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Genealogy 101

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Chelsea Dodd Coleman

on 9 June 2018

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Transcript of Genealogy 101

Genealogy 101
Digging Deeper
Primary resources always trump secondary.
Begin with living resources, e.g. family members, social media.
Don't forget to explore oral histories and photographs.
Pay it forward for the next generation.
Start with what you know and work backwards.
It's easy to fall down the rabbit hole. Write to-do lists to keep on track.
Start narrow then broaden when searching.
Use operators (+ [and], OR, - [not], "", ?, *)
For Starters
Decide on one system and stick to it.
Keep detailed notes on searches including where, when and search terms.
Notate if information is verified or rumor.
Protect source files.
Keep printed backups of digital files.
Be careful with who has access to your files.
Staying Organized
Books and archived materials, e.g. county histories, local newspapers
Know naming traditions.
Know pronunciations.
Look at the neighbors.
Don't limit searches to US websites.
Nationalities and Ethnicities
is sharing the information?

was the information created/updated?

is the information coming from?

*Consider domain names when searching online.
Vetting Information
Ancestry and MyHeritage (available through some libraries)
DNA testing: Ancestry, MyHeritage, 23andMe*, FamilyTree, LivingDNA
Hire a researcher via apgen.org.
Adoptions before the mid-19th century are poorly documented
Each state/county/city handles records differently
Census records, hospital records, guardianships, and probate dockets can pride clues
Record oral traditions passed down
Research the general history of the area where your ancestors lived
Read up on challenges facing your ethnic groups
Family History
Hard data
proven facts, figures, statistics

Soft data
topics that are subjective or cultural in nature
Genealogy is a puzzle with lost pieces.
Full transcript