Rules for starting genealogy
Start with a good genealogy form: Pulaski Co. Mo. has good worksheets at
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mopulask/forms.htm Start with individual forms until they get bulky then add charts to put the family together. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel; use forms that are free on the Internet.
Don’t jump in and buy a genealogy program until you are sure you are really interested in doing family research.
Never copy by hand when you can photo copy. . . you might miss something. Or, years from now you may not be able to read you own writing.
- Ask all your relatives about their parents and grand parents. Don’t assume that each person has the same information. They usually don’t.
- Start going through the census reports. Get copies of the ones that list your relatives: direct relatives and their siblings. Also, make notes on who their neighbors were. This is secondary information and may save you time later.
- Family Search may be the best and it’s free for the most part. However, if you want to search a particular year . . . say 1790 North West Territory, you may have a problem. Census Finder can also be helpful. Like many researchers I know, I try to stay away from Ancestery.com.
- Wherever you get the census reports, copy maps of the areas from the book, Map Guide to the U. S. Federal Censuses. If your library doesn’t have it, ask them to purchase a copy or track one down. They are worth their weight in gold; they show the boundaries of the counties at ten-year intervals. (One of my ancestors in western Kentucky was on a different census for over thirty years . . . he did not move the county boundaries did.) This is why the map is important.
- When you find the place of residence, fill in with marriage records (state/county or church), land sales, tax records, military records, etc. Some of these are on line others you will have to contact the state, county or city for records.
This sounds so simple and uncomplicated until you actually get into it.