Friday, November 24, 2006

Organizing Two Sides of the Family Tree

If you're not married, and/or don't have children, your family tree will begin with two sides – your mother's side of the family, and your father's side of the family. But if you are married, then starting with yourself, take a look at bith sides of the family, starting from either your wedding. Remember those seats with the bride's family on one side of the isle, and groom's family on the other? Well, that's where your children's family tree begins. Those seats would most likely have been filled with people who you can begin to piece together the first few pages of your family tree. If you're working in your complete family tree, you will want to keep records on both sides of your family, and keep them separated. As you delve deeper into your family line, you will find many names of people you have never heard of, and you don't want to mix the family records, complicating the process. By keeping the two sides of the family separated, you will be better able to keep track of the names, the relations, and it will make the long term goal of the project easier to see. There will inevitably be times when you'll feel as though you've hit a road block, and it can be very helpful to have another area you can concentrate on while you contemplate your options.

When you are ready to begin, there is one key factor that will help you trace the lines of relatives in your family. With common names, simply Googling for information may not be enough. Start with someone who is LIVING. Many people make the mistake of trying to begin with someone in the family who has already passed, which can work in some cases, but in others, it creates a dead end too early in the project. This is especially true when searching online for answers. When it comes to information online, let's face it, there's a lot to sort through. If you're starting with yourself, work your way up to your parents and grandparents, because you may end up with information that can lead you to more. For a really privileged start, run a report on yourself using a company like PeopleFinders, which will give you specific information to work with. Memories fade, and names, addresses, and other information becomes harder to precisely remember. Without correct details, you could halt your search before it has truly begun.

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Searching Your Genealogy – Your Family Tree

The family tree is often one of the most valuable heirlooms within a family. There are a great number of families in the United States that places a great emphasis on their genealogy and family history. Other families struggle through long searches trying to find answers as to where they came from, and how they got where they are now. Questions about who they look like go unanswered, but the desire to see their own faces in another human being grows with intensity.

But for many families, even though the information may be readily available on their genealogy, a wonderful family tree could be build, but it simply hasn't been started yet. These records can be extremely useful when researching the genealogy of your family. But record keeping wasn't a strong point of many of our ancestors, but birth, death, and marriage records have proven to be extremely useful, and are readily available online, as well as directly from the public records of many courthouses.

Putting together a family tree can be a difficult task. But in recent times, most people leave a paper trail, detailing records back as far as 20 years. As we fill out forms and sign documents, apply for loans, purchase property, get married, divorced, gain credit, and even destroy credit, we ourselves create this paper trail. It helps when you can give your project some organization right from the beginning. Set goals of how long each day or each week you would like to spend on your project, because there will be times you are truly addicted to your project, and just don't want to quit for the night, and other times you are completely frustrated, and won't want to touch it again for a year!

Frustration is one of the major reasons why people just starting to build their family tree end up quitting halfway through, never to pick up where they left off. Keep your project moving, and if you loose motivation in one area, try going back to an area you got stuck on in the past. A break in your thoughts can provide the ability to see clues you were blind to in your frustration. Try working on another area of the genealogical line for a while, and then later, come back to that which you were having trouble with earlier. If one relative seems to continue to provide dead ends, try a different relative. That's the true beauty of building a family tree. With extended family relationships, you have the option of using several different people searches to get information about the same relative.

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