Have you ever been interested in learning more about your family genealogy,
but have no idea where to begin? After all, your own parents and grandparents may
not even be certain that what they know of your family’s history is 100% accurate,
so how could you? Finding the answers may seem difficult, but with these tips, you
can discover a past that you thought would be untraceable.
Geneology is the art of tracing your heritage. Finding sources, helps a genealogist
conclude they have the evidence to support the data and facts in their tree. For
those that are experienced with genealogy, you know It requires many hours of searching
for historical documents to establish your lineage. Documenting your findings, whether
successful or not, helps you and your family to know what has been researched. The
logging of this information is helpful for yourself and as well as other relatives,
because without fail, you are going to want to try and figure out a family fact,
and unless you document what you have done, and what sources you used, you will
end up doing the same research over, losing valuable time redoing unnecessary repetitive
Genealogy is a WorldWide Hobby
Geneology has become a worldwide hobby that is gaining new members every day.
With the Mormon Latter Day Saints (LDS) Church in the forefront of taking government
records from around the world, digitizing them, and sharing them through their Family
History Centers which can be found throughout the world, making geneology research
available to everyone. The Mormons used these records to create geneology trees
and baptize living people on behalf of an individual who is dead. They believe that
baptism is a requirement to enter the Kingdom of God. Baptism for the dead has been
practiced since 1840.
With the growth of the internet and the genealogy hobby, companies, historical
societies, libraries and others have taken these records and digitized them. Now
you don’t have to go to a facility for all your research. You can do much
of it from the comfort and privacy of your own home at any time, day or night. The
LDS Church is in the process of doing the same thing. They have an indexing project
that is done by volunteers from around the world. They are making great strides
and catching up with some of other companies.
Newspapers, funeral homes, and cemeteries are also realizing the vastness of geneology
as a hobby enjoyed by most people. Obituaries and gravestones are a great source
for validating death and burial details. Census and military records help in building
families with their spouse and children, as well as other relative's. All these
records and more are being made more and more readily available to everyone.
Record your Family's History
The internet is a great way to start searching for geneology data but don’t
think everything you find is true. You should verify all gathered facts with a variety
of sources, just like a journalist does. Otherwise your geneology story is just
hearsay, and who wants to pass on their history based on unconfirmed data that might
not be true? Do you remember playing the telephone game when you were a child? The
conversation started out as one thing and ended up being something different at
the end. Well, the same is true for genealogy, if you don’t back up your stories
with facts. With the internet, your story can become something you don’t recognize
at all. This happens when documents are copied and people take liberties and only
use information found on the internet from sources that are indexed, where errors
can and do occur.
Family Members May Have the Best Sources
The best data comes from sources that were recorded by the family member. Most
likely this information is going to be true, except in the case of someone trying
to falsify their identity for whatever reason. An example could be someone may have
wanted to get married or join the military, but was not old enough, so they falsified
their birth date. Contradicting information might come out on a Will, a death certificate,
headstone or obituary. Finding a variety of sources to document your genealogy is
important to preserve your past, for future generations.
Find out the family stories and record them. Learn about the little things that
made your heritage what it is. Don’t be a name collector. A name collector
is someone who collects and adds as many names as they can to their geneology tree
without doing the research to verify if the data is correct or not. There is no
prize for collecting the most names. Geneology is not a contest. Satisfaction does
not come from completing a test the fastest (unless you have all the right answers).
It comes from learning, understanding, doing your best, being able to retain and
share the knowledge, and by having the right answers.
Find your family history. Plan what you want to discover. Do research to find
out if a source is available and where you can find it. If you are new to genealogy
or you are not sure if the information is available, plan a trip to the nearest
Family History Center. They are located in almost every county in the United States
and around the world. Once you get started, organize and record your genealogy with
events, facts, sources, stories, videos, pictures, awards, etc. and share it with
Can DNA Help with your Genealogy?
We are all, more or less, related. Scientists say our DNA is 99.9% identical.
Doing a DNA analysis can help identify your relatives and genetic background for
your ancestors from more than five generations ago. The accuracy and information
from one testing company may vary from another company. This is due to how each
company conducts the testing. If you are interested in your ancient ancestry, view our DNA article
and several links that can help with your DNA questions.