‘Similar to building a house, the key to a successful research project is a strong foundation built with accuracy using proven materials.’ Ironically, the first step to building your family tree is not listing your ancestors but learning how to research and where to find the most accurate information.
The genealogy world has changed with the advent of multiple genealogy sites online. But, until you are able to evaluate the validity of the contents, this is not where you should begin!
As experienced researchers, we have seen too many family trees filled with wrong individuals, dates, locations and ‘facts’.
- Speak with all family members about their memories; some may be folklore, but some may be real. It can provide a foundation broader than simply your family. Take accurate notes, recordings, copies of pictures and documents.
- Keep a research log of where and what you have found. This will prevent you from duplicating your searches and you may want to return to the information at a later time!
- Start your family tree with your information, move on to your parents, grandparents, and so on.
- Document what you have learned on a 4 generation chart which can be found on our website….be sure to note where you heard or found the info.
Before you start searching on websites, review the information to be found in the Basic French-Canadian Research presentation (link below), or come to visit us, your local library, genealogy society or club and work with an experienced individual.
A caution about “sources”. They are vital, church or military records, not Aunt Victorine’s stories, unless they can be verified! Census records are guidelines only, not sources, why?
- #1 Rule: the closer the source to the subject, the more valid the info. Now who gave the information on that census record? Unknown until the 1940 census.
Check out our research services page if you would like the work done for you!