Here are things to get you started.
- Even if all you do now is get family members to fill out family group sheets, do it now. Our memories are not perfect. Even if siblings fill out the forms differently, there may be a reason for that.
- Get copies of family photos. It is so much easier now than when I was starting my genealogy journey. Find out the who what when where and why of the photo. My family collected photos but rarely, if ever, labeled them.
- Start a filing system. File physically and digitally. I've linked thousands of images to my family. Over the years I've discovered the best way to name my files, mainly to avoid duplication. I wish I had been able to start 30 years ago by adding the census image to each person. I've been slowly adding this over the last 10 years.
- If doing anything digital, BACK IT UP! Probably those are the most important words anyone can say to you. Find a friend, son, daughter, or anyone who doesn't live with you to keep a copy of it for you. Save it in the cloud. If you back up at home, and everything is destroyed in a fire, you have NOTHING.
- Take a Genealogy class. Even now, I learn things from classes. Ancestry has some wonderful online classes. Legacy Family Tree has weekly webinars that are free. It is even worth it to pay to subscribe for a year (less than $50) and have access to ALL their webinars and syllabi.
- Have your DNA tested. Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, 23 and Me, all offer DNA testing for very reasonable fees. One of the benefits of DNA testing is that it will link you to other people with whom you share DNA. Maybe it will link you to someone on a line on which you are roadblocked.
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