Recording your family search

This Blog was created for people doing research in North America. I have done some European research but only in the confines of the World Wide Web.

Beginning your family search should start with what you already know about your family that includes their names and relationships and dates you know like mama’s birthday and their anniversary etc.  Put this information in a spiral notebook or special pages you have copied or purchased from genealogy websites. The best I use are the Family Group forms and the Five Generation chart.

Keeping the family in a Family Group form is easy, just list the parents and their birth, marriage and death information that you know, what you don’t know is what your searching is all about. Then list the children in date order, first born first. List their birth, marriage and death dates along with the name of the spouse with their info as well.

On the Five Generations charts you will begin the first one on the left by filling out your information. Then the top will be your father info and the bottom will be your mothers. This will follow suit, father top, mother bottom on the following generations.

Again, fill out what you can on their vitals birth, marriage and death dates and places. If you are using the forms you can put them in ascending for descending order as you prefer, but always keep them in a folder or binder which ever you prefer. Once you have the first page started, then you need to look at the missing items and begin to get that information.

NOTE: When you fill out the information with what you know please put in your Source or right behind the information OH, self or your name. This represents Oral History, Jane Doe. Once you obtain documentation of these items you can change the Source info to where you got it. Such as HR Church, Houma Bt Vol 4 No 2, meaning the Holy Rosary Church in the Baptism book Vol 4 and No or page. Notice I put Houma after the church name as the is another Holy Rosary Church in a nearby parish.

MEMO: Born in Louisiana, I am used to saying parish as that is what our counties are called. Please relate any information when I say Parish to County in your neck of the woods.

  1. Name of relative or self
    1. Date of birth, location and source
    2. Date of marriage, location and source
    3. Date of death, location and source

Please spell the name correctly and it can change as you go back in time with family names.

  1. Date of birth sometimes as b. or bn. is preferred, sometimes all you have is a baptism bt. date if that is the case use this date and show the Bt. And the source, church name, location, Bt. Book # and Volume and page numbers.
  2. Date of marriage, again this can be deceiving. In Louisiana, there are civil and church marriages. Usually, the civil marriage date is just the date the license was acquired at the local courthouse or the date a bond was posted. The church marriage usually followed with a different date. If I have both I put both, but for documentation on this form, there is no room for both, choose the one. you prefer or write the other on the back of the page of your form with the corresponding number from the front form. Example: Date: TPCourthouse MGs Book #, page# doc #.  & Date: HR Church Houma Mg book # page# doc#
  3. Date of Death:  DATE: Location, Bur. HR Houma Cemetery Main St Lot # Blk #, if this person died at a different location then put where they died in location city, state and or country, then put Bur. Location. Now this person could be living so this area is left blank.

NOTEs: If the person is single and not married then the marriage section would be left blank as well. If the person never married then put that in the marriage section, but if they had children, then you would ask permission from the persons to include the father (s) of their children as well as putting never married. For genealogy’s sake I always include the father’s names and put a note they were never married. That way the biological father would be named for medical reasons. If someone has been adopted, you may prefer to have one or both families listed and there are apps where you can place them as biological children or parents and adopted children or parents. If you have both and want to include them. Your choice. If you are writing them on the form or sheet then just create a second form for the adopted parents.

These are all choices you will need to make for yourself, no one else should make these decisions for you. Make sure that your reasons are on the up and up and not to hurt anyone. May God Bless you in a special way for taking up the genealogy of your family.

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