His­tory

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - GETTING STARTED -

BACK­WARDS im­por­tant in fam­ily his­tory to with your­self and work Your re­search needs to solid foun­da­tions or you a lot of time re­search­ing aren’t your an­ces­tors!

YOUR SOURCES You need to be re­ally or­gan­ised in fam­ily his­tory to keep track of ev­ery­thing. Most on­line fam­ily tree builders al­low you to at­tach dig­i­tal copies of records to facts or at least a clear note as to how you came by the e in­for­ma­tion. It’s also worth recordin ng where you have looked for doc­u­ments you haven’t found so youu don’t waste time re­peat­ing searches s.

LIV­ING REL­A­TIVES Some of the best ma­te­rial you will come across as a fam­ily his­to­rian (pho­to­graphs, let­ters, di­aries and mem­o­ries) will be in the pos­ses­sion of other fam­ily mem­bers. Start with older mem­bers of your fam­ily but don’t ig­nore cousins or your par­ents’ cousins. Even ex­pe­ri­enced fam­ily his­to­ri­ans can ben­e­fit from look­ing at lines of de­scent and con­tact­ing more dis­tant cousins.

YOUR OWN RE­SEARCH has be­come easy to ben­e­fit from

re­search of oth­ers, but be sen­si­ble. With just one click you can at­tach ‘facts’ you have found on other peo­ple’s fam­ily trees to your own, but make sure you record where this ‘ fact’ has come from. Ei­ther con­tact the other per­son and ask them if they can share their ev­i­dence, or search for it your­self.

AN OPEN MIND are mil­lions of records on­line, but it’s not al­ways easy to pin­point the one you want. If you can’t find a doc­u­ment you are sure should ex­ist, then try dif­fer­ent spellings, dif­fer­ent record sets or look for other fam­ily mem­bers. The im­por­tant thing is to know the ex­tent of the record set you are search­ing. The hunt is all part of the fun of fam­ily his­tory!

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