Advice for Beginners

building blocksAt our recent Genealogy Networking Group meeting we combined our years of experience to give out some advice for our newest members. Some of the great tips that were offered were:

  • Start with yourself, work backwards in time. This is the mantra of every beginning genealogist.
  • Cite Your Sources. Always keep track of where you found each bit of information. Every one of us in the room could think of an example of “I wish I knew where I found that!”
  • Death certificates and obituaries were a favorite record class. They can lead to more information on the generations before and after the ancestor.
  • Beware of multiple (Bible) records written in the same handwriting. A long list of names, spanning generations, that has been written in a Bible or other record book and is in the same handwriting usually means the information was copied or transcribed at one time, not as the events happened. Mistakes can be made in this situation, so verify each piece of information.
  • Public libraries can be your best friend. (This was totally unsolicited by your librarian!)

What else? There is so much to know and learn when you start out on your genealogical quest. Tell us your advice for beginners. We’d love to hear from you.

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