Commencing your Family History actually begins at home. I would recommend you record your own details first. For example, your birth, christening/baptism (if appropriate), marriage, divorce(s), remarriage(s), the dates of birth, death etc (if appropriate) of your spouse, children and grandchildren.
Congratulations, you have started your Family History. You must now work backwards and trace back your ancestors. If you have a common name, the challenge is more difficult, but don’t despair, you’re not alone. If you have an unusual name, your task may be easier than you think. Technically, it should be easier to trace the correct line of your ancestors. Start following your father’s line then your mothers. Once you’re stuck start talking to your oldest relatives. Hopefully, granddad or grandma is still alive. Better still, the great grand parents.
Often, when you dig enough someone may already have constructed a family tree. Get a copy and expand on it. You may have a relative overseas that you can work with to further your research. You should try to obtain any family records such as birth, death & marriages, wills, family photos, old bibles that may contain family information, diaries, letters and anything else that contains family information.
Attend your local heritage or family history library. There are local family history societies you can join. Obtain books or a how to ebook that teaches you how to start. Reading magazine articles can help you get started. If you’re really stuck, you can employ a professional genealogist. Check their credentials and fees first before hiring them. They should be professional members of their national genealogical society.
Record your information on paper. Use the FREE Pedigree and Family Work Group Sheet provided on my web site. Storing your genealogy data on a computer is a great idea. You can easily share data with other family members or genealogists. I recommend you use software to store information. This will save you a lot of time and effort organizing your notes.
You could have fun searching old local newspapers in your library and find articles regarding your ancestors. Visiting local heritage and Family History centers may uncover treasures of information concerning your ancestors. It’s worth the trip. A final tip, keep a special log of where you’ve searched. Sometimes, even unsuccessful research could come alive when further information comes to hand. It also keeps you focused and on track. You learn all about how to use libraries and archives efficiently, and to uncover a whole new world you didn’t know exists.
Nick Grbin is the webmaster of http://www.genealogy4beginners.com
The web site outlines a Genealogy Ebook that saves time, effort and money researching your Ancestors, You can subscribe to the FREE Family History for Beginners Newsletter with great tips & information.