Starting anything new can be intimidating, but something about genealogy seems extra daunting and challenging. For many reasons, people shy away from getting started. Just like the gym or a new diet, you just need to jump in. Once you’ve started, you’ll see that it really isn’t as scary as you thought it would be and that it is actually fun! To make it easier on you, we’ve come up with five simple steps to help you get going on your family history adventure.
- Gather What You Already Know
This whole process is a lot easier and goes a lot more smoothly the more organized you are. This is where you must start. Gather what you already know, grab all the documents you already have, scan all your items, write it all down and map it all out.
- Gather What Others Know
This is a very important step and an incredibly valuable resource to gaining new insight. Interview as many people as you can. Reach out to your extended relatives for any information or documentation they may have. Whether it’s a previously unknown detail or element to a story or information about a relative you hadn’t heard much about. It’s important to get all the details you can.
- Focus Your Search
Determine where you would like to start and what you’d like to learn. Focusing your searches and findings helps you stay organized and increases your productivity. You should settle on one – maybe two – families or people to focus on rather than trying to take on your entire family tree. Think of genealogy like a large puzzle. Spend time putting different sections of the puzzle together. Rather than looking at the puzzle in a big-picture kind of way, focus it down to smaller sections. Once you’ve completed several smaller sections, you can start connecting the sections together. The bigger picture will start to come together!
- Use Your Resources
Keep in mind you’re not the first person to do this sort of research! People have already pioneered the path. So, use the resources provided. Many databases and tools are available free of cost. There are even websites about your specific ethnic heritage or particular parts of a certain country. A solid starting place is the U.S. Federal census, as it is the largest resource for family history. Be sure to check out the “Database” tab on our website. We’ve gathered several helpful and informational links.
- Seek Help
Appoint a professional company such as Price & Associates to help you with your genealogical services and needs! Price & Associates is able to trace most family histories back four or five generations quickly and without difficulty. With additional help, Price & Associates has even been able to trace information 30 generations back! Price & Associates have been helping families discover their heritage and have assisted thousands of families to organize, chart, and verify their ancestral lines. To learn more, view the “Services” tab or contact us for a free consultation.