A Little Productive Time Pays Dividends

For the new year here are ideas to increase your knowledge of your ancestors. How about setting aside a short period of time once a week, every other weekend or even once a month to do some research on your family tree?

Here are a few approaches:

ideas-to-do-listCreate a ‘To-Do List’ – start with just a few of the resources (census, state archives, military records, photos, etc) you need to investigate further. With a ‘to-do list’, you will be better organized and use effectively that half-hour or so on the research.

Beginning scanning family photos if you have not started or finished. Don’t try to do all in one sitting, divide it up. Just organizing the photos into family branches or time periods will be great.

ideas-scanSee if there is one or two ancestors that need additional information. Concentrate on that individual for short periods of time. Use the free FamilySearch.org site to start with, especially the census records. You just might surprise yourself when you are looking for just one person.

Using the free Library of Congress – Chronicling America Newspaper site, to locate any articles relating to an ancestor. Remember, a surname might be spelled differently or it was very common use of just the person’s initials for the given name. For the married lady ancestors, their name was ‘Mrs.’ followed by their husband’s name. Rare to find a female’s given names, but occasionally. Using any located newspaper articles, even the smallest, can tell you more about that ancestor’s life, where did they travel, who visited them or what interested them.  idea-one-ancestor

Make phone calls or send out emails to the hometown’s courthouse, museums or genealogical societies to see what documents or information are available.

Small steps on a regular basis will yield large rewards in your quest to discover your family history.

Photos: ‘To Do List’; Scan Photos; and One Ancestor at a Time.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Think Outside the Box

Researching in Newspapers

Family Ephemera


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