One of the first things I want to make clear is genealogy is very expensive depending on the state you are researching.

I have had a few agencies charge as little as $3 for a marriage certificate and I have had a cemetery charge $35 + for interment listings.

1. First get yourself Pedigree or Family Tree Chart.

You are the first person on the chart, then your parents, then their parents etc. 
Include the DOB,POB,DOM,POM,DOD,POD, FOR each person.

DATE OF DEATH, DATE OF MARRIAGE, DATE OF BIRTH, PLACE OF BIRTH ETC.

2. 2nd write down everything you know about your family.

3. Remember you are researching your family, NOT SOMEONE ELSE'S.

4. WORK WITH WHAT YOU KNOW!

5. DON'T TRY TO "FORCE" CONNECTIONS.
    IE: JUST CAUSE YOUR NAME IS JEFFERSON DOESN'T MEAN YOUR RELATED TO THE
          PRESIDENT.

6. Gather as much info as you can from living family members.

7. Gather as much documentation (make copies from those who don't wish to part with precious documents.

8. Start with the most recent and work your way backwards.

9. DECIDE WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT.

On your pedigree or family tree chart, write down your name, DOB & DOM if applies.
DOB = DATE OF BIRTH , DOM date of marriage. And your spouse

Gather up all your supporting documents, (make copies etc.)

Then write down your parents names. Their DATES of birth/marriage/death if applicable.
write place of birth,marriage, death & were buried if applies. Then gather up all documents
that apply, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates  & wills if one exists.

*Newspaper announcements of birth or marriage & obits.

WWW.VITALREC.COM IS A GOOD WEBSITE FOR ADDRESSES FOR VITAL RECORDS
JUST CHANGE THE END TO THE INITIALS FOR THE STATE YOU WANT.
EXAMPLE
WWW.VITALREC.COM/NY.HTML OR WWW.VITALREC.COM/NJ.HTML OR
WWW.VITALREC.COM/PA.HTML

NOTE: ANY ONE BORN OR WORKING AFTER 1937 HAS A SOCIAL SECURITY #.
IF DECEASED YOU CAN LOOK IT UP ON INTERNET.

ALSO BE PREPARED! GENEALOGY IS EXPENSIVE.
Cemetery's charge, Vital Records Court houses Charge a fee.
Newspapers charge.
Depending on how old you are, you should be able to gather info on your parents & grandparents
without too much trouble.

When you get to your great grandparents, you should be able to (again depending on age).
Look them up in the 1930 cencus records. For other relatives use other census.
Look up an address in a city directory aka phone book.
Look up a newspaper birth announcement or marriage announcement.
Look up OBITS.

Keep in mind, papers also printed "gossip" back then before 1950ish.

So and so went on vacation, or so and so came to visit.

Or so and so went to war. etc.

Don't forget cemetery's and funeral homes for a hugh source of info.

You can send away for birth, marriage and death cert.

You can look for a WILL, another source of relationships documentation. 

The further back you go you have to get more creative in your research.

Don't forget about naturalization records,

DAR records

War of 1812 Records

Civil War Records -

Also court minutes, and other proceedings.

Don't forget about using the census, especially ancestry.com or other CD'S where you can search the
entire state at one time (or country) if u are unsure just where your ancestor was during a certain
time period.

Their are land records. Tax Records. Tith tables.

Divorce Records. Military Records.

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TIP:  when using the internet, rootweb,genforum pages,
Ask specific questions,

I am looking for JOHN DOE IN PRINCESS ANNE COUNTY VIRGINIA BETWEEN 1750-1780, POSSIBLE
MARRIAGE RECORD FOR HIM AND JANE DOE.

Try not to give out any of your personal info, or any info that can be used against you financially etc.


 
ALWAYS PHOTO COPY THE DOCUMENTS, PAGES IN A BOOK, WHERE YOU FOUND YOUR INFO.
usually the "title page" and the page your ancestor is on.
           



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