Beginners Grin and Dare It

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Revision as of 22:32, 17 May 2010 by Dianekay (talk | contribs) (added more organizing information)

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Welcome to Beginners Grin and Dare It

Sometimes Genealogical research can be intimidating to a beginner. The object of this page is to simplify the process as much as possible including links to assist you in your new adventure


  • Contact relatives for information.  Begin the writing pyramid by starting with known relatives and, after gleaning the information they know, ask them for addresses or phone numbers of other relatives who might be helpful.  If relatives say "I don't know anything", try the Rudyard Kipling approach "I keep six honest serving men (they taught me all I knew. Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who."  You might make your questions more specific such as: Who is oldest relative you can remember?  Where did your family live? What funerals do you remember going to? How do you know this information?  Do you have old letters or documents?  Why do you think your family moved? What did your family do for a living? What religion do you think they were?  Any war heroes?

  • Make it fun for a family night.  Have a scavenger hunt asking the family to scatter and find certificates, bible records, any other documents relating to family; immediate and ancestors

  • Collect information from other sources, remembering that this information is only as correct as the sources used.  You will always want to learn the sources used or double check in case the information has been passed down like the old telephone game we played as children where the last sentence is totally different than the first.  You may wish to try some of the following websites.


Getting organized can be likened to the creation of the world.  In fact, the same verbs can be used in both processes.  To avoid feeling overwhelmed this creation/organization process may be broken into six "days" of work.


Gather utensils.  Four loose leaf binders, plastic sheet protectors, five file folders


Label each notebook and corresponding file folder with the surname of a grandparent respectively - that's four. Label the fifth file folder with the words "Book of Remembrance." There are many ways to organize your notebook.


1.  Gather all your stuff.

2.  Divide the "stuff" into four file folders depending on the family to which it belongs. If you have a LOT of information , use boxes instead of file folders for gathering and dividing.
3.  Gather "stuff" from other relatives who have been working on genealogy.

4.  Divide their "stuff" by either "downloading" their stuff into your computer or "downloading" it into one of your file folders.