This article is part of the Genealogy topic. Below are more articles in this topic.
Article by Danny Shehan
1. Genealogy is a research project. Treat it as one. Learn from the mistakes of others. Discuss your objective and targets with others who have researched family trees in the country that you want to. Look up online groups. Remember a good game plan will make you a more effective genealogist and give you a more complete family tree.
2. Speak to as many family members as you can. Ask them for the names of family members that they know, any old addresses or any towns that they ever heard of. Record everything, from family jobs to interests and reasons they emigrated. Look through photo albums, all personal and records that can be found in your family homes. Many genealogical searches hinge on a letter found in an attic or an old diary
3. Everything should be backed up by facts, have each lead confirmed before you follow it. Tracing family tree’s can be challenging enough without, chasing a wrong lead.
4. Make a start – write down all the family members that you know of on a family tree. Write down the place of birth, of each person, their date of Birth etc. Keep it brief though. Further records can be made and kept in a notebook. Make sure that your records and family tree are clearly kept and well organised.
5. Potential sources include: Churches, Cemeteries, the Family history centre of the Church of the Latter day saints. There are public archives and libraries that are focused in on family history.
6. Family names. You may find that that you come across records that give different spellings for Irish surnames. This is because up to the 1850’s, a majority of Irish people would have spoken Irish rather than English. Official records were recorded in English though, the spelling can vary as many people would not have used their “English” name often, and would often be unsure of the exact version. Remember to be aware that many Irish families would have nicknames, often in Irish, that would have described a family trait, characteristic, or just as a division between several families with the same name, such as the bui’s etc. Also a person could be called Dan Jack pats, in day to day use, whilst not being their full birth name – Jacky being the father, Patsy, being the grandfather.
7. Birth dates should be give several years leeway both ways. Dates of Birth were often not recorded till years after, the birth and even then were often not remembered correctly.