How can I go about starting my research on family?
I really didn't know how to put the heading for my question but I am trying to do some research on my family who is mostly Cherokee Indian. The genealogy society where I live was unable to help me and I don't know where else to go. I am really wondering who the people were and how they lived or where they lived. I know most of my family lived in Missouri and on the East Coast but want to know more. I would just up and ask my family but a lot of them have passed away or I have no way of contacting them.
- MaxiLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Before you launch into websites and get fed up because you can't find anything, do your groundwork first.......
Have a look on this site, which will help you make a start in understanding the principles of researching your family history http://www.familytreefolk.co.uk/page_11010.html, then down load some family history sheets http://www.mcpl.lib.mo.us/genlh/forms/ and starting with yourself fill one in, you will find the sheets act as a check list and you may also find that you don't have all your own information and have to go searching in your home and asking your parents/other relations about it.
Look at your own birth certificate, it gives you lots of information and don’t forget to write the registration number down on your form, as this tells you that it is primary document information, which is what you need for every piece of information you collect, once you start researching you will notice many people don’t have primary information numbers on their research...which shows you it is hearsay, copied from others and guesswork and there is no place in research for guesswork. One wrong name in your tree and it means you are not researching YOUR family.
Fill a sheet in for your parents and any living relations you have, go and talk to them, ask to see any certificates they have and write all the information down they give you.....ask if they have any old photographs as this gets people talking and remembering other people in the family they had ‘forgotten’ about...write down any 'family stories' you are told....some may be correct, however many are not and you find once you start researching you can sometimes use these stories in your research for clues about where to look at records...........before you go near a website, this information give you a 'feel' for who your family is and makes it s much easier to find ancestors once you do start looking at websites ( they are not the place to 'start' your research).
By using the family sheets it makes it very easy for other relations to see what you are doing and to understand the information you are collecting and they are more likely to help and give you more information....as most at first will say, “I don't know or I haven't got any idea about our ancestors". It is also nice to be able to give you relations a copy, as by doing this they will look at the information, talk about it and may remember more information for you or even find some paperwork that has been long forgotten.
The very best sources of information is in your home and in the homes of your living relations with any documents, certificates and newspaper clippings that many people keep....you will get lots of information, start lots of interest in what you are doing and will get your family involved in helping you get started and are more likely to have correct information
If you want to then input this information onto a computer database a free one is Brothers Keeper http://www.bkwin.net/version6.htm and you can even add photographs, print out family trees, lists or add notes/stories etc
This also may help http://www.indian-affairs.org/resources/aaia_resea...
Good luck in your research
- 1 decade ago
google family tree websites. i use them and they work!