You’ve been bitten by the genealogy bug, so what do you do? Go genealogy NUTS!!
Maybe I’m the only one, but I remember it well. The first thing I did once I got into genealogy research was, well, research. I didn’t go online and listen to Dear Myrtle or read blogs like the Genealogy Do-Over. If I had, I might have listened to the repeated mantras of advice for newbies.
But instead I got excited about family history research.
So if you are a newer genealogist, trust me and the many others who will tell you to be careful of these 3 BIG mistakes!
1. Researching, but not taking notes
I remember reading the greatest stories in the greatest sources and being SO excited about what I was finding. There was NO WAY I would forget this! (I am middle aged and should have known better!) Well truth be told, we each have so many ancestors and each person in our tree could have a really great story. No way can you retell that story and every other story without documenting your notes.
ADVICE: read to your heart’s content: but take notes. Use Evernote, a word processing program, paper and pencil, or a tree program like Family Tree Maker. Things are so much easier now that I am taking notes as I go. Check out Cyndi’s List
2. Researching, but not writing complete source citations
Blah Blah Blah! I know what you are thinking, but oh how I regret taking short cuts here. New genealogists don’t need to worry about commas, and spaces, but we do need to keep complete source information so that we can go back and easily find that source again.
ADVICE: Here’s a quick video to get you started on the right track: Basics of Genealogy Source Citation, from Ancestry on YouTube.
3. CLICK CLICK CLICK on those ancestry shaky leaves
Ok, so maybe I am one of these former new genealogists who clicked and saved, but didn’t read, study, and reason through each source and piece of information. Now, I am still in the process of going through all that CLICK CLICK CLICKING and making sure those artifacts are reasonable proof. While I am in process of making my corrections on my ancestry tree, grouchy people write me notes on my tree about my mistakes. People: I am going as fast as I can.
ADVICE: Watch Ancestry.com videos like “Ancestry’s Back to the Basics: Genealogy 101” from Ancestry on YouTube.
Genealogy is so fun and if you are like most of us, you will become addicted.
It’s so much more fun to do it right the first time!
Beginning Genealogy Resources
- Cyndi’s List: search beginning genealogy
- Ancestry.com: learning center or YouTube
- Dear Myrtle’s Beginning Genealogy Hangouts on YouTube
Kim has a passion for Genealogy. After retiring from a career as a teacher, administrator and education consultant, she spent the past several years doing extensive family research. She is a newsletter editor for the Illinois State Genealogical Society and the Peoria County Genealogy Society. Kim is also a member of the Peoria Chapter of DAR Daughter of American Revolution and a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.