Find My Ancestor Blog

Beginning Genealogy Mistakes

Do you remember when you first started doing genealogy? For some, it was 50 years ago, while others it may just be a few months. Whether it was long ago or just recently, I'm sure most of us have made simple mistakes that later we look back and say "I wish I would have done this" or "I wish I would have know about that". We are all beginners at some point, and all have gotten excited and forgot to follow a few simple guidelines that would make our efforts much more enjoyable with less of a headache later on.

There are two main things that come to my mind that I wish I would have done differently when I started, organization and always recording my sources.

We all get so excited about finding a census record or death certificate that we forget to record where we got it from and later forget to file it away in the cooresponding folder and before we know it we have information, records, and piles of paper(or digital files) that we need to go through and organize and cite our sources. That can be difficult because sometimes we need to search again to find where we got the record and then determine where it needs to be filed.

I am extremely guilty with both of those things. I admit that I have a hard time remembering to cite the source and know "how" to do so, but I know that as I learn more about how to do these things and actually DO them, it will help me in the long run.

I am interested in other things that you think are important and would help to do if you were or are a beginner at genealogy. Let me know what you think and I will be doing a follow-up blog on things you think are important when beginning genealogy.

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