Table of Contents
- 1 How To Start Your Family Tree Research
- 2 What Tools Do I Need For Family History Research?
- 3 Reasons DNA Test Is Necessary For Family Tree Research
- 4 How To Prepare For Family Tree Research
- 5 Mistakes To Look Out For In Family Tree Research
- 6 Get Set on An Explorative Journey
You can conduct a successful family tree research by acquiring the necessary tools, formulating a plan, and consulting a professional genealogist.
However, conducting genealogy is easily said than done, and finding accurate results requires expert maneuvers around the many twists and turns.
Luckily, experts at RecordClick have created this guide, touching on the main areas that can guarantee authentic findings about your ancestry.
Besides highlighting the crucial resources, this guide will offer tips on best preparations and costly mistakes to avoid.
- Successful genealogy research requires proper planning and setting the right objectives.
- Costly mistakes common in genealogy studies include assuming every piece of information is accurate and failing to consult a professional.
- With the assistance of a professional genealogist, you’re sure to topple any brick walls and get authentic data about your ancestry.
How To Start Your Family Tree Research
Your journey should start with identifying the main objective. Is your exploration aimed at connecting with your roots, learning history, or building a family tree?
A clear objective for your endeavor provides guidance and significantly saves resources and time. Besides, a clear goal helps you decide on the best methodology to quickly and surely reach your destination.
Our detailed review on how to start your genealogy research from scratch provides the best tips to ensure you start on the right footing.
What Tools Do I Need For Family History Research?
Authentic genealogy can only be guaranteed when you utilize online databases, websites, libraries, archives, and DNA tests.
Online databases and websites have been the game changer in genealogy as they help anyone find valuable records. As a result, it has become easy to find the exact ancestor or date in the records, contrary to how the traditional method work.
Therefore, it is advisable to prioritize online resources for genealogy information before heading to the National Archives. Sites like FamilySearch and Ancestry.com have proved helpful in finding classified genealogy records.
Our review of the best online databases and websites will help determine which site benefits your research objective.
While online resources have taken the world by storm, you can’t underestimate physical archives and libraries’ influence on your genealogy research.
They serve as treasure troves of yet-to-be-published records and have assistants ready to help you find what you want.
Local libraries are usually the custodians of genealogy information specific to your area. In contrast, National archives and libraries in large universities may have military, immigration, adoption records, etc.
Another practice that is proving effective in tracing ancestry family trees is genealogy societies. These historical communities at the regional and local levels have turned out to be goldmines of genealogy information, including relevant photos and documents.
Our review of Genealogy societies will help you know how to join one and if joining a genealogy is really the best option for your case.
Reasons DNA Test Is Necessary For Family Tree Research
DNA tests have proven crucial tools for authenticating your ancestry. Besides providing the genetic makeup across different people, DNA tests offer insights into your ethnicity estimates and maternal and paternal lines.
The only caveat when dealing with DNA tests for genealogy is the privacy implications and the possibility of unexpected discoveries. So, you need to test with a reputable and company.
Read this comparison of AncestryDNA and 23andMe, the top two DNA testing companies globally, to decide the best for your case.
How To Prepare For Family Tree Research
Family heritage exploration requires adequate preparations to start and achieve the set objectives. It would be best to have a plan to collect your information, store it and audit yourself along the way.
Let’s walk down the plan.
Define Your Objectives
Once you have exact reasons for exploring your family history, the next step is establishing where to find the information. To find out if your ancestor was a military officer, you should look for military genealogy records.
Careful note-taking and detailed documentation are the cornerstones of accurate family heritage research.
Here are the six principles to adhere to for accurate documentation
- Source Citations: Take note of all the places you find information, including the nature of source, title, publication date, repository, etc.
- Transcribe: If you encounter handwritten documents crucial for your endeavor, transcribe them carefully for counterchecking and future use.
- Timelines: Create a chronologic timeline for every ancestor based on their life events.
- Family Tree Sheets: Use family tree templates to record crucial family data, such as dates for significant events in every individual’s life and their locations.
- File Naming: Establish a standard file naming system for your endeavor to make it easy to retrieve documents, photos, notes, etc.
- Folders and Binders: Whether using online or physical storage means, the binders, folders, and subfolders should be categorized and clearly labeled.
Remember to leverage online platforms for efficiency and reliability. For example, digital note-taking tools like OneNote and Evernote can help keep your records organized and searchable.
Besides, genealogy software such as Family Tree Maker and Ancestral Quest can help manage and organize your data.
Mistakes To Look Out For In Family Tree Research
Genealogy research is fraught with pitfalls that can betray the entire process and the findings. Experienced genealogists at RecordClick have mapped out the costly but disguised mistakes that could lead you to disappointment.
Doing It Yourself
Conducting genealogy research without the proper guidance can lead to wrong assumptions or a brick wall. However, with the assistance of a professional genealogist, you’re sure to topple any brick walls and get authentic data about your ancestry.
Here are the five ways hiring a professional genealogist can save you big time.
- Access to resources: Professional genealogists can access publicly-unavailable documents, making retrieving classified information easier. Besides, they do all the record search work, saving you time and stress of record keeping.
- Breakthroughs: Expert genealogists have the experience and knowledge to break any brick wall your encounter.
- Expertise: Professional genealogists are best placed to handle unique family history explorations involving foreigners, immigrants, ex-military, etc. They have the skills to navigate complex challenges and decipher historical documents for accurate findings.
- Documentation: An expert genealogist will provide family tree charts and carefully document every step.
- Time Efficiency: Professional genealogists are the game changers regarding your time in your family history exploration. With their expertise, it will be easy to find records and solutions, allowing you to attend to other commitments in your life.
Assuming Everything You Find is Accurate
Going by every piece of information your find is one of the biggest mistakes in genealogy. You must verify everything you encounter, as records are prone to human errors, inaccurate family lore, identical names, etc.
Every piece of information you see may be wrong, no matter how convincing it looks. Therefore, cross-reference your information from multiple sources to ensure accuracy and consistency. If possible, rely on primary sources like wills, marriage licenses, and birth certificates, as they will likely be more accurate.
Get Set on An Explorative Journey
At RecordClick, we understand the importance of this genealogy journey because it’s the essence of what we do.
Our team of professional genealogists understands the intricacies of genealogy research and is dedicated to helping you with guidance, resources, and tools.
So, if you’re set for this genealogy journey, leverage the free consultation at RecordClick and uncover family stories depicting your unique heritage.