequently.

Use these ten steps to increase your genealogy know how.

Filed under: Family Genealogy