Genealogy How-to

Getting Started with Genealogy

Genealogy is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the world today. Before computers and the Internet, family trees were created physically, often using calligraphic pens and different coloured inks on paper charts.

Today there are two common methods of creating a family tree: by using downloadable software from a variety of sites, or by using one of the many online family tree making websites.

However, where do you start gathering the information you need to populate your family tree?

Well first of all you need to talk to as many of your relatives as possible

to find out where and when they were born, if they were christened, and the names and if possible, an address for their parents.

Verbal information of this sort is valuable, and it may help to record your conversations with relatives. Even more valuable is written records. These records can include church records of births, christenings and funerals. They can also include census records and sometimes personal journals and diaries.

There is one big problem with written records from years ago; handwriting can be very difficult to decipher. There are many census transcriptions available, both online and as sets of CDs which you can purchase.

However, they were transcribed by someone else, not you, so can you trust that they got the spelling right? For more information on handwriting, check out our handwriting page.

You can buy the actual microfiches in pdf format on CD and do some searching yourself if you like.