When working on your genealogy, here are some tips and best practices to keep in mind:
1. Start with the known.
Begin with yourself, getting your birth certificate and other records. Then get the records of your parents, and so on, backwards.
2. Talk to family members.
Ask your relatives about your family history. Often, family members remember stories or information, or possess documents, that can help start you on your way.
3. Write everything down.
You can start with a simple notebook or a genealogy program on your computer, but you'll want to have one place where you keep all of your information.
4. Write dates in a standardized format.
Write dates as 23 Feb 1890. This will leave no question as to year, month, and day of any event.
5. Keep a research log.
You can use a pre-formatted form, a computer, or another notebook, but it's important to list every resource you have checked and the information you did and did not find.
What to Bring on a Genealogy Research Trip
Nothing is worse than arriving at the library and finding that the needed information is left at home. Focus your research plan to be prepared. Here are items to have on a to-bring list:
- All information about the family being questioned, even if it seems more than necessary.
- Laptop computer.
- Pencils, notepad, sticky notes. Bring pencils to use when accessing library materials – pens are not allowed. Please use sticky notes only on your own papers, not library items.
- Empty file folders to hold the photocopies you'll make.
- Change for the photocopy machine. Copies are 10¢ per page.
- Magnifying glass for hard-to-read manuscripts and copies.
Hire a Professional
Do you need help tracing your ancestry? The Dyer Memorial Library is pleased to recommend these Professional Genealogists who can assist you with your research goals.