Beginning Your Quest
Start at the end, rather than the beginning. In other words start with your self and work backward. This will help assure that your are indeed working with your ancestors--not someone with the same or similar surname. Family names are often altered from generation to generation. There is no "correct" spelling for any name.
Record everything you know about each of your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc.; Birth date,
Birthplace, Death date and burial location. Record the names of all their children and their spouses and descendents. Include marriage details, education, immigration and naturalization. Also record information regarding military service, awards, careers and other personal information. These are all evidence to your roots. These clues may prove invaluable in the future.
Verify all information. Even though you find something in print, online, or from someone's data files, it may be incorrect. Transcription errors are common. Too frequently, records are even fictionalized. All facts must be verified. Your records should include source details--proof-- for all those facts.
Record your data on standard genealogical forms, such as Pedigree Charts and Family Group Sheets. Forms are available from your local genealogy society or from stores which specialize in genealogical supplies. They are also created by most genealogy software programs. Forms and other aids are downloadable from web sites such as www.FamilySearch.org ,