You won’t realise how quickly you obtain information and how fast your records and research grows. Until someone asks you how did you find that out ? or are you sure you have the right person? This is usually when you begin to panic and ask yourself where you found that piece of info and what website or book? If only i had a more organised way of researching and recorded each piece of information down I would’t of spent the past few hours going over my research and douting myself. Many of us have been there and its so so easy to make mistakes. So my advice to you my friends is have some method of organising yourself.
Backup your research!
I really don’t know how much I can stress to you about backing up your research. Imagine that you have spent five years researching your family and that you have kept all what you know on computer along with all your research notes. Then the worsed happens your computer gets a virus or it totally just decides one day its not going work again and you have lost everything. Yes five years just happy gone into thin air! I know many people who have had this happened to them and it is a sickening feeling. So just make a backup copy maybe just once a month on cd and if anything did happen then it wouldn’t be such a problem.
So Backup Backup Backup!!!
Make use of free websites
Save yourself some money where you can. Im not saying that you will get results with the free websites but they may help you before you subscribe to anything. www.freebmd.org has to be one of the websites i recommend using and www.familysearch.org
Talk to your living relatives
Your living relatives are your clues to your research. These are the people that may of known your parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles and they will have memories and stories to share about them. So maybe keep a diary or note book and write down what they tell you and record it because later on when you go back over your research you will be getting a better understanding of the ancestors your researching. They no longer become just a name on a piece of paper.
Proving your research
You may think that you have the right people when researching and they may seem to tie in well, but remember its easy to follow the wrong people especially if you are researching a commmon name such as Jones, Smith. Each step you go starting with yourself prove it with certificates, census and other documents. Proving each step also gives you as a researcher more organisation when showing other family members.
Don’t be afraid of grave yards
Grave stones sometimes contain information in which will help you, especially if you are unable to find a death certificate or full names of deceased. A grave yard should not be seen as frightning place, but a place that where your relatives and ancestors are at peace. Their headstones are keeping their a small fragment of who they are alive for the living.