1. Go from the known to the unknown. Prepare a pedigree chart and record the information you know. Start with yourself and work back to your ancestors. (Pedigree Chart)
2. Consult continuously with members of your family who are still living, especially the older ones. Be sure to write names, dates and locations. Consult them several times since memory often fails them.
3. Search homes for Bibles, letters, old dated pictures, obituaries, receipts, insurance policies and newspapers for records. If possible, get pages copied and certified.
4. Visit family cemeteries to secure dates from tombstones, also photograph the tombstones.
5. Read old family letters to determine whether or not names, dates and locations of your ancestors can be found.
6. Visit courthouses or write the Clerks of Court in parishes or counties where your ancestors lived: wills, marriage licenses, deeds, court proceedings.
7. Consult state bureaus of vital statistics to secure birth and death records.
8. Church records will reveal baptismal and marriage dates and names.
9. Consult military records within the state or the National Archives, Washington, D.C.
10. Submit queries to genealogical publications.
11. Check all census records for the period of time on your ancestors.
12. Remember, genealogical practice makes perfect.
Join a local genealogy society or group, network and collaborate with others.
Attend genealogy classes and conferences when possible.
Document, document, document
Share what you learn with other family members.
TIME, PATIENCE, AND PERSISTENCE