THE VERY FIRST STEP:
My mother always says ‘work begun is half done’ and when it comes to genealogy, there was never a truer word said. Here are some helpful and easy steps to begin your journey of discovery (these tips may seem obvious and quite basic but it always surprises me just how many people overlook these simple first steps):
- Chat with relatives (especially those of the older generations) write everything down, even the information you may think is insignificant. Again, the most vague of leads may be also be the one that breaks through that brick wall!
- Look through the attic; through old cases, boxes, chests etc… Keep a log of any interesting/important documents you may find. Note: Look even in the places you would think couldn’t possibly contain any important family documents! For example, my grandmother had an old family document (a one hundred year old mortgage document relating to her previous 200 year old family home signed by my great grandfather) …this, she kept in an old corn flakes box!
- Did I mention keep a tidy journal logging everything you come across? Write everything down in chronological order to determine which is the strongest lead.
After all the asking around and ‘treasure’ hunting is done, you will likely be a few steps further down the road and you will surely be keen to find out more.