Introduction: In this article, Gena Philibert-Ortega gives another 10 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?
- Use the Social Security Death Index and the Recent Obituaries collection on GenealogyBank to document your more recently deceased family members, especially those that are distantly related. In addition to learning about the deceased, an obituary might provide names of living family that you didn’t know about.
- Don’t forget that GenealogyBank has more than newspapers and recent obituaries. In addition to the Social Security Death Index, take some time today to check out the US census records, as well as the Government Publications and Historical Books collections.
- Are you using your smartphone or tablet for genealogy? Start using your mobile device for genealogy at home or on the go by using the audio and video recording capabilities to interview family members, the camera to “digitize” documents, and other apps to take notes at conferences and society meetings.
- Create a list of public libraries, state libraries, and academic libraries, for the place your ancestor lived. Identify resources they have that can benefit your research. Too far away to visit? Add to your list: digitized collections. Consult the library website for forms to request lookups or research. Talk with your reference librarian about the possibility of utilizing interlibrary loan.
- To find the library books you need from thousands of libraries worldwide, use WorldCat to search. Worldcat is the library catalog search for over 2 billion items. Enter your city or zip code to find books at a library nearest you.
- As you gather documents and information on your ancestors, take the time now to cite your sources. You might think you will remember where that birth information came from – but in reality, most genealogists admit that their one regret is they didn’t take the time to write down their source information.
- Someone out there may have researched your ancestor or has heirlooms. Find that unknown-to- you cousin by creating a blog or website. Post to that website information about your research and how to contact you. Make it easy for family and researchers to find you.
- Take a second look at that document that you have filed away. Take some time to abstract it (write down the important information like names and dates). Sometimes when you go back and look at a document more closely you find information that you missed the first time.
- Need help? Join your local genealogy society and ask a member for some help. Other genealogists love to talk research and it’s possible that someone there has researched the same problem or region that you are researching.
- Continue your quest to find your ancestors by committing to a genealogy education plan. Search for genealogical and historical periodicals to read, buy a new book, watch webinars, and attend conferences or lectures. Take copious notes and then commit to incorporating one new thing you learned into your personal research.
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!