Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Where Do I Begin?

From time to time, I'm going to post some beginning how-to tips. Since this is a new blog, I thought that the first tip should be a real basic one as well.

Step 1: Find a quiet place to write or type

A notebook or a word processor is great place to start. Genealogy is all about discovery and the best place to start is with yourself. Write down what you know. Where were you born and when? Ask yourself the same question about your parents and then any siblings you might have. If you know that information about your grandparents, add that as well then stop. Chances are that if you go any further, you are going to be guessing on information that you need.

Step 2: What to write down

Chances are that at some point, you will be sharing what you know with someone else looking for the same information. It is important from the start that you write this information down the right way. Here is a brief list of how to do that:

-The full name, first middle last, ladies maiden name when you can
-Date of birth and place of birth. (Formal trees list place of birth as town, county, and state such as Flushing, Queens, New York)
-Date of death and place of death and burial place. (Cemetery name is important)(If needed)
-Date and place of marriage. (Church name is important)(If needed)
-Date and place of baptism. (If needed)

Only write what you know for sure. Don't guess. Others can help you fill holes. If you do yourself, a souse, your kids, your siblings, your parents, and your grandparents, that is a minimum of eight people right there and the bedrock of the many people you will add in time.

Step 3: Show your work

After writing down what you know, show those you can on your list what you have. You are going to know your exact information and they are going to know their exact information and add to what you may be lacking, like where your Grandpa Ernie is buried or that your Grandma Jane's real first name is Edith (true story). The more facts you gather, the stronger your framework will be.

Everything you do from here on out is basically what you just did. It may seem like dry stats and figures about people, but in weaving the information together it turns into a living tapestry of where you come from. It gets exciting very soon.
-Date and place of

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