GETTING STARTED IN GENEALOGY?
Why are you doing this? Curiosity? You like to solve problems? You want to join a society like the DAR or SAR? You want to meet distant cousins? Your children and/or grandchildren are asking you questions you can't answer? Whatever the motivation, some planning is necessary. You have to determine how much time and money you are willing to invest. Will you use a computer? Do you live in or near a city that has a genealogical society, public library, family history center, etc.?
|Set up a system that you can use and that others can understand such as a good computer program. Record what you know. Show all your sources. A space set aside for research can be as simple as a desk small file cabinet or as complete as a room with computer, legal size file cabinets, book shelves, desk, copy machine, etc.
|START WITH YOURSELF
Prove that you exist (Birth Certificate, Bible record, Census record, etc.).Try to find family Bibles, old photographs letters, yearbooks, etc. Then prove your parents, grandparents, etc. If possible, talk to your closest older relatives. Don't forget your distant cousins. Ask questions that will jog people's memories. Utilize old photographs family heirlooms. Ask older relatives what they remember about their parents and grandparents. Write letters to others who share your surname if it's not too common (resource: white pages on the Internet or software of the same).
|YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Work with others. Enroll in a genealogy class. Join a genealogical society. Network with others via the computer, telephone or mail. Visit cemeteries, libraries and archives with other researchers. Have fun!
|UTILIZE AVAILABLE RESOURCES
to computers and the internet is as close as the public library if you
don't have your own system. Find a website that you are comfortable with.
Cyndi's List is a good place to
start. Visit your public library and see if it has the materials you need.
Even a library that claims not to have a genealogy section will have many
reference works such as city directories, local regional history books,
biographies, etc. that will help you in your research.
|Local resources Jacksonville - Duval County
Library, 6215 Sauterne Dr., Jacksonville, FL.
|One's Day Drive
Public Library Orlando, FL
|South East States
Libraries with good genealogical collections
Birmingham, Chattanooga, South Carolina (Columbia SC), Knoxville, Louisville Public Library, The Filson Club in Louisville, The SAR Library in Louisville, Lexington Public library. Several university libraries contain excellent historical collections including Duke and the University of North Carolina. The North Carolina Archives in Raleigh is one of the finest in the nation.
|Washington DC area
|Other noteworthy libraries archives
Family History Center Salt Lake City, UT
|When visiting libraries where your ancestors came from, ask if they have files on local history and families. Also check for local genealogical historical societies.