Five Activities To Start Your Family History Research

1. The first place to start your family history research is your house.
2. While exploring your house, look for heirlooms, pictures, documents, letters, or any other kind of personal effect that would have clues to people and happenings in your family.
3. Contact the oldest member of your family and arrange to have an interview.
4. While interviewing the oldest member, make sure to write or record all the stories, events, and dates mentioned in the conversation.
5. Sometimes the oral information collected from family members is incorrect, but it gives you a clue of where to look to prove or disprove the information.

Would anyone else like to add ideas on starting our research? What is the first thing you do when starting to research a new branch of the family?


About hoosierbeth

I have been researching my ancestors, your ancestors and everybody else's since 1981.
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2 Responses to Five Activities To Start Your Family History Research

  1. currentdescendent says:

    I have a lot of photos, so I go through the photos and look for notes on them and clues within the photos themselves. Then I try to connect those with “hard data” from documents I find through ancestrydotcom and other places. good idea about searching the house for heirlooms.

  2. hoosierbeth says:

    Thanks!! The reason I know about searching the house was from finding an old box full of family documents hidden away in a closet in my grandparents’ house that I inherited. Through the generations, they kept any kind of document they thought important. That was how I got hooked in learning about my family. I also have my family’s Bible from the 1860’s that has everyone registered on the birth/death/marriage/grandchildren pages. But…that was all the “fun stuff”. When I started to seriously research, I found “unhappy/awkward stuff” that I had to unravel and document.
    But, that’s how genealogy rolls! 🙂

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