Have you started the quest for your ancestors? Or is it your brother who, at the birth of his youngest child, started some genealogical research, to find out the origin of the family name, then stopped and you want to continue?
Perhaps it was your father who told you that his grandfather was a "piper" and intrigued, you began to research the mystery. Anyway, you caught the virus and started to draw your family tree. You spend hours on the Internet, skimming databases, flipping through DA records. You are now passionate!
The search for one’s ancestors always begins with a period of euphoria and accumulative frenzy. The young genealogist then seeks above all to collect the name of the ancestors, to accumulate the attendant information, whose discovery is each time a great joy.
Certainly, what satisfaction to see one’s family tree unfold its branches and expand! But from your first steps in genealogy lands, it is essential that you adopt a "vigorous" method. This method will provide you with lasting satisfaction, through the quality and reliability of the genealogical data you have collected. Someday it will also save you embarrassment and doubt - plus hours of research and verification which follow - you feel by asking questions like "where did I get this information? Or "why did I attach this ancestor to this couple?"...
So I'm going to venture here to present to you the 2 tips that I would give to a genealogist just starting out. It is not a practical guide to start one’s genealogy, but advice that draws from my own experience, and which I hope will help you avoid some mistakes that I myself made.
1. Welcome Your ancestors
Accept your ancestors... as you find them!
You may have been thinking of discovering some illustrious ancestry... and why not! But it is more likely that you will find many ancestors who were commoners, humble farmers, laborers, small traders, house helps... Was Europe not in the early nineteenth century, composed mostly of peasants?
Where then do you hope to confirm a "family legend", for example a link with the British Royal Family?
You may not find yourself an uncle in America, but what matters is that you will pull out an anonymous person from oblivion, and give them a small piece of life. That's genealogy.
2. Be Patient and Perseverant
In genealogical days follow each other, and are not alike. Some seek to quickly bring a wealth of information and new identified ancestors. Such a line, from the same village or already well documented by other genealogists, will be brought up in one evening.
But some days, the harvest is lean, or even worse, the block happens: a non-affiliative marriage, a few years missing in the register... It is then necessary to try to circumvent the obstacle; slowly turn and decipher them page by page...
Genealogy often transforms into real detective work, which requires ... patience and perseverance! But rest assured that a complete block is rare. Moreover, your findings and satisfaction will be many, and you will be rewarded for your patience.