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Finding your ancestors in historical documents validates your heritage.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
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
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
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.