Introduction: In this article, Gena Philibert-Ortega gives 10 more genealogy tips because, as she says, “we can all use some new ideas, or even reminders, once in a while.” Gena is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.”
What family history research are you working on right now? We can all use some new ideas, or even reminders, once in a while – and the following 10 tips are just the thing to help you get a start on your family history project.
Don’t try to tackle everything at once. Take a tip a day and work on incorporating it into your family history research.
Are you ready?
- Before you start your search on a website, read their FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) section. Avoid disappointment by becoming knowledgeable about how to search the website and what is/is not available. When researching on GenealogyBank, make sure to check out our Learning Center.
- Don’t forget the living in your quest for the dead. Take some time away from research to interview family members. Ask them about the oldest person in the family they knew. Ask about any stories their grandma told them about family history.
- Only have a few hours a week to devote to family history research? Make a list of objectives you need to accomplish and then break them down into manageable tasks. Some genealogy tasks that take a short amount of time include: ordering vital records; creating a timeline; scanning photos or documents; and ordering microfilm from the Family History Library.
- Social media is an important resource in learning more about genealogy and finding information. Make sure at the very least you are following your favorite website. GenealogyBank is on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.
- Look for heirlooms. Not everyone is lucky enough to inherit the family heirlooms but it’s important to take stock of what you may have and what other family members may have. Old family papers are important, too: an old passport, military papers, or a paystub all may seem inconsequential but they can lead to important clues.
- Sometimes simplest is best. Make sure to conduct searches where you simply search on a name or a surname. Don’t always add a date range or a place. This won’t work as well with a common name but with unusual names it can assist you in finding newspaper articles.
- All types of genealogy groups exist on Facebook. Methodology, DNA, regional, how-to’s all have a corresponding group. Check out Katherine R. Wilson’s Genealogy on Facebook list with more than 14,500 links to Facebook groups. Find the groups that can help you answer your genealogy questions, and get involved.
- Genealogy is a pursuit that requires constant education on everything from methodology to resources. What’s on your genealogy bookshelf? Some books are must-haves for general research. Here are two helpful ones: The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood and Getting Started in Genealogy Online by William Dollarhide.
- Follow genealogy tweets on Twitter by searching on the hashtags #genealogy or #familyhistory. Genealogy tweets run the gamut of conference announcements, tips, personal research, and links to blog articles.
- Learn how to narrow your search; for example, when you conduct your newspaper article search on GenealogyBank you can filter by keywords, date range or state.
Did these 10 tips give you some ideas for your research? Let us know in the comments section below what you are going to use to enhance your research.
Good luck with your family history research!