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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How to Begin!

If you are like most people at some point in your life, you want to know more about your personal family history. I did. ... And like most people, you learn that you know next to nothing about your own family. For example, many people don't even know "grandma's" or "grandpa's" real names. So the question becomes "How do I begin?"

For the budding family historian, the answer is simple. Begin with "what you know" — yourself! You know your name, your birthday, your parents, and where you were born. All this information is contained on your birth certificate, which if you don't have one, you can request from the town or state in which you were born for a fee.

From yourself, you begin to work backwards — to your parents to your grandparents and so on. Hopefully, your parents are still alive and can provide you with copies of the own birth and marriage certificates and clues and facts about your grandparents. If not, the hunt begins and you'll begin the most surprising adventure you've ever undertake. The fields are rich with knowledge and sometimes as elusive as a fox, but the end result of the mountains of vital records, family letters and photos, is well worth the time and effort.

Over the course of this blog, you'll piece together the greatest jigsaw puzzle and discover the most important treasure of all — your family. And that's what it's all about, isn't it?

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