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         Formal genealogy research constructs a framework for integrating the other aspects of family history. It answers the who, when and where questions about the story. The what, how and why are filled in later.

         My research has been sporadic, mainly relying on lucky breaks and the goodwill of other researchers with more expertise. This is a testament to the nature of genealogical research: people are eager to share what they know.

         These are some suggestions for preliminary family tree research:

  • Interview family members to find facts that will give your search direction. Ask them for the names of other relatives who might know more about the family.
  • Build on your relativesí research.
  • Use the genealogy resources at libraries.
  • Visit cemeteries to get names, dates and possibly to determine relationships between ancestors.
  • Check county record collections. If they keep a guest book, contact people who are seeking information about the same surnames.
  • The Internet is teeming with genealogy sites and message boards. Perform simple searches for specifics or use some of the popular sites for general information. See links.

© Heather M. Edwards