TIPS & TRICKS

Some useful genealogy tips & tricks that I’ve picked up along the way, to help you with your own family tree research.

  • WORK BACKWARDS...

    Always start from what you know and work backwards.

  • SIBLINGS...

    Including brothers and sisters can be very helpful when you’re looking for someone with a common name.

  • SOURCES...

    Keep a note of where you found each piece of information.

  • RESPECT...

    Handle information that you discover sensitively – respect people’s feelings.

  • ARCHIVE...

    Look after your precious photos and certificates – scan them if you can..

  • FOLLOW YOUR INTERESTS...

    Focus on the people you are interested in – you don’t just need to go back in a straight line.

  • MAIDEN NAMES...

    Use maiden names for women in your tree except when searching for death records, burials, and wills.

  • LOOK SIDEWAYS...

    When you’re looking at images of documents online, it’s worth checking the page before and after – you’ll sometimes find something relevant.

  • PROMPT...

    Take some photos when you go to talk to family members – they will prompt discussions and memories.

  • COPYRIGHT...

    Be aware of copyright restrictions. You can't just copy words and pictures that you find online.

  • TALK...

    Talk to all your relatives about their childhood memories – you never know which clues will be useful.

  • CORRECT...

    Don’t be afraid of admitting that you have made a mistake – be willing to correct it.

AND FINALLY...

Don’t give up when you get stuck – have a break and come back to it later.

TEMPLATES

Why not download these free, easy-to-use templates to help you keep track of your research?

  • Individual record sheet

    Use this individual record sheet to keep track of the records you’ve found for each person in your tree.


    Click here to download.
  • Research log

    Use this research log to record where and when you’ve searched a set of records.



    Click here to download.
  • Certificates obtained

    Use this template to record all the birth, marriage and death certificates you’ve got copies of.


    Click here to download.