Saturday, March 29, 2014

How to REALLY start searching your family tree

I thought I knew what I was doing.

When I first started to research my tree, I really thought I knew what I was doing.  I started subscribing to all of the right sites or what I thought were the right sites & asking all the wrong questions.

Everything I read said ask your family, but I now disagree. People can remember an event a lot of different ways.  Not always the truth or reality.  

My advice is to start with what you can prove.  I've found more evidence in newspaper obits & death certificates than any other source.

I should be clear though, relatives can give you info you can't get from official records or newspapers.  First hand knowledge is priceless.  Every photo I share came from a dear family member I've never met in person, but who has given me so many priceless treasures I can't even begin to describe how key to my search they have been.

I also think an organizational system is so important.  My biggest problem now is organizing the real info for my ancestors from the false.  (I went a little save crazy there for a while & now I am paying the price.  Having had no official training in genealogy, I had no clue that even with an uncommon name like Wickliffe, there can still be duplicate names.  This is an issue to be continued later in my blog)  
Managing your records & keeping track of what you have versus what you need.  It will save you a ton of time & heartache later. Believe me.

Research how to do genealogy research.

I had no clue it took real work to learn to research your family tree.  

This is not an easy accomplishment.  If you don't know what you are doing you will spend a tome of time researching someone else's family.  I'm recovering from this period myself & I must say I caused this mess myself.

I'm still learning, but it is getting easier.