When I began researching

Back in the mid 1970’s when I first began my family history research, I made a lot of errors. I wish I knew about those guidelines.

Some included:

  • asking lots of questions but not writing down the answers – I was young, I would remember what I had been told
  • putting all my information in a big box – not sorting it into family names
  • finding information in books or on microfilm or card catalogues but not writing down where I found it

But there were a couple of things I did early on that helped me:

  • I visited my local Historical Society and asked them questions – they directed me to pedigree charts and family group sheets
  • They also directed me to the state archives where I would find births, death and marriage records on microfilm or microfiche

But nowadays with the internet, family history researching is so much easier.

You could join a course like the one run by the University of Tasmania or you could:

Find some beginner guides for family history from the following places:

To help document your research you can find online pedigree and family group charts

Download charts from here

Readers: What is something unusual you have found when looking at records about your relatives? Leave your story in a comment.

6 thoughts on “When I began researching

  1. Finding that your husbands grandfather and your great grandfather may have worked together and who for many years also lived in the same suburbs.

    Also that your great grandma and grandmother were married in the same church as your daughter who chose her perfect cute little church (which incidentally just happened to be a Cathedral) as a surprise for you.
    (Because I love stained glass windows and church choirs)

    Also found a relative in Anzac records who was fighting WW1 whilst suffering chronic appendicitis,
    and we think we have it tough.

    Regards Marg

  2. Oh I have the BEST unusual story…and it has multiple sources to boot!! I made contact with a researching relative in 2009 who cryptically ended his letter by telling me to Google “Mary TOFT”.
    Now, I must, at this point, say that although she is married to one of my TOFT siblings she is more related to me by her paternal line of DENNYER. I have yet to work on that connection.
    Mary Toft was born and lived in the English village of Godalming in Surrey. I would love to tell you more but you will get a real kick out of reading it yourself. And YES! It IS a true story, how and why she did what she did I can only put down to a severe depression and a need for attention…which she most definitely got…in bucket-loads!!!
    So, please, feel free to Google “Mary TOFT” of Godalming. I’d be most interested to learn of your reaction! I must admit that I had to read it several times and check plenty of sources before I believed what I was reading!!! And now it gets dragged up at any time for open discussion!!
    Read & Enjoy!

  3. Thank you for this wonderful blog. Your sites have been so useful and I now have a handle on my g g grandfather, Joseph, as this is the only name he used that was common to all. He was such a rogue that I find I have such an affinity with him that I need to know more and more about him. I’m hooked!

    • Hi Pat,
      It is such an addictive hobby this family history – but the journeys we make with our ancestors make us appreciate what our lives are like nowadays.

  4. One of my experience with the unusual was when a relative of mine told me she had done all the family History on my Preiss Family and that she would send me the details in exchange for photos of the family home and family. This I agreed to but when going through her details I found that a child of 4yrs of age had had a child herself, upon contacting my relative her answer was well they did things young in those days. This soon taught me never to trust anything done by other relatives but to use their information as a guide and do my own homework.

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