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Genealogy/Starting research

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Question
Hello,
My name is Sarah. I am attempting to research my family heritage and create a family/ancestry tree for a project I am doing for school. I have no idea what I am doing with this or even where to begin. I want to make a family tree, but I don't just want to stop there. I want to know about my ancestors and such. Where do I begin? What all do I need to accomplish to have a successful tree and information about my ancestors.

Answer
In starting family research, begin where you are.  Collect the names (full names) of parents and grandparents, etc., with birth dates, birthplaces, and marriage dates (and death dates, too).  Check with your local library and see if there is a local genealogical society.  See if you can get a "family group sheet" or a "five generation" chart.  These charts will help you organize data.  Much of this information  you can get through interviews, or you can look at family Bibles or newspaper clippings (like marriages, births, or obituaries).  It is very important to collect accurate information, so be sure that names are correctly spelled (like Johnson, Johnsen, or Johnsson).  Often family history information is written in family Bibles, usually on the front pages.  As you do research, take note of where people lived and moved and the reason for the move (as best you can determine).  In doing genealogical research, you often have to sort through diverse "clues" or types of information.

Joel

Genealogy

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Joel Bjorling

Expertise

I can help people get started in genealogical research, where to find information, forms to use, and various resources. I have also worked with Swedish research. I live in central Illinois.

Experience

I am an independent researcher. I helped with research through our local genealogical society.

Education/Credentials
B.A. Behavioral Science; MTS,Theological Studies; courses in genealogy (paleography, Illinois, Iowa research, Swedish research) through Brigham Young Univrsity.

Past/Present Clients
"Finding Records of Closed and Defunct Churches" (article)

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