Friday, April 18, 2014

Four things I've learned in family tree research

   I spent some time with family recently and used some of that time to go through old family photos.
   Looking at those photos was like a walk down memory lane. It has inspired me to revisit my family tree research.
   I am an amateur at family tree research. I mess around with it periodically and tend to get frustrated and put it aside whenever I cannot break through a brick wall. Here are some things I’ve learned while navigating the world of genealogy.

Talk with family
   Websites can provide a wealth of information, but you can’t really get a sense of a person from an online article. I visited with an aunt the other day and hearing her talk about family members really helped me get an appreciation for my ancestry. Visiting with her – she recently turned 85 – provided a great perspective that I just can’t get from a website.

Look through old bibles
   Look through old family papers and bibles for names and dates. I did this a long time ago with my mom’s bible. I copied down names and dates of births, deaths and marriages. I did the same thing at my aunt’s house just the other day. Only this time, instead of writing down the information, I took photos with my phone.

Collaborate with family
   I have found that collaborating with siblings and cousins can help as well. I have older siblings who remember family reunions and older relatives. I make sure to take note of their memories. I also have cousins who have done some research of their own. Comparing notes is a good way to break through any brick walls in genealogy research.

Pay attention to dates
   Pay attention to dates; this includes dates on photographs. Long before the digital age, some photos, when processed, would have a year printed somewhere on the edge or back of the image. I discovered this going through piles of photos recently. In addition, I found that my older relatives were real good about writing names and dates on the photos. I spent some time scanning the photos so I could have them on my computer. I made a point to make sure any names or dates scanned as well.

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