Getting Started

1.)  Know your relationships: an ancestor is a person from whom you are descended. A descendant is a person who is descended from an ancestor.
2.)  Remember to document everything you find on your ancestors. Undocumented genealogy is nothing more than mythology!
3.)  Meaningful genealogy requires thought. Develop a plan. Set goals of what you plan to accomplish in a reasonable time frame (i.e. go back 4 generations, go back to the immigrant ancestor, do only my mother's female line, etc).
4.)  To find a birth date from a death date, subtract the age in years, months and days from the date of death. This will give you a very close approximation.
5.)  Genealogy is the search for our ancestors. Family history is the study of the lives they lived. Using the information from each area provides us with a true picture of our family.
6.)  Female lines are as important as male lines. Remember that one half of your ancestors are female!
7.)  A generation is 22 - 25 years for a man and 18 - 23 years for a woman.
8.)  When taking notes, use standard sized paper, one surname per page. Record source and identifying information so you can find it again, and note the date and place you found the information (i.e. volume and page). Use only accepted abbreviations and be sure you understand basic genealogy terminology.



Definition Of Terms

1.)  "Consanguinity" means blood relationship.
2.)  "Lineal Descendant" means being in the direct line of descent from an ancestor.
3.)  A "Consort" is the first wife, who died before her husband. A "Relict" is the second wife, who survived him.
4.)  A "Collateral Ancestor" is NOT in the direct line of ascent, but comes from the same ancestral family.
5.)  In early American History, a "Cousin" was a relative by blood or marriage of any degree outside the immediate family
6.)  In early American History a "Daughter-In-Law" was a step-daughter or the wife of the son.
7.)  "Genealogy" is the study of the origins and descent of families.
8.)  A "Source" can be a book, record, object, or person supplying information
9.)  A "Primary Source" is a record created at the time of, or shortly after, an event or circumstance occurred.
10.)  A "Secondary Source" may be material copied or compiled from other sources or written at a later date from memory.
11.)  A "Citation" names a source with enough detail to allow someone else to find the source. An example of a citation is the title, author, publisher, publication date, publication city, and page number of a book.
12.) "Cuzzy" feminine for "Cousin" this term can be used by female cousins addressing both male and female cousins and by male cousins addressing female cousins.




1.)  An Ahnentafel Chart is a numbering system used to identify each individual in a family tree. Example: A starting person is given the number 1, the individual's father is twice that individual's number (2), and the individual's mother is twice that individual's number plus one (3). So, to find the father of any person, double that number. To find the mother, double the number and add one.
2.)  A Family Group Sheet identifies a couple and their children. Everyone has two group sheets - one as a child with parents and one as a parent with children (unless one does not marry and/or have children!).
3.)  A Pedigree Chart is the road map for you and your ancestors. It begins with you and works back in time. Always use maiden names for identifying females in your Pedigree Chart
4.)  A Time Line or Chronological Profile begins with your ancestor's birth and is filled in with various occurrences or life events in his or her life - by date & location. Include the source of the information as well.
5.)  A Research Log is very important for the time when you share your data or decide to publish your work. You will need to know your sources for each piece of information. Be VERY specific with your information and quote authors, titles, pages, publishers, etc.
6.)  A Correspondence Log includes the name and address of each person you have written to, what you requested, the date the request was sent and the outcome of the communication. It's a great way to keep your queries organized and to determine if you need to follow up with someone.