Sunday, June 17, 2012
So when I decided to start researching the genealogy of my family I had no idea where to begin. I'm sure others who are making such a decision are also asking the same question, 'Where the heck do I start?' I asked a friend. I found someone who was interested in genealogy and had kept their own blog and records. I asked for tips and they gave me a few websites to start a family tree, some software to keep it on and websites to search for records.
The website I was directed to was www.myheritage.com/genealogy . It allows you to download some great software for beginning your family tree. I then went to familysearch.org which is a database initiated by the church of LDS. They have done a great job working to make many many records free for those that need it. This is a good general database to begin using.
This of course led me to helping with their indexing myself. Indexing is when you take an image of a record and transcribe it into an electronic format that is searchable. I'll write more about indexing on another day.
The next thing I did was ask my family members what they knew of our past. I discovered that two of them had already started researching my families past. My Uncle Michael had researched my Mum's side, and my second cousin Roy Davies, had researched my Dad's side. My wife's mother had also researched both sides of my wife's family.It was perfect really. I know most people won't be fortunate enough to have so many involved in genealogy in their family, but the principle of asking family members for help still remains.
I'm only a couple of weeks into it but the last tip I have is to write everything down! I keep a word document that I record all my notes in as I'm talking with family members and I am buying a journal that I will be able to keep notes in if my laptop is unavailable. So write and record, you always think you will remember but you rarely remember all of the details!
So in Summary:
1) Make the decision
2) Ask anyone you know who does genealogy - for tips etc.
3) Check out some basic genealogy websites that provide free information
4) Talk with family members
5) Keep a journal / log of everything
I'm still learning, but I'll keep sharing as I do!