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How to get started in studying your family history

December 13th, 2006

How do you get started in studying your family history? What information do you look for? See this list of information to look for.

I would add that whenever possible you should look for reliable documentation for your records. Documentation can be divided into the following types:

  1. Primary official documents (birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc.)
  2. Secondary written public documents (newspaper articles, etc.)
  3. Written family records (e.g. family history records in a family Bible)
  4. First hand oral reports of events by someone who witnessed them
  5. Second or subsequent hand reports of events

Each piece of information in your family history should be documented as to its source. Later on when you have a lot of information you will want to know where a particular fact came from and how reliable it is. When I first started to collect information I did not document all the sources, and later on I founding myself wishing I knew he source of my facts.

Sometimes there will be conflicting information and you will need to decide which version is more likely to be correct. Sources higher on this list are generally more reliable than those lower down. Try to get copies of official documents whenever possible. But even second or third hand stories are better than nothing, as long as you realize that they may not be completely accurate.

Posted by Ken as Genealogy at 5:50 PM GMT-0800

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Why use a Blog instead of a static Website?

December 2nd, 2006

I thought I would explain why I chose to use WordPress, which is designed for blogging, rather than a more traditional static web site for this site. What’s the difference? Here is an article by Lorelle VanFossen that explains it very well.

I wanted this site to be a “repository” where other family members could post things without needing to know anything about creating web pages. One of the things that I like about a blog is that it is always “under construction” by adding new articles. That makes it a lot easier to add family history information a little bit at a time as we come across it. If we wanted to set up a “complete” static web site it would probably never be done.

If you are part of my family and want to contribute to this site, please send me an email and I will set up an account for you. You don’t need any special software. You can simply log in using your web browser and create an article.

The article Blogging Family History explains why a blog is a good tool for genealogy.

Posted by Ken as General at 6:28 PM GMT-0800

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