Genealogical research is a life-long project. Tidbits by tidbits, you could build a family tree, and that tree will grow into a forest, depending on the size of your family. The road to the discovery of our ancestors is a human journey. It is often replete with struggle, suffering, success, outstanding achievement, devastating failure, death, survival, comedy, and tragedy.
Get ready to embrace the unexpected. If your genealogy research results show that one of most of your ancestors lived an outlaw life, make sure you unearth aspects and detail of what they did and why. Do not judge or condemn. Our ancestors did not have the luxury like us, but they were the cause and reason for our existence. The focus should be on the sacrifices that they endure to make us whom we have become. The leverage you have is that you are still alive, and one of the good things that can come out of genealogical studies is knowledge of your past and the ability to be resilient and focus and live better than your ancestors.
Here are steps to take to achieve better results from genealogical research studies:
- Pen down your purpose and goal and what you are particularly passionate about the family on a piece of paper. The objective should include but is not limited to building a first-generation family tree that has your dad, mother, sister, brothers, maternal and paternal uncles, and aunts. Your mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law, sister, and brothers-in-law are also parts of the tree. Another goal is to make your children be part of this venture.
- Your overall vision is to learn as much as you can about yourself through the family heritage-culture, ceremonies, festivities, religion, tradition-improve relationships to your family and always try to achieve more, learn more, and get better off than your parents.
- Find the facts. Ask your parents about what they know about your grandparents. Ask questions like where did they come from and live? What were the occupations? Interview seniors, discuss the issue individually and in a group, launch a survey, and ask relatives and other people what they know about your family.
- Consult secondary sources or literature review. In other words, go to libraries and read books, articles, journals, lectures, reports about the family story—Surf the internet and social media channels. Take notes on iPad, computer, cellphone, or notepad.
- Search through the data, information, and answers you have gathered. Chronologically organize and analyze what you have collected about the family. Identify patterns, relevant stories, and trends.
- Write the story or the results and share them.
Ask firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help building your Family Tree, collecting information about your ancestors, and writing stories about them.