How to research genealogies has been one of the longest standing and most debated topics in the genealogical field. With the internet, people have learned how to research genealogy from different angles. However, the internet has only made things easier. It is no longer daunting to learn how to research genealogy. Now, you can research genealogies without the worry about researching mountains of information. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newbie at genealogical investigation, there are always challenges that all genealogists will face.
Here are just some of the challenges and practical tips to learning how to research genealogy online or from genealogical books: Getting lost. Just like when you’re in the field, you never know who may be looking for you. In order to avoid getting lost in the search for your family history, try to use a GPS or other navigation device to direct your way. This will keep you on the right path and help in finding information quickly. Also, you may want to access family history websites where you can find pictures and articles from your ancestors.
Being distracted by other things. A Genealogy website, blog, or informational book is a great source of information, but if you’re talking on the phone or texting others, you can’t focus exactly on your research. So, as much as possible, try to keep your focus where you need it to be: on your research.
Being sidetracked by social media. If you have an genealogical blog or website, it’s hard to keep focused when you’re bombarded by social media. Try to resist the temptation to “like” or share anything that seems remotely connected to your family history. Stay focused on your research. For example, if you’re researching by surname, don’t go through any genealogy internet site that has a lot of family history posts.
Getting sidetracked by what other people are saying. There’s a reason why newspapers and magazines ran stories about your great-grandparents, and so on. People love to read about their family tree and pass it along to their friends and social media contacts. If you’re using a genealogy website, genealogy books, or genealogy online software, make sure that you’re not unintentionally stirring up conversations about your family history.
Being distracted by the volume of information. Researching an subject with so much information can be almost impossible. However, if you’re researching an area of interest for your Genealogy website, blog, or other genealogical media, there’s going to be a lot of information to take in. Keep focused on your research and don’t let yourself become overloaded. As tempting as social media may be, staying focused on your project is important
Being impatient. Remember that it can take a while to sort through a lot of information when doing genealogy online research. If you feel like you’re not progressing quickly enough, enlist the help of others in your journey. Ask those who’ve already done this what they did to speed things up. There’s no better way to learn how to research genealogy than by following others who’ve gone before you. Using a book type format (like the ones that are available from DAT) is one option to get you started.
As with anything that you use online, make sure that you think about these three pitfalls before jumping into researching online genealogy. By being aware of them, you’ll make sure that your research process goes as smoothly as possible. Once you know how to research genealogy online, you’ll be able to share your love of family history with friends and colleagues.