Tuesday, April 22, 2014

So You Want To Get Involved In Genealogy, What Should You Do First?

For you old pros, family history consultants, or genealogy enthusiasts, how would you answer this question? "What should a new person to genealogy do first?"

#1 to do: This is new to my suggested starting point: GET INTO FAMILY TREE - IT'S FREE!

I still serve in Church Headquarters, this time part time as a Church Service Missionary, answering peoples calls and emails for help on FamilySearch Family Tree. I am also a local Ward Family History Consultant.

I see three types of beginners: 1- some with no computer skills, even some who care but just struggle with the computer. They have convinced me they just won't get it so to speak. To you I say, your story, the stories you know will have so much meaning to your descendants. My advice to you is find someone who cares enough to help you get those stories, and hopefully photos too, on Family Tree.

Below you see that there are 27 memories in 
Family Tree about my 2nd Great Grandfather Henry Mower.
Some of these memories are photos and there are stories

Anything you can do to provide this gift about you or those you know is just that, a gift, to posterity. In our Ward we are beginning to offer this type of help to the many seniors who are a library of history. After all, when an old man dies, a library burns. 

2- There are those that can learn. A neighbor occasionally calls upon me for help. She is a shining example of desire. When I go to her home she has a list, all with questions she is stuck on. Most of the time I am gone in less than an hour. I love helping her. She spends several hours a day adding facts and memories to Family Tree. By the way, she is 94. She proves that to some age is not limiting. So if you can learn, call upon someone to teach you. 

The first thing I would suggest you learn is Family Tree. Family Tree is not just for Mormons. The last statistic I saw was that 1/3 of the activity in family tree was from the public accounts.

3- The third group I see are those that can teach others. To you I ask you assist the first two groups. The opportunity is everywhere. 

When I first caught the bug to get into this work I committed two hours a week. At first I was sloppy. Now I care about accuracy and sources. I don't make changes or additions to family tree without being sure I am correct. The finding records process gets easier every day as millions of new records go online from the thousands of websites around the world. 

My first tip, is to decide which of these three you are in.

My second tip, is to get a login to family tree and see if you have a pedigree that shows up. If not, get help connecting you to deceased ancestors. That is my next article. For those ready to rock go to http://familysearch.org and create a login or login if you have done this.

See if your tree is connected to anyone but you. It will not show any live persons, including you to the public. Therefore, if you parents are live you have to add them. Again, no one but you will see them or their information. You have to follow this process of living people until you connect to a deceased ancestor.

My first suggestion is that you fill out your tree, it's actually the tree for all of us once you connect to deceased people. See if you have ancestors already connected. Start exploring. At the top of this blog is a link to the training videos. They are excellent. Go as far as you can. More tomorrow. 

For video training on family tree go here: https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/family-tree-curriculum/818 and click view this lesson.

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