This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Beginning to record your own family's genealogy

The first place to begin creating a record of your own family's genealogy is yourself. You begin by writing a "pedigree" - yes, that's what's called, just like for a dog. The information that you will need to write down is your name and when and where you were born. And then you go to your parents, same information, then your grandparents. This is actually a surprising amount of information! And you can get this either directly from the source, or if your parents or grandparents are not alive, from someone who knew them - that's you!

Keep in mind that traditionally women change their last name when they marry, so you will be recording many surnames. Oddly enough, many people wonder why everyone in my genealogy isn't named "Hall". Seems a silly question to me, but people ask it. Get into the habit of referring to people by their full names, not "grandma" or "Aunt Edna". I record women's names by their maiden name. The woman in the picture, labeled "Mrs. Effie Harrington" is Effie Lyman in my records.

Don't neglect siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, even "in-laws", they are all part of the puzzle. I am especially happy when I find a photo of a member of my family, and remember that people have been sharing photos with their distant relations, and in-laws, for over 100 years. That photo you want may show up in the possession of a distant cousin. It has happened for me several times and it is pure joy.

If you are descended from royalty, chances are that would have already known that. You probably aren't, most of us are common folk. And that family story about "the guy who fought with George Washington" may or may not be true. That's no place to start. Start with your own pedigree. You'll get there.
Post a Comment