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Your Interactive Guide: Essential Steps for Beginners - cont.

 
Inform Family Members About Your Project

Call or write all important family members to let them know you plan to do the familyís genealogy and you pray for their cooperation in this important project. Use your family reunion address book for this task. While you are writing, ask a close family member to be your partner, preferably in the state where ancestors lived.

Collect and Copy Your Family Records

Collect and copy all of your own (immediate) familyís records -- birth marriage, and death certificates as well as other records. Then move back to that of your parentsí generation and your grandparentsí generation. This step will take some time if you donít live in the place where they live. A visit might be necessary. Your grandparentsí generation should have more records than your own immediate family has, but they might be dispersed among family members who now live all over the country. Items such as old funeral programs, employment records, photos, bible entries, school or military records, deeds, and wills should begin to show up. This stage is often combined with family interviews.

Your First Interviews

Create an address book of all your relatives, in-laws included, who are 50 years old and over. These are the people you will interview first. Interviewing family members is an on-going process. This first set of questions should be considered preliminary followed up by more detailed interviews over a longer period of time. Note that the interviews might occur at the same time that you collect and copy records.

 

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