Monday, January 12, 2015
Some Suggestions or Steps in doing a family tree project.
What prompted this outline came about from the impression I got in reviewing posts from the Ontario Genealogy face book page. Here, it came across that a number of those individuals working to track down the individuals in their family tree did not seem to have much of an idea of all the steps required. I could be wrong with this impression, nevertheless a review of these steps could be useful.
The following are suggestions, a guideline only which a person can follow or not, filling in the gaps either in brief or as detailed as the information gathered provides.
Consider Looking at the journey this way.
Where I list ‘great grand parents’ that is simply an example and this term also refers to your ancestors in general.
What exactly would you like to know about the family and where abouts of your great grand parents/ancestors? The reason why I mention this, is that you can use these questions, suggestions, steps to produce your own biography so that when your descendants ask about one of their great grand parents/ancestors, namely you, they will have a better answer than you presently have of your great grand parents/ancestors.
With the following list of questions, suggestions to work with in gathering your family info, you can use this to write a biography of each person you are working to track down either in brief or detailed depending on the information gathered.
This is your starting point. It is best to start with yourself, working on your own biography. Then work back from your children, brothers & sisters, parents, aunts & uncles, grandparents for both the husband & wife’s side of the family. Use these questions, suggestions as a guideline to fill in the gaps.
As you collect the information on each person, which could take some time to locate. Some answers will not exist or not be easily located. This happens, it is part of the process. In time something might and usually will show up to assist you in completing these gaps.
Add what ever other questions that come up on what you would like to know about the people you are working to track down in your family. In time you will get a road map of their journey that leads to where you are today.
Also consider finding out who your 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins are as they have a common ancestor with you.Thus finding out what they may know of the family. Talk to your aunts & uncles, cousins, as they may have information on the family which your parents are not aware of or may not desire to talk about.
What follows is a sample of questions, suggestions that will be useful in putting a biography together of this couple. That can also be used for each individual in your family tree journey.
44— If a couple got married in year X and there is an indication that they had a child 5 to 10 year before they got married, which is unlikely. Thus beware of such RED FLAGS
43- Always be leery of dates, Years between birth year of siblings. Any year beyond 23-25 between siblings should become a RED FLAG. Likewise alway check ages of parents when a child is born, beyond the normal range. It is very unlikely that parents have a child born 25 to 30 years after the last child is born when they are in their late 60's or early 70's.
42- when you come across a glitch, discrepancy, Red Flag, always give attention and question same, even if the question doesn't get answered immediately. keep these questions around until answers show up.
41- Also remember that that maiden name of the wife should not be left out of any recording, be it a obit, death notice, marriage etc.
40- Always remember to record the full source of the information collected
39- What did this couple work as, What was their occupation; did they have a farm, be self employed, work in the local town or city or what
38- Is this couple or ancestor listed in any city or who’s who directory, if so record that info.
37- Are there any photos in the family of this couple or ancestor that you can access and are they labelled with proper name of person
36- Did this couple move across the country or come from overseas. If so what info have you been able to gleam and record on this movement?
35- Have you found an obituary or death notice when the husband died, if so in what paper, full name, date of issue and location [list town, farm, state or province, country]
1- what was the full name of the husband [ EX the great grandfather or ancestor]
2- what was the full name of the wife [ EX the great grandmother or ancestor]
3- where was the husband born [list town, farm, state or province, country]
4- where was the wife born [list town, farm, state, province, country]
5- What is the full date of birth of the husband
6- What is the full date of birth of the wife
7- When was the husband baptised, full date —- month day year
8- When was the wife baptised, full date —- month day year
9- What church was the husband baptised, name of church, religious denomination, [list town, farm, state or province, country]
10- What church was the wife baptised, name of church, religious denomination, [list town, farm, state or province, province, country]
11- Is there a baptismal record of the husband available and can a copy be obtained for your files
12- Is there a baptismal record of the wife available and can a copy be obtained for your files
13- When did the husband die full date —- month day year
14- When did the wife die full date —- month day year
15- Where did the husband die [list town, farm, state or province, country]
16- Where did the wife die [list town, farm, state or province, country]
17- Where is the husband buried, name of cemetery [list town, farm, state or province, country]
18- Where is the wife buried, name of cemetery [list town, farm, state or province, country]
19- When was the husband buried full date —- month day year
20- When was the wife buried full date —- month day year
21- Is there a gravestone marker for this couple in the cemetery
22- Is there a copy of the Church death record for the husband and is this copy accessible for your files
23- Is there a copy of the Church death record for the wife and is this copy accessible for your files
24- when did this couple get married, full date —- month day year
25- Where did this couple get married [list town, farm, state or province, country]
26- in what church or civil registrar did this couple get married name of church, religious denomination, civil authority [list town, farm, state or province, country]
27- Is there a marriage record available for access and get a copy for your files
28- What are the full dates of births for all the children of this couple
29- Where were all the children of this couple born [list town, farm, state or province, country]
30- is there a baptismal record accessible for all those children to obtain a full copy for your files
31- Were these children of this couple/ancestor all baptised in the same church or were they baptised at all, name of church, religious denomination, [list town, farm, state or province, country]
32- What was the full name of the father & mother of the husband
33- What was the full name of the father and mother of the wife
34- what stories have you been told about your great grand parents or ancestors that you can record
This is only a sample of some suggestions, there are no doubt additional suggestions you might have to add to this list.
Enjoy the journey as it will prove to be a very interesting history lesson over time. This journey will have its high points as well as its frustrations and mysteries. There will be obstacles and dead ends. So when that happens start looking at things with a different perspective, asking yourself where could the answer be that I am looking for.
take care and God Bless
Alex W Fraser
1/11/15,updated 10/31/16 to tip 43
Where to look, some useful sources
Local archives, historical or genealogy
local church & cemetery records where the people lived
local papers where the people lived
local books where the people lived
Top 100 Genealogy Websites for 2014
The Ship’s list