Use the following steps to discover your genealogy.
1.Â Every portion of a family history should be as complete as possible.Â Strive to assemble a precise account of each family’s history.Â In the future, we will be the ancestors.Â Those who follow us will appreciate working with correct and detailed information as they research their family tree.
2.Â Avoid being a copyist. DoÂ pull together as much documentation as you can for proper evaluation. Just because it is in in print or on the internet does not make it a true statement.Â Many earlyÂ family histories were based onÂ incorrect research.
3.Â AÂ family genealogy,Â to be useful should citeÂ the sources that were collected in the records.Â Use a reference bibliography and do your own genealogy research,Â when ever possible.Â Another person’s interpretation of the data may not be accurate.Â Copying another person’s error only makes it that much worse .
Sources ofÂ information fall into two categories, secondary and primary.Â Primary sources are those statements or records, written or verbal, made at or near the time of the event.Â The information will be an eyewitness or from someone closely associated with the happening. TheÂ quest to find primary sources should be obvious. A secondary source comes from someone not present at the time of the event, orÂ from one not closely associated with the occurrence.Â The recording perhaps would have been made later, from memory.Â Information sources are found in many places including vital records, census and obituaries.
4. Do not hesitate.Â Living relatives can provide eye witness versions which may never be found elsewhere.Â Â A life time of “tomorrows’ may be required to find the answer to a questionÂ that you should have asked.
5.Â With records,Â there are two criteria in judging credibility.Â Are the records original, or copies?Â An original record is the first recording of an happening inÂ accordance with the prescribed law or custom.
The event may be noted in more than one original records.Â The birth of aÂ infant could be recorded in Vital Statistics, in the Church Register,Â and perhaps in a Family Bible.Â These records would be considered as originals because,Â they are the first entry ofÂ that birth in thatÂ locality.Â A copied record is one that has beenÂ transcribed, compiled, or copied from another record.Â The other record may have beenÂ an original, or it may have been a copy.Â Whenever a copy isÂ transcribed there is a chance for error.Â Every new copy, increases the chances of errors.
6.Â A certified copy is considered an official copy, but it is a copy, and is subject to error.Â ThisÂ problem has beenÂ reduced with the wide spread use ofÂ electronic scanning or photocopying .Â Â AÂ scan of an originalÂ record should be consideredÂ as good as the original.
7.Â No genealogy is consideredÂ close to completion unless family tree research is done for eachÂ individual of the family.Â No one should be unnoted and no one should be eliminated.
8.Â A name should be recorded as the entire name.Â Avoid using ditto marks.Â Always record the complete names of the childrenÂ on a family group sheet or in your computer database.Â When If a person has been known by a name other than the given name,Â include it.
9.Â If you find aÂ nickname has been used, such asÂ Betty, on some documents, and or nickname for the same person onÂ other records, ensure you make note of the two names.
10.Â A child born out of wedlock assumes the mother’s name most frequently.
Use these ten tips to guide your genealogy know how.