Employ the following ten steps to discover your genealogy .
1. Every section of a family’s genealogy should be as extensive as possible. Strive to assemble an accurate record of each family. Someday, we will all be the ancestors . Those who follow us will appreciate working with correct and detailedinformation as they research their genealogy.
2. Avoid being a copyist. Do pull together as much documentation as possibly can for proper evaluation . Just because it is in print does not make it a correct statement. Many early family histories were based on incorrect research.
3. A family genealogy , to be useful should cite the sources that were collected in the records . Use a reference bibliography and do your own family tree research , when ever possible . Another person’s interpretation of the information may not survive the test of more evidence . Copying someone’s error only perpetuates the mistake.
Types of data fall into one of two categories, secondary and primary. Primary sources are those statements or records , verbal or written, made at or near the time of the event . The information will be an eyewitness account or from someone closely associated with the happening . The preference for primary sources should be obvious . A secondary source comes from someone not present at the time of the event, or one not associated with the event . The recording possibly would have been made later , from memory. Information sources will be found in many different types of documentations including census, vital records and obituaries.
4. Do not procrastinate . Relatives can give eye witness accounts which may never be found elsewhere. Many years may be needed to discover the answer to a question that could have been asked “today” .
5. With records, as with sources , there are two criteria in judging credibility. Are the records copies, or originals ? An original is the first transcription of an event in accordance with the lawor custom.
The event may be noted in more than one orginal records. The birth of a child could appear in Vital Statistics, in the Church Register, and perhaps in the Family Bible. All of these records would be classified as originals because, they are the first entry of that birth in that locality. A copied record is one that has been transcribed, compiled, or copied from another record. The other record may have been an original, or it may have been a copy . Each time a copy is transcribed there is a possibility for error. The more times that the document has been copied , increases the chances of errors.
6. A certified copy is considered an official copy, but it is a copy, and is subject to error. This issue has been reduced with the wide spread use of scanning or photocopying . A scan of an original record should be considered the same as the original.
7. No genealogy is considered complete unless family tree research is done for each member of the family. No one should be unnoted and no one should be eliminated .
8. A name should be recorded as the entire name. Avoid using ditto marks. Always record the entire names of the children on a family group sheet or in your computer database . When If a person has been called by a name other than the given name, be sure to include it .
9. If you find a certain name has been used, such as Beth, on some documents, and a different name for the same individual on another records, be sure to make note of both the names.
10. A child born to unwed parents tends to assume the mother’s name in most cases.
Use these ten tips to increase your genealogy know how.