Research to identify your ancestors

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Step 4...Organize

Now that you have gathered all possible documents and information for all of your living and deceased family members (Step 2 and 3) are ready to organize it. The second important word in genealogy work is “ORGANIZE”.

Setting up a filing system that works for you is vital. It enables you to have an organized place to file and store your family information and then to be able to quickly find a certain document or piece of information that you want, for a particular ancestor of yours.

There are many TYPES and STYLES of genealogy filing systems you can use. A lot of people like the color coded system....where each of your four grandparents are assigned a particular color on their file folders (along with their names) and which is also referenced on their pedigree charts and family group record sheets. Children from the family of each of your grandparents are assigned the same color as their parents.

Another style is to place a file folder with your name on it in the front of the file box, then behind it place a folder with your parents name on it. And behind that place a file folder for each of your grandparents. Within each of these folders, file away items from those 6 envelopes or boxes (step 2).

Click on the following links to get ideas and helps on the various methods, types and styles of organizational systems. Then choose one that best suits your needs.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Step 3...Asking and gathering from living relatives

Besides gathering within your own home the documents and other papers pertaining to your ancestors, it is very important to not forget that your other living family members (parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins) might have ancestor information stored in their homes as well.

Approach them and let them know the genealogy project you are working on and ask them if they could please help you. Ask them if they possibly have any documents and other information on any ancestors. And ask them if they would mind if you made a copy of the items. It is wonderful that THEY have these documents....but YOU NEED to have copies of these in your home, too....for your children’s sake.

Any items you acquire from your relatives...put these also into the envelopes or boxes you have previously prepared for the purpose of sorting all documents you find around your home, etc. (step 2).

Friday, January 11, 2008

Step 2...Gather

In genealogy work, we always begin with our self and work backwards on our four grandparents family lines, following the SURNAMES. The first important word is GATHER...we need to know what family information WE ALREADY order to know what information WE STILL NEED.

Go all around your house and look in every drawer, box, closet, nook and cranny. Look in your garage, attic, basement. What are we looking for?....DOCUMENTS such as birth and death certificates, diplomas, awards, journals, diaries, individual personal histories, letters, photos, deeds, wills, personal and family memorabilia, pieces of paper...anything that gives a clue that family members really existed. Whose papers and items are we looking for?....OURS....OUR PARENTS....OUR GRANDPARENTS... and aunts, uncles and cousins.

Get 6 large envelopes or boxes. Put your name on one. Put your parents name on one. Put one of your four grandparents name on one. .......and do the same for each of your other grandparents (for FEMALES...always use their maiden name in genealogy work). Then as you find and gather these items put them, one at a time, into one of these envelopes or boxes....according to who they belong or refer to. Items belonging to children of grandparents (or others)...put with the male parent.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Step 1...Understanding more about what Genealogy is

Genealogy is researching and identifying your ancestors. It is finding names, dates, and places of your ancestors and also finding and putting together, like pieces of a puzzle, facts about their life such as how they lived their life, and the kind of people they were. It is forming your family history. Also, it is searching out information such as if they immigrated to this country, and their migration from place to place and details about the places they lived, any land they owned, information in Wills or Probate records that will give you more clues to other members in their family. It is gathering and compiling all this information you know and have about your family, present and past, and organizing and sharing it. (Wouldn't you want the memory of you and your life to be kept alive in the minds and hearts of all your future generations?). What greater, more rewarding and important work than this!

As you progress in genealogy work, you will soon realize that you want to learn much more than just the names, dates, and places. Instead you will want to learn about the lives your ancestors lived. You will desire to learn everything about them...what made them happy, and the trials they had to endure. The more you find out, the more you’ll want to know.

It is fascinating once you begin the quest to learn about your ancestors...this all brings them closer to your understanding...and your heart.