3. Contact your immediate family first:[edit | edit source]
- In the step above, note the information that is missing and decide on the family member that might have that information.
- Record any useful information and stories they provide.
- Ask about copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates as well as journals, letters, photos, and other records that might be available.
- Find out if they know other people you should contact.
- Use this new gathered information to fill in the missing information on your Family Tree Chart and Family Group Charts. This will give you a guide as to where to go next.
- In Return-offer to share with what you find and put together.
4. Search other sources.[edit | edit source]
- A guide of places to find family history information can be found Here
- Gather your records starting with the records you already have, and organize them in one place.
- Explore online sources starting with FamilySearch.org/search for free access to family history records such as census, birth, death, marriage, military records, etc.
- See the Tips for Using FamilySearch.org/search below to best learn how to use FamilySearch.org Search.
- Get personal help by visiting our local FamilySearch family history center for free personal help and many other valuable services.
- Center staff may also direct you to online resources as well as other local community resources.
5. Visit the FamilySearch Library to:[edit | edit source]
- Access Premium Websites to search for records
- Free access to Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, Find My Past, and more.
- Personal help to direct you in your research process.
- Free, hands on, training classes
6. Take the newly found information:[edit | edit source]
- Add to your pedigree on Family Tree - To ADD and individual review the article Adding Family Members to Family Tree
- NOTE-Family Tree is very unique with only one person per deceased ancestor in the tree. Unlike all other database trees where everyone has their own tree with thousands of the same John Michael Smith born in 1815 are scattered throughout those tree, Family Tree only has ONE. WHY is this important? Collaboration for the best sources and information and whatever stories, pictures or memories one person adds, all who are connected to John Michael Smith get to enjoy those memories and don't have to search into hundreds of individual tree to find. SAVES hours of duplicating work when we all collaborate.
Ongoing genealogical research is the process of repeating, cycle after cycle, the five steps of the research discussed in this article. With each cycle you should have succeeded in meeting one or more research objectives, but to fulfill your goals, and ultimately your quest, you will want to go back through the cycle numerous times. Returning to Step 1, you can further evaluate what you now have and if family members can provide any more information. Then you can move right into a new research objective in Step 2.
Genealogical and family history research has proved to be a rewarding pastime for hundreds of thousands of persons throughout the world. Reviewing and following these principles should help make your research more efficient and easier.