As elsewhere, getting started it would be wise to be guided by some guidelines and unspoken rules that greatly facilitate the study of genealogy and conceive good habits at the beginning of the search for information about ancestors.
1. Take into account pronunciation
In the old days, people could not write, and many could barely read, so the name sounds more important than the way it is written.
Use various characters or search engines to help you find your spelling.
2. Do not allow anything
Check all the facts, do not assume that a particular document can be either true or not, always try to find another independent source that will confirm your guesses as truthfully as possible.
For example, do not allow:
- Your ancestors got married;
- Census information is accurate;
- All entries are correct;
- All the life facts of your ancestors were recorded.
3. Be prudent
Never write false data in your genealogy records.
Yes, write down thoughts when it comes to recording information that your ancestors provide you, especially when data is provided by living relatives.
4. Always indicate sources, even if the information contradicts each other
The longer you study the family tree, the more you will have conflicting data. Conflicting facts can be part of the puzzles that are needed to prove or refute the theory. Be consistent when writing down your sources.
There are standard forms of citation, but if you create your own format for listing sources, then be consistent in this. If you want descendants to be able to trace your steps then always refer to your sources.
5. Most dates are approximate
It’s normal to say that someone was born around 1845 or died in May 1915, if you have no information or when the documents have different dates.
Which date is correct? ALL.
6. If you’re not sure, speak approximately
Future genealogies will be grateful for your honesty if you simply say that you cannot prove a specific fact, but admit that it is true. Never make up facts. Never.
7. You cannot do everything online
Yes, you like to conduct searches online, and there is nothing better than using a computer to find new data, view electronic images of original documents and even contact relatives. For genealogies, the Internet will never replace work in the library, courts, archives and historical organizations.
Make the most of online. But then turn off the computer and “go.”
8. If it’s online doesn’t mean it’s true
The Internet is an interesting thing, but it is filled with a ton of information. Do not make a mistake by believing in anything found online at face value. Check with other information, even if you paid for the information found online. See the source if possible.
9. Submit your research
No matter how many years you have spent researching your family tree, your search will never end. Plan, to the extent possible, a plan for transferring your research to the next generation of researchers. Leave great notes, sites of all your sources, explain your scheme … leave your researchers the kind of research you would like to find.
10. Don’t bury the story with you
Tell stories as fully and accurately as possible. Genealogy is not just research. Genealogy is stories and that the inheritance of ancestors lives on for generations to come. Without history, research will be of no use to anyone. The legacy of your ancestors is in your able hands.
11. DNA is not a trump card
DNA is one of many possible sources of information that can be used to confirm or deny a connection. When deciphering the results, a person may be mistaken, thus providing false information. DNA should always be used in conjunction with another source.
12. Everything you cover online will be taken
You need to accept the fact that any family information that you post online will be “borrowed” or stolen and you probably won’t get paid for your hard work.
Good luck in finding.