Family History and Genealogy Services

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Family History and
 Genealogy Services

Genealogy: A term referring to the study of the history of past and present members of a particular family, which usually includes the preparation of a "family tree" or pedigree chart, showing the past and present members of the family joined together by a series of lines that help in ascertaining their relationship to each other, and the location, documentation and recording of a family history, including stories about the personal lives of individual members of the family, sometimes even including pictures of these individuals or family groups.

The terms "genealogy" and "family history" are often used interchangeably, but technically a genealogy is about the descendants of an individual or couple, and a family history is about the ancestry of an individual.

Beginning Your Family History and Genealogical Research

The basic objectives of genealogical research are to

  • identify individual ancestors and

  • their family relationships.

The basic items of genealogical information are

  • the dates and

  • places of events that identify ancestors and their relationships.

The principal genealogical events are

  • births,

  • marriages, and

  • deaths.

Family historians record the names of parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on. Then you identify each person by

  • recording the date and place of his or her birth,

  • the names of the parents,

  • the date and place of death,

  • the marriage date and place of each husband and wife, and

  • the names of their children.

In beginning the development of your family history, the following steps may be helpful:

  1. Educate yourself about genealogical research. Read instructional books about genealogical research and become familiar with the ethnic and geographic background of your ancestors. Also become familiar with the many different resources used in genealogical research.

  2. Use family group sheets and pedigree charts. Organization is one of the primary guidelines to doing research. Inexpensive paper forms and genealogical software are available to help you organize your information.

  3. Go from the present to the past, start with yourself. Compile the information you have about yourself and the preceding generations, and then work backward in time to earlier generations.

  4. Begin at home. Do preliminary oral interviews of family members, check records in attics, drawers and basements, find if other family members have done research, etc.

  5. Document your notes. You must document your research to know what sources you have read, the sources you still need to read, the reliability one source vs. another or to return to the source again for further research. Write down all information that will help you find the source at a later date.

  6. Draw up a research plan. After you have compiled your basic information, examine it and determine what additional information you need. Identify the records that will give that information and locate them. Begin with three basic genealogical sources: Family Histories; Censuses; and, Vital Records.

  7. Make a copy of all the records you find. If you just record information from the document, you may miss information on the document that you will need at a later date. When making a copy, write the source information on the copy immediately.

Family historians need to consult and research many different resources to identify family information required for a family genealogy and history.  On this site there are links to many of the Genealogy Resources used in family research. Also available on this site are genealogy resources for German Genealogy, Illinois Genealogy, Wisconsin Genealogy and Lutheran Genealogy.  These are areas in which specializes. 

If you find that you do not have the time or temperament to do your family history and genealogy, or have taken your family history as far as you can, contact Genealoger (replace "at" with @ in address). We offer professional assistance in developing your family genealogy and history.

Our services include:

  • Ancestry Research
  • Record Searching
  • Consulting Services
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