Monday, July 03, 2006

I have been adding my daughter-in-laws family to my database and the information she has is quite copious. It is a mishmash of family sheets, photocopies, names, dates, and , and... There was a semi effort to co-ordinate the information but for anyone looking to update their family information it is a mess. In addition the family used and kept poor photocopies of original information even though some of it was totally illegible.

Don't get me wrong the information is valuable and gives me a good starting point to have something for my future grandchildren. I was wondering how I would start this blog and this gives me a launching point. When providing information for your relatives it is important to remember that someone else might want to use the information that you have developed. If you use photocopies make sure they are clear and information included can be read. When telling the family stories have a section behind the family tree information in chronological order so that it can be added after getting all the names and marriages in the correct order first.

The first order of business is to take the current generation and build your parents information. Second, add your siblings and their children to your parents information. Third add your grandparents; and so forth until you get all the information listed in correct generational order. It is at that point I go back and add the spouses and their children on down the descendancy line. This becomes important in the earliest generations because in my research families used and continued to use the same first names for generations. Once you have all the generations in order it becomes easier to add information and then to get your pictures, photocopies and and other information in order in a section behind the FAMILY TREE.

At the time I add names and dates of events I don't want to stop to find the next person in line. I want to add the historical fact after I have established the family line from the original ancestor. In doing it this way the history makes more sense and I get a better feel of personalities these historical facts display. I know there is more than one way to do things but this helps to get the information listed if someone was to ask a question while you are building your family history.

Make copies of all your documentation that you have. If you use sourse information make sure you document the sourse and how someone else may get a hold of that information. If you use information passed on from a participant of the historical event make sure that you note the date, time and place you received that information. Such as over the years my father told me stories about his maternal grandparents who raised him and little anecdotes that he got from his family. I have noted that information and indicated that I got it from the original sourse that connot be duplicated. It becomes better if you can get a secondary sourse to confirm it by something written by someone else or told by someone else. It then goes from the realm of rumor to more established as probable fact.

Remember you are writing history. History is something that can be verified.

Here ends the first lesson in family history. Family history is what this blog is all about. Happy research - Scott Hendricks

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