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Getting Started

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How To Start Your Family History

Whether you are new to the world of genealogy or have a few years of experience, the purpose and steps to follow are basically the same. You have a question to be answered and how to answer it. This site was not intended as a tutorial or do–it–yourself but to offer a little nudge. I highly recommend a book for newcomers (and don't let the name fool you), with all the bells and whistles of modern internet research by Christine Rose, CG, CGL, FASG, and Kay Germain Ingalls, CG, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy Third Edition (New York, NY: Alpha Books, Penguin Group, 2012).

  
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Step # 1 – Start With Yourself


The most recommended choice in undertaking this quest is to always start with what you know. Even if great-grandma told stories of a famous person in the family from 8 generations back, always start with yourself and work back in time.

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Step # 2 – Make a Research Plan


Traditional methodology is still the best method to an accurate and successful family history. Research is an on-going process, so take your time and have fun! Your ancestors are patient. The possibilities are endless... with 1024 direct ancestors in 10 generations.

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Step # 3 – Keep Organized


It may seem like an obvious step but organization is beneficial to staying on task. When you're hot on the trail, it's amazing how much paper can pile up and be pushed aside. Stacks of paperwork can be daunting — so do yourself a favor and record your sources and citations on a schedule that suits your purpose.


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