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Genealogy 101: Where to Start Digging

Have You Ever Thought About Going on a Treasure Hunt?

I've always enjoyed the idea of being a detective...Nancy Drew was a favorite in my childhood...but I never considered genealogy as something I might be interested in.

But then not that long ago, I purchased an ebook, "Rooting Out Your AnceStory: A Primer for Beginning Genealogy", and found, Hey, this could be quite fun!

Detective Work...that's what genealogy is all about. Or I guess you could call it excavation. Either way it's like hunting for treasure. Once you determine the value in your personal history, you may find yourself jumping into the hunt yourself.

Genealogy, often misspelled as geneology, is the study or investigation of ancestry and family histories. There are some great resources available on the subject. In fact it can be very overwhelming the amount of information that is available. The most obvious question for every beginner is Where to start?

My answer is...You. Your personal memory is the best place to start.

Draw out your Family Tree branching out to your great grandparents. Start by filling in what you already know. Include full names, birthdates & birthplaces, as well as dates & places of death.

For example, on my family tree I filled in what I knew off the top of my name, birthplace & birthdate; both of my parents' names & birthdates & one birthplace; both sets of my grandparents' names and two birthdates; one great-grandparent's birthdate (month & day) and another's name.

I know my father was born on his mother's birthday, and I remember him saying she was born on her father's birthday, so even though I'm unsure of his full name, I have a clue as to when he was born. Also, I know I'm named after my maternal great grandmother [another clue].

Using small bits of information like this from your memory is a great starting point for your excavation.

(Continue to Page 2)

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