There are many people that have taken up genealogy for their hobby. It is interesting and fun to discover who your ancestors were and to have the ability to trace your history back as far into history as is possible. As you begin researching your family tree, it will be very helpful to have the correct genealogy supplies. You should at least have a way to take notes that you can refer to easily later. You can use a simple notebook and a pen. Be sure to take exact notes as you interview family members about the prior generations that they can remember. You may want to bring a recorder and record the conversations that you have with elderly relatives.
You can even find genealogy forms that will assist you in organizing your information. You can download these forms on the internet or find them in books written about how to conduct your family research. The forms include family data forms, census extraction forms, time lines, cemetery records, pedigree charts, and correspondence logs. You will also need to have a filing system to assist you in keeping all of your papers and documents safe and organized. You could use an accordion file or a filling cabinet that is specifically for your research.
A scanner is a very useful tool to have access to as it will assist you by making digital copies of all of your files. It will also allow you make copies of the pictures and pictures that may belong to family members that want their precious pictures and documents returned to them. As you begin working with photographs, be sure to apply labels to them so you can remember who the subjects are. Label them as you remove them from the scanner or as you put them into your filing system. Keep the older documents and photographs safely so that you will have them to show the future generations. The papers and files you purchase should be acid free and designated for archival or preservation.
Having a library card can prove to be another useful item that is in your supplies. The library can be a wonderful help as you begin to research your family tree. You may have the ability to search many databases at the library and some that you are not able to access anywhere else. You may also be able to access reference books that include official documents and records of the areas in question. The library can also be used as a backup source of internet access in case you have something happen to your home computer or you happen to lose internet access. You can use the internet to visit genealogy forums and family history sites. One of the best resources for researching your ancestors is the internet.
As you use your home computer you may decide that using genealogy software is useful to you. You can get free versions or may decide to go with one that costs money and has more options. The software can assist in keeping you organized. There are some versions of the software that will allow you to cross reference your data against the data that their other customers have put together which can assist you in filling in any gaps that may be in your research.
Having a printer is also a very nice tool to have access to so you can print out files that you discover when you are doing internet research. Your hard drive can crash at any time. It would be very aggravating to lose all of your information after spending months of hard work. If you make the time to print out the most important documents then you will at least have some record of what you have put together.
An even better decision would be to back up your digital files on a CD, DVD, or zip drive. Check to see if the genealogy software that you use might offer extra storage space on their site. You ISP or another service may be able to offer you some extra storage space that lets you store and upload the files so they will be protected in the event that your computer should crash. Having a magnifying glass around also comes in handy when you are studying old photographs and documents. Old records can be difficult to make sense of and having a magnifying glass available might allow you to make out certain dates or words.
You should also have an email address that you can dedicate strictly to your family history research so that you can store all of your correspondence in that one place. You can get a free email account from many different places on the net. That will give a reference point to the people that you will meet on a genealogy forum if they want to contact you with information.
A distant relative that is also doing a family history research project will discover your email address and will contact you out of the blue. You will discover that researching your family tree is a lot of fun and can be very rewarding too. Once you have the correct genealogy supplies, the process will be a whole lot more efficient as well.
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