THIS BLOG is a repeat of another of my blogs from Genealogy is Ruthless without Me.
This blog is an effort to "win" a backup program called a HANDY BACKUP!!! See Lesson #8 about Networking. The fun activities and sharing with others are good ways to learn of new products such as HANDY BACKUP, review what others of the same interest are doing and getting fresh new ideals. There is no reason to keep redesigning the same wheel!!
But these first 10 lessons are good to repeat anywhere.
What are the first 10 lessons a beginning family history researcher should start with (in order of importance)? #familyhistory #genealogy asked by fellow genealogist Holly Hansen Oct 23, 2009 via FACEBOOK.
1. Start Small---- Just you and your parents, siblings etc. Keep it simple ---Only the things you know. KISS. There are record keeping, documentation revision rules that many occupations use. Having a background in documentation does help.
2. Be prepared to be surprised, you will even find things about your immediate family you did not know. HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT.
3. BE DISCREET!!!!! Do not publish anything publicly ---- what seemed to be a fact may very well not survive the test of time. But by then you have mislead a huge group of people.
4. ORGANIZE and be prepared to abandon your special planned organization process to reorganize again as your database changes and takes on a life of it's own. Get organized. Spend time learning how others are organizing their materials (by lineage, by families, by location), records (census, military records, cross referencing?), time (cut out time to work on genealogy, when families favorite tv show on? after Saturday chores? early in the morning? what days will be library days??? and travels (Can you visit more than one library, cemetery, court office in the same area?, can you pre-order documents to be available?, can you check on days/hours open ahead of time?).
5. BE CURIOUS Ask questions DRIVE YOUR RELATIVES CRAZY!! THINK LIKE A CHILD ASKING WHY? WHEN? WHO? of your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Who were your siblings, where were they born? Start with family photos add names and relationships to photos, photos of family gatherings. Questions to ask: where was the picture taken, what was the occasion, who are the people?? family Bibles (take notes of any blanks with small notes not actually in the Bible.), archive the Bible, read obituaries found around the house, and ask who was this?, read old letters, or listen to old recordings. Sometimes people far away sent recordings in the 1940s or even earlier.
When the letter or recording mentions a name (such as Johnny) ask: Who is Johnny?
6.Be prepared to handle documents and books. Be prepared to use cotton gloves, acid free paper, and document archiving practices. Photo copy or take camera shots of documents when possible. This allows for zooming and enhancing lettering when required. Digitize everything.
7. Back up everything. Back up all data monthly on two or three programs at least. Keep a hard acid free paper copy, Back up software copies on 3 hard drives. One for general use, easy to retrieve, one in a bank safe and send one out of state to a safe place.
8. Network, network network Get involved with Genealogy Societies, workshops, Internet networking. Genealogy is such a fast paced, growing hobby right now, even last years greatest finds are obsolete. Learn what software updates there are? What libraries will be most helpful with your region, date span, studies?
9. TRUST NO ONE. Dear Cousin Molly in her letters may have left out a whole generation. Or called Uncle Obie (Uncle Pete) just because she wanted to... that can really confuse things, Realize there is at least 50% "proven bad" data out there! Consensus are wrong, birth records are wrong, death certificates are wrong, newspaper articles are wrong, ship manifests are wrong, cemetery tomb markers are wrong. And not just of the real old stuff---it still happens today!
10. And most of ALL Have fun! Remember it can be fun but if you hit an extremely hard brick wall, or get root bound. Just remember why you are involved with this endeavor and set yourself a "time" to look at it and then put the problem away for awhile. That person will not be going anywhere and when he/she is ready to be found -- then you can celebrate with a genealogy HAPPY DANCE!!