“a record or account of the ancestry and descent of a person, family, group, etc.”
Over the past 20 years or so I’ve been researching my family tree, I’ve dispelled long held family myths about Native American heritage, found distant uncles buried overseas from WWI, and uncovered the occasional family secret that nobody ever talked about.
Here I will share some of my findings for my direct ancestral lines.
The best advice I can offer anyone looking to build out their family tree is to talk with your parents and grandparents. They are an invaluable source of information, and it is infinitely easier to ask them questions now rather than digging through old photos and letters once they have passed. If you can, record their stories of growing up, how they met their spouse, and started their families.
The next piece of advice I have relates to online ancestry sites. Never blindly accept any ‘hints’ that may pop up on family tree websites, unless you are able to fully research the hint & verify that it applies to your family. It takes about 5 minutes to ‘discover’ that you are linked to someone who has a family tree going back to the 1200s and has several monarchs.
Finally, document everything you do find & verify. Even if it’s just a page/line number notation somewhere, or a URL to something you found. You will inevitably hit roadblocks, and need to step away from whichever line you are tracing. Leaving yourself notes in addition to any content you have found will make it much easier to pick up where you left off, and it will provide a citation trail for anyone you may share your tree with.
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