Genealogy Tutorial 1
Getting the Data From Relatives
The very first task when attempting to set up your initial Genealogy Data, or more descriptively your Family History, is your parents, uncles and aunts, and if your lucky enough, your Grandparents and their siblings. This requires a very judiciousm use of your empathy. Your elderly relatives may have been through some major traumatic event which they do not whish to remember, and it may involve other members of the family, so diplomacy is a tool to be used to try and extract the information that is essential to your project. Photographs of deceased relatives you may consider important, offer to label them descrptively for your elderly relative so that on their passing the family is not left with a whole bunch of nameless faces. By descriptively, I mean, detail the name or names of the subjects, the year and place, and if possible, their age at the time of the photograph.
This of course is easier said than done, the relatives may be on the other side of the country, or like my experience, in another country on the other side of the world. The Auntie whom you have found out may be an unknown quantity to you, you only have a vague recollection from when you were a child. Now is the time to make friends with your extended family.
Let us assume you have gatthered enough information on your family (name, birth date and place, marriage date and place, death date and place) what do we do next?
Tools Of a Genealogist
The tools you'll need on the physical side is a notepad and pencil, and a tape recorder (small hand held) if available, for the interview. These days the information would be best put onto computer file. This I do with PAF (Personal Ancestral File) version 4, available from the FamilySearch website for free if you download it, or on CD. There are other excellent software, but make sure they are compatible with the GEDCOM format, this is a standard now for the exchange of ancestral information.
Sources For Genealogists
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids