18 December 2014

Getting started

I have a close friend who asked me for some ideas for his Family History research. He has been doing genealogy work for several years but is now in a position to dedicate more time to it and he also gets to instruct others on how to start their own research. We are both LDS and he is currently the High Councilor assigned to Family History in our Stake. He asked me for a few pointers and I began to write him an email and thought this would make a great post for the blog...so here it goes.

I am trying to restrain myself and not flood you with useless information but...

Where to start.
  1. Gather together the information you have that pertains to your Family History.
  2. Make sure that you are registered on FamilySearch.
  3. Make sure you open accounts on the affiliate sites. Use the https://familysearch.org/partneraccess link to access those sites.
  4. Download a genealogy program. I know that there are so many online resources that it seems funny to have your own database on your computer but the downside of working online, especially in FamilySearch, is that others can delete your work. I use Legacy, there is a free version you can download at http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/. I have also heard good things about Rootsmagic they also have a free trial you can download at https://www.rootsmagic.com/.
  5. Fill out the My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together booklet. There is an online version that plugs in information that is already in FamilySearch. You can find the online version here. You can also get a pdf version of the booklet here.
  6. Begin to enter information into your genealogy software. Make sure that you do not copy information without a source. Family History without sources is just a story. Most people have the first person in their database be themselves. This is a natural starting point. I started my database with person #1 as my oldest son Tyler. This way I can add information from my wife's family and my family all into one database AND when I pass my work to my children they will have one file for their whole family. There are some disadvantages to doing it this way but I have found that it has worked for me.
I know this is very basic. I you have questions please ask. I by no means have all the answers but I am surprised what I have picked up over the last few years for doing work myself.

I have posted my favorite Internet Resources and Blogs into the other pages on this blog. You can access them using the tabs at the top of the page. The right side of the page also displays my RebelMouse feed and links to the newest posts from the blogs I follow. My RebelMouse feed is where I post links to websites with new information so I can easily find the information again. You can scroll the feedbox to see more information from that feed.