Answers to Frequently Asked Genealogy Research Questions
Are you new to genealogy? If so, then you probably have a lot of genealogy research questions!
What is the difference between genealogy and family history?
What is the name of my ancestor in this old photo?
Where can I find the best family tree software?
These questions and others will certainly arise as you begin to research your family’s history. But some genealogy-related questions are more common than others among beginner researchers. Here are just a few of these important questions and answers to help you along your genealogy research journey.
How to Correctly Document Names for Genealogy Purposes
The manner in which you record your ancestors’ information can make or break your family history research. In fact, if you don’t add names and surnames correctly to a family tree or genealogy chart, your family’s story can face inaccuracies. And this can be frustrating to others who are researching your family history! Just as there are certain genealogical standards when it comes to citing your sources correctly, there are some general rules you will want to keep in mind to ensure that your ancestors’ names are added to your family tree properly.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the following rules, so use these tips as guidelines for recording your genealogical data.
How United States Voter Records Can Help You Build a Family Tree
During this election season, you are probably thinking more about who you are voting for rather than the information you provide on your voter registration form. But if you take a closer look at the details these forms collect, you will soon realize that voter records hold a treasure trove of data that can be helpful in building a family tree.
And just as many of us have the privilege to vote in America, as did some of the ancestors who came before us. While United States voter records are oft overlooked in the genealogy research process, they may lead you to an unknown ancestor, clues that provide you with more direction when you run into a brick wall, and a slew of other genealogical discoveries.
5 Helpful Tips to Start Writing a Personal History
Even if you’re just beginning your genealogy research, you probably know that searching for information to add to your family tree can take a lot of time, patience and resources. And when you can’t find records or stories on a particular ancestor, it may leave you more than a little frustrated! If you’ve ever thought, “I really wish he had written something about his life!” then why not make things a little easier on future generations of genealogists by writing your own personal history?
Writing a personal history is important not only for genealogy research purposes, but ensures that you’ll leave an accurate legacy that descendants will appreciate and treasure forever. Documenting your own life doesn’t have to be a daunting task, either. The following tips can aid you in the process of writing (and finishing) a personal history.
Fill in Empty Family Tree Branches with These Oft-Overlooked Research Tips
At one point or another, every genealogist takes a look at their family tree and wonders if it may be missing some information. Whether your family tree is already robust or the branches are fairly sparse, your family’s history can certainly be expanded upon — no matter how deep you are into your research. But how do you start expanding your family tree even if you think you’ve exhausted every potential resource?
The following genealogy research ideas for expanding your family tree could help you find even more detailed information on your family, plus discover ancestors you never even knew you had!
How to Use Cemeteries to Find Your Ancestors
Cemeteries are an exceptional resource for discovering details about your ancestors to add to your family tree. Whether you’re searching for birth information, maiden names, or additional family members, gravesites can enlighten you to an abundance of facts about your family’s past.
But if you don’t know where to begin when conducting genealogy research in a cemetery, it can be more than overwhelming! Thankfully, we’ve compiled the following basic steps to help you get acquainted with your first ancestral quest through a cemetery.
Boost Your Research Productivity with these Free Tools for Genealogists
You’re busy. We get it. But that doesn’t mean you have to let your important genealogy and family history research fall to the wayside. Yes, compiling your family’s story can often take an ample amount of time, but if you’re constantly making excuses as to why you don’t have the capacity to conduct genealogy research, you likely don’t know about some excellent tools that can help you stay efficient and productive — whether you’re at home or on-the-go. Of course, online family tree software is a simple way to collaborate with family members, plus increase your research productivity, but it’s just one of the many tools that can aid you in the process.
The following productivity tools for genealogy research will help you become an even more efficient researcher and organize your genealogical pursuits.
Tips to Help You Check for Family Tree Inaccuracies
As genealogists, we can often get so excited about our ancestral discoveries that we may run straight to our family tree to input a date or name, but fail to check our fascinating finds for accuracy first. These inaccuracies won’t just give you a headache later as you attempt to connect the dots between certain ancestors, but can also make it more difficult for other genealogists to build upon your family tree.
Rule of thumb: you can’t always believe everything you hear through the grapevine, or even see with your own two eyes. This is why genealogists and family historians need to be sure that they check their research for accuracy before jumping ahead to conclusions. The following tips can help you check for inaccuracies in your family tree.
Understanding the Difference Between Family History and Genealogy
Whether you’re a novice to the world of family history research or have been working on your family’s story for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard the terms ‘family history’ and ‘genealogy’ used similarly. While each type of research is beneficial to documenting and sharing your family discoveries, the activities associated with each are not one in the same. However, genealogy and family history research work in tandem when it comes to creating a cohesive family tree.
But, what are these differences, exactly, and what are the functions of each research type?
What is the Genealogical Proof Standard? Should I Use It? And Other Questions, Answered
As you’re researching your family history, you will undoubtedly run into some genealogy brick walls and other roadblocks that could halt your progress. Seasoned genealogists and family historians know that direct evidence records such as birth certificates and marriage licenses can only take you so far in your genealogical journey; and pieces of indirect evidence may be the only option to fill in the branches of a family tree. So, how do you piece together all of these ancestral tidbits in order for them to make sense? And, most importantly, how can you know for sure if your findings are accurate?
This is where the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) comes in to save your research — and sanity. The GPS can help you navigate through those little pieces of indirect evidence that may otherwise cause you to throw in the towel on your research.