Where do I start?!

This blog… my family history… quite a fitting title, I thought!

Although I’m new to this family history malarkey, I do have a vested interest. I love history – I studied it at university and am particularly fascinated by the social side, by how people of past generations lived. I suppose family history does go hand-in-hand with social history as it’s really a way of establishing what life was like for our ancestors, isn’t it? I’ve certainly fancied getting involved for a while, particularly since the Who Do You Think You Are television programme started, but have never quite known where to begin.

The lucky thing is, I now work for UK family history website, www.findmypast.co.uk . That’s why, as I now have millions of records at my fingertips and an understanding of the different types available, I thought it would be a great idea to chart the progress I make with my research via the medium of this blog. I do hope it will be useful for the other newbies like me out there and that the family history experts amongst you might be willing to lend a hand here and there. I’d very much appreciate any hints and tips you may have so please do leave me a comment or two!

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5 Responses to “Where do I start?!”

  1. Steve Baldock Says:

    Welcome to our world!
    I have been doing this myself, in earnest, for around 12 months now. I too decided to produce a blog (See http://baldockfaggfamily.org.uk), both as an interesting project and to keep family informed.
    My journey continues, and it’s finds are facinating. I still consider myself a noobie.
    Being an “insider” yourself, I will be fascinated to follow your journey!

    Steve Baldock
    B.Sc.(Hons)(Eng)
    http://baldockfaggfamily.org.uk

  2. David Beverley Says:

    I suggest keeping a record in narrative form of your family tree in addition to a chart type-system. By using the narrative you can spread “sideways” that is having a clear system of showing your family – brothers and sisters and their offspring: and of course the same as you work backwards. At the same time you can incorporate the ahnentafel system which pursues a similar line, but much narrower family-wise.
    The result which you can keep on your computer and update as you get new information is most useful to print out/ or send by e-mail to your family.
    Hope this helps,

    David Beverley, Devon, UK

  3. Bruce Beauchamp Says:

    Keep a record of everything that you are told by your relatives, including things they tell you that they used to do as children,where they worked and what their school days were like etc. This information is invaluable as it puts meat on the bones. If you get stuck please feel free to contact me.

    Bruce Beauchamp, Queenland, Australia.

  4. simone cardoo Says:

    Hi i have been researching for around 2 years and have found the registry office a great source of info local prices may differ but for around 10 pound an hour you can access all BDM certs and they are great for working back through the generations i also found the records office for the area my family lived in great for burrial records they give all info about where a person died where they are burried and who purchased the plot. i have visited my great grandparents grave and found the experience great after finding out all about what they did in life i had a look at the area they used to live in i felt like i was walking in their footsteps and although i never met them it was like i knew them good luck with your search and if you want any help please get in touch

  5. Amy Says:

    Thanks for all of your tips! I’ll bear them in mind as dig into my research.

    @David Beverley: I really like the idea of keeping a narrative form of my family tree as I have noticed that I never have enough space to record everything. I’ve set myself up with a usb memory stick, with a folder per ancestor, to save scanned photos and records in. What I might do is keep a word document per ancestor too and add any extra information as I come across it.

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