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Hints to start from Hugbearu2 & friends at ALTTP:


Get someone from your Historical Society; the lady sorted my families into separate files in a Binder. Document everything you do what where & when you found it.  Who told you something put this first

in the Binder under the name then into the form

that you want to keep your tree in.  Paf, Family

Tree, Legacy whatever.  Put everything and

where you found it very important to certify correct.


If you can use index cards put a name on then the information till you are satisfied then into the binder.  I an unable to see so I went right to the Binder on loose leaf.  Make a time line if you know where he/she died & where; start there and go back look at the Census see who they are with and usually you can see where they were & who they were with date of birth or job are on that.  From there go back even further, next go to the Archives I found many marriages, deaths & births they only do so far for each.  


Birth registrations may be released 120 years following the date of birth; marriage registrations may be released 75 years following the date of the marriage; and death registrations may be released 20 years after the date of death.


So if  they were born before or married before or died before that you have to go somewhere else.


keep notes in a notebook, not just on my computer, because you never know when you might have a computer crash ! Always back up everything, in writing and a disc if you want !




I keep notebooks at my side with all the info that I need to search . Also, if I am searching for certain names at the time, I write down on the info on that person that I have on an index card and keep it behind my keyboard and against my monitor where it is easy to be found when I am ready to do a search. Then when I need more info, I can then reach for my notebook, always ready at hand, to see more on that person !


I also keep binders, you know the ring type binders you used when you were in school ? I use these for each family name . I print out alot, or handwrite alot too. I then put the info into these binders so that I do not lose anything. I also will print out emails if they are about the write person I am looking for. I then put the name on a peice of paper and tape it on the outside of the binder so I know whose binder it is. I don't make it permanent, as I learned this early, the binder got too small for one families info ! I had to go out and buy a bigger one, and mark out the name on the other binder and add another name to that one and it looks sloppy, but I still use it anyway. lol. I use it for genealogy charts now though.


Another thing I do is when I go searching thru sites and see someone who might have the same people in there family, and I want to email them, I have learned by mistake, to keep a stenographer or small notebook close by or a small stack of index cards works too. You can put the email addy, the persons name, who the person is they have that you might have in common, when you emailed them, and if the email you sent came back because their email addy is no longer good, or if the y emailed you back and you had no match or if you did . It helps to keep the info ! I did not do this at first, and sure wish that I had !


I hope this might help someone ! 


Always remember too, that names may have been spelled differently that what you may have, so be prepared to play with the spelling of the name too ! I try to sit and think of ways the name may have been spelled, and sometimes I am surprised at how it actually was !!!




Tip for the day if you are putting the information into Paf you must put where you got the information who everything you know you received it from the documents if saved where mine are on adobe readers so I am backing them up tonight onto disc just in case my Paf that I have done too.  When you have everything you want get rid of all the documents not needed.  so much nicer to get down to manageable not the stuff in binders but off your computer.  Also by the name put * so you know you have source or documents without have to open it.




You should give credit to those who have helped you or to the sites you have found info at. Or at the bottom of your tree, you can always make added notes, number them however you wish per page, as to where they came from or what the notes are.


It also helps too if you have photos to add to things. Be sure you know who is in the photos ! Make clear concise ID's on the photos.


Another thing I like to do , is I keep a small 2 drawer file cabinet next to my computer desk. In it I have 3 or 4 families I am working on at that time. Though there may be 100 names in it !!!!! But you need to remember I have 20 binders full of ancestor names sitting in my bedroom waiting their turn to be researched and searched again. None of them are completed yet . Its a never ending story !!!!! But the file cabinet helps me keep them at hand so I don’t have to keep getting up and going to the bedroom all the time and find what I am looking for ! I can just reach over and find it, and not leave my chair. If you can not buy a file cabinet, and I know they are not cheap, I was  just lucky and found it cheap in a yard sale, you could use a box, or a basket of some sort !


Also if you have not thought of this one, here’s something else I do too, I use a different email for my genealogy than I do my regular email ! I find it easier that way. My regular email gets all my fwds, and jokes etc. from friends and family, and my genealogy gets mostly genealogy with a few personal emails from cousins and friends too. But not at the volume of the regular email. It just seems to work better for me that way.


One of things that I like to do is when I have a name with a spouse, is stick to them at first..... and if after not being able to do anything with them, go on to the next one..... now if you have several names, or have been lucky enough to say find several generations all in one night, write down all your information until you have everyone down with all their dates, towns, children etc. Then start back and go thru the spouses maiden names and start all over ! Go thru their names and search and see what you can find on them ! You may be surprised to find hundreds more of names on them alone ! Go thru each one, until you have made sure you have found all you can, then go back thru all those lists of names and check out all those maiden names .. you can just keep going on and on !!!!!!!!!!! You may need alot of paper to take your notes on ! This is how I do it, and it has worked well for me !!!!!!!!




from now on I only do tracing when I have a document to start from.  The documents I am waiting for the Smith family will take me to the marriage of the mom & dad I hope.  So if you have a possibility try to find something for sure a date or name.


New tip for me don't go by documents like hugs says unless it is on more than one.  The info I received this week had one person living in 3 different places.  Now I am going to the Mormon site some how before I do anything more. 


If you get newspaper articles marriage and obits you can get a lot of information I am working with that right now,


Tip for the day make notes lots of them


Well that is it for today. I hope you have good fortune hunting. If you are in B.C. there is a place for looking up cemeteries.

Family Search

I've used this site for several years but not till today did I find out I have been putting too much information in not less.


Just put in the last name then go down them with find check each one to see if they apply.  I put a document opened pasted the name what I downloaded and who gave the information.


This helped me to find all of one family from early 1800 to now.  WOW!!!

If you come to A Look to the Past you may just get the help you needed to get just a little further