Some Beginning Tips for Researching Your Genealogy and Family History

By” Nancy P. Goodman

You Can Research Your Genealogy and Family History and Here’s Some Help in Getting Started

I happened into researching my family genealogy history quite by accident, but it turned out to be a life-long hobby which is lots of fun.

Your family genealogy history can be a fascinating travel of discovery. I recommend it to you if you have some curiosity and a little time to spare. But to research your genealogy family history you may need a few tips to start you off.

I will give you some tips here and perhaps more in later writings, but first of all, let me tell you how my own family geneology history search began.

When I began my genealogy family history search, I happened upon something quite by accident and I would have never dreamed of where that ‘accidental start’ would take me. I was looking for some data for my mother about our small little log cabin ‘backwoods’ country church, New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Houston County, Tennessee. There had arisen a ‘property title dispute’ over the church grounds and property the church was located on with the survival of the church itself being threatened.

I worked in downtown Nashville, Tennessee at the time, so I volunteered to try to find out about the title to the church. I went to the main branch of the Nashville Davidson County Library and discovered there “The Nashville Room”. This was indeed a “Treasure Room” for me! I located no further information on the church itself at that place, but I did discover the census index books that Byron Sistler and Associates had done for the 1850 census of Tennessee.

“Hey, look,” I said to myself, “here’s Goodman, here’s Lynch,” and flipping toward the back, “here’s Phillips!” That census index book is what started me off on my pursuit of my genealogy and family history back in the late 1970’s.

Now, back to just a few beginning tips to folks who are newly come to researching their family genealogy history:

1. First of all, begin with yourself. Write down all the pertinent facts about you, then travel backward to your parents, and your grandparents.

If your parents are still living, you may be lucky enough to strike a gold mine of information! If they are not, then start tracking down close relatives to interview about your genealogy family history.

2 Get organized with several notebooks, and get some ‘Family Group Sheets’ printed up, ready to complete.

A family group sheet will be a form you can note all of the detail on one family, such as Name, date of birth (D.O.B), date of death (D.O.D), place born, place died, place buried and names of parents and who married to (if married) and any siblings (brothers and sisters).

3. One of the most urgent things you should remember is to DOCUMENT all of your sources.

Make a note of the date, the book and page you gleaned information from (if from a library). If from a personal visit to someone, write the date and the name of the person, if from a phone call then document that information.

In conclusion to this ‘beginning’ article, I will say that an added bonus of researching your geneology and family history is the wide number of people you may meet who are friendly and helpful to you in your search. Enjoy!

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