Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pick an An Ancestor to Research

With all the resources which you have collected so far, you probably have a good idea
which ancestor you would like to know more about. It is wise to select one direct-line ancestor rather than trying to research several at a time. This way you can be sure that you do not get side-tracked and become discouraged or miss important details.

You will want to be sure you enter important details and sources into your PAF 5.2 database, or one of your choosing. We recently discussed the importance of entering information onto extraction forms, and we even included a link in the last post to several of my favorite free extraction forms.

Keep in mind also that as you search, you may not find records on your ancestor. You may find that you are only able to document a death and not the birth. It is important to become familiar with the spouse and siblings of your ancestor in case the documents that you need to find the previous generation name these individuals instead. I have used my collateral line many times to link back to the previous generation.

We are going to move next to our next phase of research. We will focus the next several posts on specific records, how to use them, and where they can be found. We will begin death records. Hopefully as you commit to following this process, you will find success you have not thought possible.

I began my own research with very little details. I have been able to find a great deal. I will not live to complete all the books that need to be written to preserve all I have found. I am hoping that by sharing what I have learned, you too will discover enough to satisfy your curiosity about you own heritage. I hope you will also preserve it for future generations. I firmly believe society today would benefit from the stories of faith and courage that are waiting to be told. We have the power to change the tide, one story at a time!