This Article is About
family tree research
long lost relatives
family history research
wedding invitations
misconceptions
bank accounts
aunts
uncles
Family Tree Research - Where Do I Start?
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Family Tree Research  -  Where Do I Start?

As people are sitting at home in front of their televisions avidly following programs such as "Find My Family" and "Who Do You Think You Are?", there has been a surge of renewed interest by individuals wanting to trace their roots and build their family tree. While these programs generate a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement at the prospect of discovering ancestors and linking with long lost relatives, many are at a loss as to how to start the research process and the right way to go about finding their family. In fact, long held misconceptions can actually thwart their progress and turn researching into a confusing nightmare.

Firstly, it's important to understand that researching your family tree doesn't have to cost you hundreds of dollars, or require the services of an experienced genealogist. Many are deterred from even making a start because they believe they won't have the money to fund their research. Certainly there will be some expense if you want to buy certificates or subscribe to research websites, however you are at liberty to choose whether you want to follow that path or not. In most cases, alternative resources are available.

The next important step is to realize that you already have many documents that can assist you with your family history research, without even having to leave your home. Most people have documents such as birth and marriage certificates, passports, bank accounts, letters, emails, cards, wedding invitations, family bibles and photographs lying around their homes without recognizing their genealogical value. And let's not forget the living aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins that are a significant and highly valuable resource. You will notice their absence when they're gone and you can no longer ask them their parent's names! Take a moment to consider what you have before you start worrying about what you may need!

Always remember that your family history research begins with YOU. Don't fall into the trap of believing the old family legend that you are related to that famous explorer that discovered Australia! So many people have spent time and money tracing the bloodlines of a famous individual only to find that in fact they are not related at all. By starting your family tree with yourself, you are basing your family history research on solid and known facts and working from there. It's a much safer option!

When you do start researching and recording your family findings, always remember to use standard record keeping practices that are associated with genealogical forms. If you are unsure as to what they are, research them and find out! For example, it will make a huge difference to your research if you capitalize surnames and leave no room for confusion if your ancestor's name is Michael JOHN. Likewise you would never record a date as, for example, 5/6/40. In the United States you might think that was May 6, 1940 whereas in Australia 5/6/40 could be misconstrued as June 5, 1840. The year needs to be clearly entered as well as the day and month. A correctly recorded entry would read 5 JUN 1740.

These are just some of the things you should consider when first starting to research your family tree. Unfortunately they are not always obvious and unless you are guided by experienced researchers these may be some of the pitfalls that you might encounter. Family history research is an interesting journey that can take you to unusual and amazing places, but just as you would prepare for an exciting holiday, please make sure you put in the necessary preparation before you embark on the family research ride of your life!


Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Seven Great Principles for Family Tree Research
Every Quest Starts With The First Step I began my sojourn of researching my family tree with one page of college ruled notebook paper, containing a few scribbled notes plus a very small list of names written on it. Now after more than fifteen years of research, I have a…
By: William6 in  Home and Family  >  Genealogy Family Trees   Sep 04, 2013  
5
  Likes: 2

Family Trees-Using the Internet to Find Yours
It is an interesting pastime, an exciting hobby and for some, a very rewarding career choice. Imagine getting to research family trees and uncover the roots of families further back than might have been accomplished by one person alone. Thanks to the computer, the ability to research family trees is…
By: Ryan Ellis in  Home and Family   Jan 21, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Arizona Pioneer History - How to Conduct State And Local Native American Family History Research for Free
Native Americans are rarely associated with the term "pioneer history." But why? Each tribe was integral to the tapestry of American and southwest history. During westward expansion, food, textiles and language were but a few of the influences which early settlers embraced and which still influence us today. We hope…
By: Fenxx Publishing LLC in  Home and Family  >  Genealogy Family Trees   Aug 14, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Arizona Pioneer History – How to Conduct Native American Family History Research for Free
This article is the second in a series aimed at helping you conduct free Arizona Pioneer History and genealogy research. It will concentrate on locating Native American records or resources. Before beginning, we acknowledge that a debate exists regarding which term (“Indian,” “Native American” or “Indigenous People”) should be used.…
By: Fenxx Publishing LLC in  Home and Family  >  Genealogy Family Trees   Aug 11, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Funeral Services Sheffield, Say Goodbye the Proper Way
There are happy moments and sad moments in life and they all require a proper ceremony, proper rituals. When dealing with someone’s loss, it is practically impossible for you to focus on anything else but on grieving. This is when funeral plans Sheffield specialists come in. They can take care…
By: Johny Deanes in  Home and Family  >  Genealogy Family Trees   Oct 22, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

Genealogy Can Be Fun: 3 Resources
In Part I we learned how to get started in genealogy by talking with family members, reading old journals, studying photographs and looking at recordings in the family Bible. In Part 2 we looked at names and their origins and how they can lead to locations. In Part 3 we…
By: John T Jones, Ph.D. in  Home and Family  >  Genealogy Family Trees   May 12, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Genealogy Can Be Fun: 1 Getting Started
Most of us have some interest in our ancestors. My great grandfather was born on the plains on the Sweetwater River in Wyoming in 1847. A month later, in October, they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. They had passed Brigham Young who headed the Pioneer Party at Fort Bridger…
By: John T Jones, Ph.D. in  Home and Family  >  Genealogy Family Trees   May 12, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

Genealogy Can Be Fun: 2 Family Names
In part 1 we described how to get started in genealogy. Now let's look at family names. Family names often have simple origins. Johnson means John's son. Fox may refer to a person who was sly or clever. Redd or White are colors. An originator my have had red hair.…
By: John T Jones, Ph.D. in  Home and Family  >  Genealogy Family Trees   May 12, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Genealogy is A Wonderful Hobby
I am a Genealogy Researcher. Both for fun and self employment. There is very little else that I like to do so much. I combine the Genealogy Research with digital photography and personal publishing. It is an unbeatable combination. I never knew much about my family tree before. Now thanks…
By: Rachel Johnson in  Home and Family  >  Genealogy Family Trees   Aug 22, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

Getting In Touch With Your Inner Ancestry
When I started Genealogical Research, I inherited several different hobbies. The first hobby was to find ancestors and the places they lived their lives and died. Which was not usually the same place. Little by little I inherited the richness of my ancestors lives with stories found in books or…
By: Rachel Johnson in  Home and Family  >  Genealogy Family Trees   Sep 28, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

Tips to Find Your Ancestry
If you want to find your ancestry, chances are you are going to need some help. I have to tell you I often sought help to find my ancestry when I first started doing research for my family tree. There is certainly no shame in that. In fact, even after…
By: Lisa Hamilton in  Home and Family  >  Genealogy Family Trees   Jan 14, 2014  
0
  Likes: 0

How to Research Your Family Tree
If you would like to research your own family history, but don't know where to start, this article may be able to help you. I will start with where your can build a family tree. There is a plethora of family tree software. You can google family tree software. There…
By: Rachel Johnson in  Home and Family  >  Genealogy Family Trees   Aug 22, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1122    Report this Article