Three Major Tips to Help You Draw Your Genealogy The Right Way
Genealogy is an endless adventure. We are talking about viruses and this is indeed the case. Yet one can very quickly get discouraged. In this article we offer some tips for you to get started without difficulty and to keep you from jumping in blindly.
1. First Tip:
Genealogy requires patience, perseverance, motivation, order, method and organization. Never forget it. It is better to always see the glass half full than the glass half empty: you will not find what you are looking for if you spend several days, weeks or even months stripping documents in vain. Tell yourself that at least you are sure they are not there. Some genealogists may even take up to four years searching through family tree archives for the marriage that interests them. Tell yourself that your ancestors will definitely not move, you will find them one day, necessarily.
Patience! Perseverance! Motivation! Order! Method! Organization! You have all this? You are ready!
Patience: It's an endless adventure. The speed depends on the time spent and the difficulties encountered. Difficulties can be of several kinds and each has its solution. Is discouragement catching up with you? Do something else! Take a stroll and then come back. You will see how this will look much easier.
If you are really at the beginning, never start out with all branches at the same time. You will lose yourself in this forest. Take a surname in the main branch and another branch in the secondary branch and do your teeth on it. You will progress much faster on others because the methodology will be there.
2. Crossing the 100 Years Barrier:
The first of the difficulties is the crossing of the 100 years barrier. In some countries, the Archives Act set up communication deadlines for the consultation of documents. It's important to know what works in your own country.
Other deadlines exist but these are the most important for us, genealogists. These delays are long! In order not to be blocked, there is only one solution: to interrogate the persons still alive, to recover all the information possible through family booklets, dates on tombs, documents of notaries which stayed in families, photos, military booklets, diplomas, letters, in short everything that can exist in an attic. At the same time, you will work to safeguard the memory of the elders who will be delighted to be able to tell you of their youth.
3. Visiting the County Archives:
Once the 100 years barrier has been crossed, the county Archive research is usually conducted. Personally, I prefer the county archives to the town halls because we never have the problem of opening hours of small town halls and endless travel if your ancestors are in several communes. At the county Archives, at least everything is grouped together in one place.
The Archives may have digitized their civil records and parish registers. This can make your work easier. But at one point or another, you'll have to move, so do it right away. If the information has been microfilmed and not yet digitized, you can have them send the documents to you rather than go to them. This is called inter-archival loan.
What can be interesting for you is to learn very quickly the dimensions of the documents. The county Archives have a rather peculiar language which may surprise many. Learn it once and for all, you'll know more quickly where to look and you'll save time.
The first series that interests you is the E series: it is the series of decennial tables, civil status, parish registers, minutes of notaries. It is an important series for us if there is one!
For your research in the parish registers, you should conscientiously note the godfather and mother. Most of the time, they belong to the family. This can give you leads. Always take all the siblings, not only the ones you think are your ancestors. He may have a brother or sister with the same first name and alive at the same time as him!
If you are stuck at the Archives, there may always be an indoor reader, a pillar of the Archives, which can help you in addition to the staff. Find them!
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