Discover your Family Tree Today

Research your Genealogy to Validate your Family History

Finding your ancestors in historical documents validates your heritage. To do this you need to have a goal in mind in order to know where to search. There are no rules when trying to decide on what you would like to research first. The easiest place to start would be with your immediate relatives. Pick a relative that most intrigues you and start with them. This will make it easy for you to get your family heritage written down, and should be fun for you and the person you are interviewing.

Use a Variety of Documents for Unlocking your Heritage

After talking to your relatives, the next step would be finding documents, books, and other written material will help you to discover facts about your ancestors. It is best to set a goal, figure out what you want to learn, and then dig for the information.

When a record is not available, you need to find an alternate type of source to help discover information about a person in your family. You can find where a person lived through biographies, census, directories, land and property, military, probate records, taxation lists, voter registration, passports and more. Click on the link to get a detailed list of documents that can help you with a variety of genealogical questions.

Search Vital Records for Ancestry Clues

Finding birth, death, marriage, divorce, taxation, probate, and last will and testaments are all genealogical records that you should try to use to discover your heritage. These records may be hard to find due to natural disasters that have happened, as well as the document just might not exist. Every state started to collect data at different time periods for various government records. When you think a document should be available, especially for mid eighteen hundreds to early 1900s, not all counties conformed to the new laws. We have a list of documents by state that you can use as a reference to begin your genealogy research.

Places to Locate Genealogy Records

Now that you have a goal to locate a certain source, you need to discover where you can find it. There are various places that may have what you are looking for. It may be found through a library, a microfilm from the LDS Family History Center, through the local municipality, or an online database. You can find a lot of information from the internet as well. Click on the link to learn how search engines work and how to create refined search terms to obtain better results for your online genealogy research .

Stay Focused with your Heritage

Exhaust all your research efforts. Research your genealogy through as many places as possible. Use the library, local historical societies, Family History Centers, and more. If you are new to genealogy, you might start by finding a census record which can help you to discover clues for verifying certain events, such as: birth, marriage, immigration, occupation, and status.

It is important to keep track of all your investigative work to avoid doing the same research over and over again. It will also help you to discover where to look for family ancestry information when you have been successful, and remind you where not to look, when you were not able to find documents for your ancestors. From your ancestry searches, use the results from your newly discovered details to draw conclusions, understand gaps, and what you should work on next.

Search for Records and Evaluate the Data

When looking at records, you may discover the person you are looking for is not listed. Before you give up, broaden your hunt by checking various spellings. Sometimes names are listed the way they sounded to the person recording the information, so try different spellings and various search techniques. Your ancestor may have given false information. An example would be so they could get married or enlist in the military. Take the time to read what is in the record and make observations about the facts. If the record contains clues about other ancestors, try to make a connection. Are the people related, or do they just happen to be listed before or after your ancestor in the source? Are there clues that you should follow up on to round out your ancestry search?

Write Down Where you Found your Information

Make copies of all documents you find. Do not forget to add all the details about the source, where you found it, what page the data is on, etc. so you or another relative can easily go back and find the original document.

Transcribe your Documents to Find Hidden Details

As you dig into your family roots, you will accumulate a lot of documents. You will refer to a record for a short time and may not get the chance to really understand it until you can take the time to transcribe it. When you transcribe your data, your mind will analyze the data much more than just reading it. If you have never transcribed a document, read this article how to accurately transcribe your genealogy records.

File Information by Person and Cross Reference by Year, Document Type, or Surname

Set up a filing system to organize all your findings before getting consumed with lots of papers. There are several options to consider. You may consider filing your documents by year, alphabetically, or by setting up folders for direct family members then alphabetically for subsequent ancestors.

You may want to cross-file your documents by putting all similar documentation in color coded folders, filed by year, alphabetically or alphabetically and then by year.

Come up with a system that works for you and stick with it. Whatever organization method you used: folders, notebooks, boxes, large envelopes, etc., be consistent.

Have a Back-up of your Genealogy Research

You will spend many hours, months, days, and years searching your family history. In case of disaster make sure you have a back-up of all your records, whether it be on paper or on a computer disk. You can lose your data if your computer crashes, as well as, if a natural disaster hits your home. Having an external recovery plan is always a good idea.