How to Begin
Start by writing down on a family group sheet or pedigree sheet all the information that you get from all your living relatives. Then whatever information is missing, that is what you research. Just take one person's missing information and search for that. When you find the info, take another's missing information and search for that. Do one person at a time, otherwise you will be overloaded with searching and overwhelmed with information that you won't know what to do with. Start by getting vital records, then check census records, then church records, land records,
county histories, etc.
Effective researchers begin by obtaining some background information. They then survey previous research, and finally search original documents.
Background Information. You may need some geographical and historical information. This information can save you time and effort by helping you focus your research in the correct place and time period.
Locate the town or place. Examine maps, gazetteers, and other place finding
aids to learn as much as you can about each of the places where your
lived. Identify the major migration routes, nearby cities, county
and other geographical features and government or ecclesiastical
Review Local History. Study a history of the areas where your ancestors
for clues about the people, places, and events that may have affected their
lives and the records about them.
Previous Research. After gaining some background information, you will be
ready to look for any research that has already been gathered by others,
Printed family histories and genealogies
Family information published in periodicals
Manuscript collections of family information
Computer databases of family information
Hereditary and lineage society records
These can save you valuable time and often provide excellent information.
example, you may find a book or magazine article about your family.
Original Documents. After surveying previous research, you will be ready to
search original documents. These records can provide primary information
your family because they were generally recorded at or near the time of an
event by a reliable witness. To do thorough research, you should search the
existing records of:
Each place where your ancestor lived
The complete time period when he lived there.
Seeking any info on the"Afghan Prince" which ran aground in a storm off the
coast of Nova Scotia, Canada in around July, !918. I believe it was
and towed into Halifax. email@example.com
SHIELDS, John Henry. Born 1873 in Ark Lived in Rison, Cleveland Co. Ark. m.
Zonia Holmes. First wife of 3. Children- George, Jeff, Nemiah, Policy.
from Tenn. Cousin named Norman Shields. firstname.lastname@example.org
Searching for info Fletcher family-Andrew J. Fletcher b.1867 & Alexander
Fletcher .1876 Village Springs, Blount County, Al.In the 1900 both were
proprietors' of grocery store Avondale-Jefferson County, Al. need to know
anyone remembers or have any info. Icrins@aol.com
Looking for the parents/siblings of Flossie Larine MARTIN b. abt 1905-TN d.
1940 Pascola, MO. Md: 1st Cyd(?) GRUGGETT 2nd Elbert (Jack) HOUSEHOLDER any
help appreciated.Linda Corman ICQ# 18502936 email@example.com
I was wondering where I could write for information regarding an uncle who
worked in the U.S.Post Office to get his application for employment. What
would I need to ascertain that information? Diane Yates DYates5150
Seeking parents/siblings of: GODECKER, Mary Ann b 17 Feb 1848 Clark Co., IN
7 Apr 1922 Lafayette, IN bur St. Boniface, Lafayette, IN m KOCH, John 11
1869 New Albany, IN. firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you know of these people from Patterson, St. Mary, Parish between the
1880 and 1910? Parents Frederick and Riney (PICKETT) MINGO. Children: Cary,
Isham, Shedrick, Lazuraus, Earnest, Martha, Mary, and Savinia MINGO.
Looking for anyone with the following surnames : RINK, WELSBY, SEILER. The
Rink and Seiler families are from Germany and the Welsby family is from
Looking for info on Theophilus Larrabee of Preston Twshp, and any other
Larrabee's residing in the CT/VT area during the 1700's and earlier. Have
reason to believe his Father is Nathaniel of Stonington but not definite.
Please contact me w/any info! :) MelissaTtl@aol.com
Any info on Peter ORRISON (9/18/1810-3/18/1875) married to Mary Magdalena
Couglar (or Sarah Kuglar) (2/1813-7/23/1870). Buried in Springport, MI.
Children: Sarah,John,Annias, George,Peter,Catherine,Frank,Mary,Hannah and
Lafayette. Thanks email@example.com
By chance is a Mary F. WRIGHT or her father Nathan WRIGHT mentioned in
of 2 books on WRIGHT Family from Virginia by Robert Grant. Mary WRIGHT
have been born abt 1840 & md William A. Robinson 8 Feb 1866.
Federal Mortality Schedules
City Directory Research
The Genealogy Lady established the "Genealogy Today" newsletter in
April 1997. She answers questions online at New-Jerusalem.com, and
sells books at her Genealogy Book Store.