Steps 2 & 3 – How do I find my family?
Interview living relatives: It goes without saying – start with the older relatives first. You’ll never regret having a digital recorder and video camera at these interviews. When you set up these ‘talk story’ sessions, be sure to let the person know that you are doing research on your family’s history.
Focus: You can’t do it all, and you can’t start by researching everybody. So you’ve got to focus where you’re more likely to have the most success. Make a calculated decision and choose one family line to research first. If you come across details about a family member in another line of the family, put it aside in a safe place but don’t get sidetracked. Focus on one family line (either your mother’s side or your father’s side) until you can fill in everything you can going back at least 4 generations or until you reach a real dead-end. When this happens, then begin researching the other side of your family as far back as you can go.
Once you are well on your way to completing these 3 steps,
- Start with yourself
- Interview living relatives
You will have found many of your ancestors and will have gained the passion of a family historian.
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