Employ the following ten steps to discover your family tree .
1.Â Every section of a family’s genealogy should be as complete as possible.Â Endeavour to compile a precise account of each family.Â Looking forward, our descendants will be researching us .Â Those who come after us will appreciate having correct and detailed information as they research their genealogy.
2.Â Avoid being a copyist. DoÂ collect as much documentation as you can for proper evaluation.Â Â Just because it is in in print or on the internet does not make it a correct statement.Â Many earlyÂ genealogies were based on wishful thinking.
3.Â AÂ family genealogy,Â to be useful, should cite the sources that were collected in the records.Â Use a reference bibliography and, when ever possible, assemble your own genealogy research.Â Another person’s interpretation of the information may not be accurate and duplicating someone’s error only perpetuates the mistake.
Sources ofÂ data fall into two categories, primary and secondary.Â Primary sources are those statements or records, written or verbal, that were made at or near the Â time that the event occurred.Â The information will be an eyewitness account or from someone closely associated with what happened. The quest to find primary sources should be a priority. A secondary source comes from a non-witness, orÂ from one not associated with the occurrence.Â The recording would have been made at a later time, maybe from memory. Sources of information will be found in many different types of documentations including vital records, census and obituaries .
4. Do not hesitate and leave it too late.Â Living relatives can give eye witness accounts which may never be found elsewhere. Â Many years may be needed to find the answers to questionsÂ that you could have asked.
5.Â With records, as with sources,Â there are two factors in judging credibility.Â Are the records copies, or originals ?Â An original is the initial recording of an happening in accordance with the prescribed law or custom.
The occurance may be recorded in one or more orginal records.Â The birth of aÂ child could appear in Vital Statistics, in the Church Registry and in a Family Bible.Â All of these records would be classified as orginals because, in each case, it was the first entry ofÂ that birth in that vicinity.Â A copied record is one that has been transcribed, compiled, or copied from another record.Â The other record may have been a copy, or it may have been anÂ original.Â Each time a copy isÂ transcribed there is a possibility for error to creep in.Â The more times that the document has been copied, the greater the possible number of errors.
6.Â A certified copy is considered an official copy, but it is a copy and is, therefore, subject to error.Â This issue has beenÂ partially eliminated with use ofÂ scanning or photocopying . AÂ scan of an originalÂ document can be considered the same as the original.
7.Â No family history is consideredÂ complete unless research is done for eachÂ individual of the family.Â No one should be unnoted and no one should be excluded.
8.Â A name ought to be recorded as the entire name.Â Avoid using ditto marks.Â Always record the entire names of the children in your computer database or on a family group sheet.Â When if a person has been called by a nickname,Â include it.
9.Â If you find aÂ nickname has been used, such asÂ Beth, on some documents, and a different name for the same person onÂ other records, ensure you make note of both the names.
10.Â A child born to unwed parents assumes the mother’s name in most cases.
Use these 10 tips to guide your genealogy know how.