Starting your family research journey is an exciting and rewarding experience. Here are three tips to help make your research easier:
1.Have a designated online space for your family tree:
Whether you choose a website like Ancestry.com or FindMyPast or prefer a separate software like Family Tree Maker, settling on one specific place to build your family tree is essential for keeping your research tidy. If you have your tree spread out over different platforms it makes it very difficult to quickly access your facts and can result in having dated facts on one profile and updated info on the other….overall, just very confusing!
2. Try before you buy:
When starting your research, try out several different platforms with their free trial option. Before signing up, make note of the places your family are from and any particular records you will need access to, e.g Jewish records or Catholic records. Do one trial at a time and make notes of which one has the best records and functions for your needs. Of course if you are in a position to you can have subscriptions to multiple sites, but for those doing genealogy on a budget this is a great way to find the site that’s right for you with little or no financial outlay.
I have written another blog post on free trials which you can read here
3. Create a notebook:
A good notebook is an essential piece of equipment for the genealogist. What’s important though is that your notebook works for you; for example, you may prefer to have separate notebooks for each side of your family or a particular ancestor you are heavily researching.
Another great method is taking notes on a special file on your computer or tablet. Again, it’s all about what works for you. Personally, I work best with a mixture of both. I use a paper notebook for jotting down thoughts, theories, lists and ideas and places I found info or want to try out. I then use a file on the computer for recording where I find information since I can easily copy and paste the record specifics. Since I do genealogy professionally I also use research logs to record where I found information and any notes, but more on that in a future blog post!
Another method you can use is a ring binder, which is something I have not used before but would like to try out.
To wrap up, the most important thing about doing genealogy is doing it in a way that works for you, and not judging each other about our budgets or our methods.
Happy researching and I’ll talk to you soon,