24 Jan 2011 Leave a Comment
Now that you have begun gathering information on your family, it is time to do a little writing. The best place to start is with your parents. Here are a few questions to get you going. After you conduct the interview, write up a short story about what you learned.
- What is your full name?
- When and where were you born? What hospital?
- What are your parents names?
- When and where were they born?
- When were they married?
- When did you get married?
- What schools did you attend growing up?
- What was your favorite subject?
- Where did you live growing up?
- Did you go to college? Where? What did you study?
- What are the names of your siblings?
- What are their birth dates? Who did they marry and when?
- What is your occupation?
- What did your parents do for a living?
- Did your parents go to college?
- Are you right or left-handed?
- What color are your eyes?
- What color is your hair?
- What about your parents eye color?
- If you are interviewing your mom, ask her what her maiden name was.
After the interview is over, write a short story about your parents’ lives. This is the beginning of the story of your family.Tweet
15 Jan 2011 1 Comment
Blogging is a fantastic avenue when you begin to write your family history. Blogging allows genealogical researchers to write out their brick walls and frustrations. Sometimes other researchers are able to offer suggestions on how to break down those walls. For some researchers, just simply putting a research problem out there and walking away can lead to more success on that issue down the road.
The photo is of my great, great grandfather, Jan Zajicek. Family story is he lived in Chicago during the Great Chicago Fire and saved the dining room table during the blaze. I heard this story when I was in my mid-20′s and had just started researching. My initial thought was Jan was a married man working as a tailor and perhaps the dining room table was where he did some of his work. To me, it made sense he would try to save it.
Fast forward a couple of years and some major research time. I discovered Jan was not a married man but a teenager! He was working as a tailor but I was no closer to discovering the truth about the table. His family did live in Chicago during the time of the Great Fire, but my brick wall is locating his 1871 address. This remains a brick wall for me, but I have blogged about it so who knows. Maybe an answer will present itself or another blogger will suggest a resource I overlooked.
Some genealogists and family history researchers use blogging as a tool to publish their family histories. What does it mean to publish though? Publish means to write up and present the information to someone, whether it is a family member or local genealogy society, national journal, or publish an actual book.
Blogging allows people to explore many of their family history topics in depth and in a more shallow way. These blog posts can eventually become the beginning of a family history book. Blogging also allows connections to be made between researchers who share the same ancestors.
Where do you start to create a genealogy blog? Check out Geneabloggers. Thomas MacEntee, of High-Definition Genealogy has created a site full of resources for those just getting started and seasoned bloggers. Blogs are submitted and listed by type of blog. There are daily blogging themes posted to help provide blogging topic ideas. Thomas also posts interviews with people around the genealogy community, reviews of books and products, and online safety information we all need.
So what are you waiting for? Stop reading and go explore some of these genealogy blog resources and get started today. Leave a comment and post your blog if you begin. I’d love to stop by and read it.Tweet
14 Jan 2011 Leave a Comment
There are many other family history resources available to discover preliminary genealogy information. I will list resources here but for more in-depth how-to get started on your research, see my list of resources below.
Major Resources for family history information
- Vital records
- Military records
- Census records
- Probate records
- Naturalization records
- Property records
- Published family histories
- City directories
Resources to help get you started
Free Genealogy Guide. I like this site because it provides free resources on getting started.
Blog of a Genealogist in Training. This site is run by a fellow Chicago-area genealogist. She is on a different educational path than I am so be sure to check her out to learn more about learning to research.
Geneabloggers. Need help getting started with research or writing or other topics? Check out a list of over 1,500 genealogy and family history blog topics.
Investigate these family history resources and begin documenting your ancestors lives.Tweet
13 Jan 2011 Leave a Comment
Yesterday I looked at using Census records for beginning research. Continuing on my quest to explain how to begin genealogical research, let’s look at home sources today. There are many types of documents that family historians use to locate genealogy information. These include:
- Birth, marriage and death records
- Diaries and journals
- Address books
- Old day planners
- Recipe books
- Military records
- Previously completed genealogy records
- Funeral cards and programs
- Wedding photograph books, programs, etc.
- Books (those written by a family member or about the family)
The list above demonstrates many varieties of home sources where genealogy family data can be located. This list is not extensive. Each item should be evaluated, the information recorded and the source cited. When information on an individual differs between sources, note that. Additional evidence will be required to prove which fact, if either, is correct.Tweet