How To Begin Researching Your Family History | Origins EP 3

In Today’s episode we are going to take a look, at how to begin researching your family history, this video will be perfect for beginners and seasonal researchers. Your first step is to take care of what’s important- As time will disappear before your eyes. What I mean by that, is you will need to approach your oldest family members. Make sure you have a notepad ready, or record or even videotape the answers to your questions. Those older members of your family, will know key facts including christian names and surnames, they may remember dates and places of birth, marriage, death and even residence. They will remember family stories, they may hold old photographs and even documents that relate to your family. Remember, the only dumb question is the one that was never asked. The information you collect from your oldest kin will set the foundations for your research, Remember to make copies of photographs or documents or if allowed keep and protect the originals. Make sure you record the names of everyone that appears in the photographs. These documents, photographs are your family valuables, far more important than any material objects. This is your history. Organize the valuables in at least two distinct formats – Digital and hardcopy. Retain paper copies and properly store the originals, you can buy acid free plastic wallets and boxes to archive everything you collect. Digitize for the future, your work will be sourced and studied for years to come. Your second step is to Examine your choices and decide on your goals is this a pastime, hobby, a passion, a calling, a vocation, a career, or a legacy? Choose what program or what site to record your paper trail and begin the process of compiling your tree. There is no right or wrong answer, it’s all down to personal preference. I use two mediums to record my tree. Firstly I have a public tree on Ancestry and secondly I use a program called Mactree. Both are very different, but the results are very much the same. MacFamilytree is an apple software that helps me create family charts and reports, plus build a tree if I so wish, add sources, facts and so on. When I am using the program I integrate my gedcom file, which can be downloaded or exported from any online tree or program and uploaded into another. So Macfamilytree for me is a tool, rather than ago to program for building my family history. There are lots of places to publish an online tree, Ancestry, Find my Past, Familysearch, MyHeritage and so on… so take a look at your options and decide what works best for you. If you have a lot of continental European family members, then Myheritage is a must for you, as this site is the most popular for countries like, France, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Italy, Spain and so on… Look at networking, join up with genealogy Facebook pages or groups as these will all help with questions as they arise. There are groups for countries, counties, states, ethnicity and even just general sites so take a look around and find those pages and groups that will help when the needs arise. Do not get overwhelmed and buried in an avalanche of paperwork (organize as you go). Tell a story based on the data (the life of your favourite relative). Share your results with others (Start a web page or blog). These are incredible ways to record your research and share the knowledge you gain, you can write biographies, build galleries and so on, they also offer a doorway for cousins and distant relatives to find you. Keep a research log to record clues and theories you want to prove. Constantly re-adjust your course in light of new data that is discovered. Safeguard your results for posterity. Create backups for both the physical documents and the digital data. Keep your storage media up-to-date so you can always access the data. Feed your information into a “world tree” program for the future generations. Continue to expand your genealogical education as your interest grows. The fourth step is to always re-evaluate and re-adjust your goals and research objectives. It may be, that you want to build a tree that go’s back just a few generations, or you might be interested in just doing a name study or following one line / surname in your family tree. Or you can be an adventurous soul, and aim at researching everything, remember, there is no hurry to a finish a project, Ancestry after all has no end. And enjoy the beginnings of your new hobby.

Please Watch The Video Listed Below, For The Full Episode

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