Providing practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians since 1995, online since 1985.

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Genealogy Lessons

Links to (mostly) MYRT's Practical, Down-to-Earth Advice...

Beginning Genealogy Lessons
  • About these Lessons
  • #1 - Primary Birth Records - "YES, "competent" is a word we will use to describe your family tree climbing abilities."
  • #2 - Choosing a Genealogy Program  - "The first advantage of using a genealogy management program, is that you are able to type in the name, dates, localities on each ancestor 1 time."
  • #3 - Relationship Terms - "MY SON'S NOW WIFE didn't imply a previous marriage. It was used to protect the estate from being diluted from claims by subsequent wives should this one die and the son remarry. "
  • #4 - Home Sources- " When times were rough, people used whatever precious book they had on hand to record names and dates of births, marriages & deaths."
  • #5 Calendars & Dates - "Naturally because we're living in an imperfect world, different countries adopted the newer calendar at different times! For instance, the Gregorian calendar began on October 5, 1582, but was not adopted by Great Britain and the American colonies until September 14, 1752."
  • #6 - Government Records - "... we look to other sources for original documents that were created at the time our ancestors lived."
  • #7 - Public Library Sources -"Despite being in a Florida library, we found information on his ancestors who are from Florida: Manatee, Sarasota, Hillsborough &Leon  counties, Louisiana , North Carolina and early Baltimore County Maryland."
  • #8 - Previously Compiled Genealogies - "Just remember, when using previously compiled genealogy, its better to question than to perpetuate the myth."
  • #9 - Conflicting Information - "The bottom line is that you will need to document every source and the dates stated or implied by that source."
  • Reader's Feedback: Regarding Lesson #9 - "Even vital records can be wrong. My daughter's death certificate has incorrect information on it and I was the one that supplied the info. I don't know if it is incorrect because of transcription errors or because of the severe emotional distress that I was in at the time! "
  • #10 - County Boundary Changes - "The hard and fast rule for genealogy researchers is record the place or locality as it was at the time of the event."
  • #11 - Local Histories - "As you continue your family history research, you'll need to move from finding the original documents of birth, marriage and death to reading contemporary diaries and printed local histories."

NOTE: Where the columns were previously posted at we have noticed that during the past 8 months, AOL has not provided consistent support to the members web space. I'm gradually moving them over to for reliable access. AOL has actually told me they do not know when the problem will be fixed. (sigh)

Related Topics:

Finally Get Organized Lessons - You can do it!

DearMYRTLE's "FINALLY GET ORGANIZED" monthly checklist has been converted to a "little book." Click to find out more.




Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy 


1995-2010 Pat Richley HOME | Ask | Blog | BookShelf | ContactLessons | Listen to Podcast
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