Thinking You are All Done with your Family History?



There are many experienced family history researchers who say; “You are never done researching your family.” Even if you think differently, here are few ideas you should check before saying you are done.

All the major online sources (such as FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com) for databases are always updating and adding new digital resources (records, journals, city directories, photos, maps, etc). So there can be new information on an ancestor or family branch you did not find yet.

Always be sure your ancestors have been accurately documented checking there are no duplicates or worst yet — mistakes in dates, locations, dates, children, etc. Of course, you want to make sure it’s really a mistake because sometimes there are records that, although they seem a little incongruous — maybe the husband is 40 years older than the wife — it really did happen. You’ve got to look and find some good sources and ones which are similar in the written information.

Check dates of events, such as when someone married. If it figures the female was age 10-year-old, flags should go up. It needs further checking.

Your family history is not just names and dates. Pick out one person from each generation and learn more about their individual life – what they did, where they lived, any tragedies in their life. Even including what historical events took place near where they lived really adds to understanding about the person. I had an ancestor who lived only 17 miles from Gettysburg and did attend the public Gettysburg Cemetery dedication which President Lincoln spoke at on November 19, 1863.  

A really great addition is doing your own life story or one of a living relative (mother, aunt, uncle, grandfather). After all, if you don’t write it … who will, and which version will you like best?”

Any family Bibles which had the handwritten records of births, marriages and deaths, needs to be scanned, shared with other relatives and also placed online with FamilySearch.org for preservation. 

Is there a family heirloom you have? Is what you know of its history and previous ownership written down and a copy with the heirloom?? 

These are just a few of the additions necessary to have a more complete family history.

Photos: A necklace with a detachable brooch from the late 1890s, belonged to my great grandmother and handed down to my grandmother, to my mother and then to me; Gettysburg Dedication 1863; the pearl earrings my mother purchased in 1949 to wear for her wedding in April – which I then wore for my 1983 wedding; and the Musselman – Bixler family Bible records.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Family History Ideas

Family History Books

On Track with Research?

 

 

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