Before you start with your research in Genealogy, you must make sure you have a basic understanding of this field. A field that had been neglected and questioned by some till the 19th century, today it is one of the most important studies among huge amount of students. So what is it that a student must know before he starts off with his genealogical studies?
It is an interesting field that studies the family history of people and brings up some startling facts from their ancestral times.
There are basic things like name, birthplace, birthdates and migration trends that are used in this study.
Collection of genealogical facts has helped in determining some of the oldest family trees that people were not aware of.
Another mind-boggling fact that was recorded in the Guinness book of world records was the oldest family trees in the world. It was of Confucius and it has lasted for more than 2500 years.
There are various areas that genealogy studies and it can be applied in almost all the fields of research to help countries determine economical as well as cultural trends that have been prevailing in their country. It is through the genealogical studies that people were able to get more information about the old dynasties and nobles present in their country.
Generally people start with this at home and with time they start having a look at the history of different families from different countries. So before you start with your studies in the field of genealogy you must make sure that you keep recording the trends and patterns going on in a particular family or in a particular country. This proves to be helpful historically as well as economically. Bringing out these unknown information can be interesting too.
Genealogy is basically the study of tracing the family history of a particular person. There are various methods used by Genealogists to conduct the study. They take the help of genetic analysis, oral interviews, historical records and various other databases in their study. Huge amount of people have also taken up genealogy as their profession and work for various firms to conduct research on the lifestyles of previous generation. This helps in having a proper understanding of the religious outlook, socioeconomic conditions and migration trends of the past cultures.
If you are asked “who are you” or “where are you from” then you answer by telling them about their family history. This is basically where genealogy comes into play. They take the help of people’s surnames and their origins to conduct their study. There are family history societies that have been playing an important role in helping people know about the past cultures, their motivations and the migration trends. They keep public records and teach the budding researchers to help them study the field in-depth. This can be a very tedious job as one needs to make a research on the whole family history of a person that might date back to centuries.
Genealogy received recognition in the 19th century when more researchers came up with interesting studies conducted on the family history of some famous personalities. From time to time, there were questions raised on this study and people were always asking for a proof on the authenticity of this study. It mainly remained confiscated to nobles and rulers until the researchers got concrete proof on the family background of common people. The largest known family history till date is of Confucius, their family history has been listed in Guinness book of world records as it has been maintained for more than 2,500 years.
Start With Yourself And Work Backwards, Otherwise You Are Wasting Your Time
I cannot emphasize this enough – we’ve all heard tales of being related to random celebrities, past historians and anyone remotely famous. But sometimes there isn’t a shrapnel of truth to those stories. The easiest way to verify the information, is to always work backwards.
Want to be absolutely sure you are related to someone famous? Better check and triple check your information to be sure. People make mistakes all the time – it isn’t uncommon to figure out you are related to some hot shot person, only to find out much later that well, you really aren’t. People goof up all the time. More than one or 2 types of records are necessary to keep things the way they are, and if they aren’t you might not realise it.
Set multiple goals
Guess what, people fail to locate their ancestors all the time. Maybe you’re looking to find your long lost great-great-great grandfather, but you are unable to do so. Heck, let me be honest with you. A lot of the time, you will fail. Miserably. Happens much more often than you think is possible. The key to ensuring a long lasting line of success, is to just keep doing what you are already currently doing, and that is to keep hunting.
Work other family lines, more doors will open up for you. There are literally cases where you find exactly what you are looking for immediately, but sometimes you don’t get what you are looking for and keep on searching for years. Happens all the time, buddy.
Welcome back to our quick down and dirty tutorial on genealogy! Here are a couple of quick tips for you to keep pursuing:
Find Your Family Tree Online Here is a great guide you can use that goes into the topic in more detail – just take it with a grain of salt though – it doesn’t always work.
Try visiting family historical centers and see what you can dig up there. This is usually a good spot to try out, because most places would have a large collection of genealogical information. I like to think of these quests like treasure hunts – you never know what you might find in these places so keep poking around!
Try looking up older (and sometimes much harder to find) records, such as wills, marriage and death records, immigration counts, wills etc. This could all be found at your local community centres. Try it!
Above all else, continue to keep documenting your findings! This is very important because you never know when one fact might lead to another. This almost happens at random and you just never know sometimes. You could be related to the President for all you know.
This is pretty much a clear cut rinse and repeat process. Once you are sufficiently sure you have enough information on one of your ancestors, go ahead and start on the other ones.
Welcome to our brand new site! In this first installment, I’d like to get you started on a fun little exercise that I think would really help you out.
Have you ever wanted a collection of your own family tree? Here’s a quick 10 step process on how to do so!
Begin by gathering stuff that you might have of you and your family. It literally could be anything – first of all you might wanna look through the attic or basement for clues, there could always be something there in it for you. Things like the filing cabinet, stuff at the back of the closet might be relevant. If you wanna ask your existing family members if they have anything, feel free to do so. Make copies of postcards and stuff.
Next thing you might wanna start doing is interview your friends and relatives. This is a quick step you can knock out of the park really quickly. Start by doing your parents, and then moving on to extended family, and go from there. Remember to keep an open mind when interviewing someone – this is a key skill that is vital to your tree – don’t try to impose knowledge on anybody you’ll just get shot down and ignored, and your old relatives won’t think too much of you either.
Write every bit of information down! This will definitely help you sort out what is important, what is not. If you are unfamiliar with what is correct, there are many genealogical forms you can fill out to get you a quick overview of what you are doing here, making your research progress hell of a lot easier to deal with.
Next up, start tracking down your family! Start by going with a single surname, individual or family. Then making sure you keep your research on track, don’t miss out on any of the important details as you’ll just get blown away with all the information.
The internet is your friend. There are many good places to start here, such as pedigree databases and multiple freelancers who are willing to help you out for information. Make sure you keep a detailed track of everything you find of course. This is always going to be helpful later. Remember that the information is going to be fragmented and all over the place. This is normal and there’s nothing to worry about here.
We shall continue our quest in part 2 of this series!