Wednesday, October 01, 2008

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Family History Research

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Family History Research


Hugh Watkins

photo by Manja Kristoffersen

How you can start

First:- get a bound notebook and write down what you know. Backs of envelopes get lost.

Second:- ask your oldest living relatives what they know and write it down. Go through the old photographs with them and write the details on the back *in pencil*.

Third:- Get organised, whilst traditional methods of filing data on paper and cards are fine, I use Family Tree Maker 2006

Do not purchase the boxed sets - which are irrelevant for most people - but the single CD in a flat pack is the best value for money Shopping or .Shopping

Fourth:- Record sources of all data - learn to useto add sources to all data -  more Help !

Fifth and Sixth

 - a fast connection AOL Broadband Platinum and an annual subscription to

At first just log on as a guest and experiment with the freebies 1881in the  U.K Census Collection and U.K. Census Free Sample    prices

Are you stuck ?

Well you can ask for help. Where?

Read books. Read "how to" web pages.Usenet or Hughsnet

(2) Search the web for other peoples' research using Google -

. . . . HINT search "your name" + genealogy

(3) Join societies relevant to your interests.

I belonged to the Society of Genealogists in London because of their wonderful library, and I was in the Guild of One-Name Studies  because I am researching LAPHAM  and BARTLEY; and the Gwent Family History Society because my WATKINS  ancestors come from Llanfair Kilgeddin in Monmouthshire, Wales UK and I subscribe to  because I love their  census indexes and image quality.

(4) Email me - I do simple look-ups for free and  will give a quotation for extended research taking days of my time.

My specialities include Denmark, England and Wales and I have a broad general  knowledge of genealogy



Never assume or guess. You will get stuck.

The majority of primary sources are NOT, repeat NOT, on the web.

Use the web as an index to original documents, and verify all your data, even family

members can lie about ages and "forget" embarrassing events.

Take care .. there are errors on all websites, including the biggest, where some

amateurs have uploaded unchecked trees  full of mistakes or assumptions.


Work in Progress

this page updated September 11 2005  by Hugh Watkins

To find a Message Board
where you can share data

enter a surname

or a country or a county

or a topic,  like an occupation, census or adoption or . . .


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