Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Philadelphia Genealogy: Getting Started

The statement may seem too trite to be true, but true it is: the place to start genealogy is with yourself. Who are you? Where are you? How did you get to where you are? Can you prove your own existence? Do you have a birth certificate, family photos, and biography, however brief?

Once you've started to collect information, find a way to keep and organize your materials. You can use a genealogy program or app (FamilySearch compatible programs) or use an online tree such as FamilySearch Family Tree, Ancestry, findmypast, or MyHeritage. Memberships to all of those are free to members of the Church

Decide how you will convert paper files to digital. Either scan or photograph documents and pictures and add them to your family tree. Many Family History Centers have digital scanners that will scan images directly into FamilySearch Family Tree.

Once you have a system, start working back generation by generation on the line you're investigating, gathering documents about entire families: parents and all children. If you trace a single line back, grandparent to grandparent, and ignore siblings and in-laws, you're going to miss the information that will help you discover the history of your family.

When you're doing genealogy, what information do you include? All of it.

Here is the Linton family. I have done the preliminary work and situated the family in Philadelphia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and it's time to start looking at the Philadelphia area sources. 

I will be working on the Linton family in FamilySearch Family Tree and Ancestry, and will show how to use both programs in future posts. 

If you're following the series and working on your own genealogy here's an assignment:

Choose a genealogical program or online family tree or trees. Collect information about yourself and your parents and grandparents and add it to the family tree and choose which ancestors you want to investigate.

Philadelphia Genealogy: index to all articles in this series

No comments:

Post a Comment