Tips for Beginning Genealogy-Part One showed you how to gather your information, talk with your relatives, record what you found, organize your research, and what is a wiki.
I have a few more tips for you and then we get to the fun part of finding the records.
Tip #1: Be consistent. Hopefully, you have found a family group sheet that you are using. Be consistent when filling these group sheets out.
- Record dates in the day, month, year format. For example, 16 January 2022.
- Use abbreviations consistently. For example: St. for Street, Ave. for Avenue. You can write the words out, but just do it the same way each and every time.
- Places are recorded from small to large entities. Include town or city, county, state, country. For example: Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States, Methil, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom
- Finding the parent's names
- Finding an individual's birth date or place
- Finding a marriage date or place
- Finding a death date or place
- Finding a spouse/partner name or birth name
- Finding the name of siblings
- Death records are the most recent record, but you will need to know the state to find the record. It may not be the same place as the burial. Death records are more available than birth records. Look for death records at the county or state level. In New England, look at the town level. If you can't find the death certificate, check for obituaries, cemeteries, family bibles, social security index, or church records.
- Marriage records can be found at the town or county level, family bibles, newspapers, church records or for very early marriages check the state archives.
- Birth record access may be limited. Many states have closed birth records for one hundred years or more. If you can access a birth certificate, wonderful. If you can't look for family bibles, death records, marriage records, census records, church records, military records and probate records.
- Remember where you found the information. Cite Your Sources.
- Verify records by finding the original, especially if it is an index.
- Analyze what you find. Check dates to make sure you have the right record at the right time. A child cannot be born years after the mother's death.
- Online sources are not error free.
- Consider the reputation of the source. You will learn this the more you research. The websites I have provided are reputable ones. Be careful of online trees, they contain errors.
- and just because it is online doesn't mean it's true!