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  • Introduction to Genealogy

  • What Is Open Source Genealogy

  • The Importance of Open Source Genealogy

  • Family Tree Organizing Tips

  • 12 Essential Genealogy Supplies

  • Genealogy Beginner Mistakes to Avoid

  • How Far Back Can I Trace My Genealogy?

  • Using Cemetery Records in Genealogy Research

  • Genealogy Research Through Living Family Members

  • Tips for Managing Your Genealogy Archive

  • Resolving Conflicting Genealogy Records

  • DNA Testing and Genealogy Research
  • Genealogy Research Through Living Family Members

    Believe it or not one of the most overlooked resources for genealogy research is living family members.  Talking with other members of the family about what you are trying to do will often open up a fountain of voluntary information.  Family members will be happy to share with you the family tree as they remember it and offer actual documentation that will confirm research.  They will, if your purpose is to include it in your genealogy, often tell insights into what life was like “back then”.

    Besides the obvious questions such as names going as far back as the person you are questioning can remember, there are a few questions you can use that can draw out unsuspected surprises.  One is to ask if any family members were named after someone else.  This may give you a few more names, even entire branches of the family tree, to research.

    Offer suggestions for sources of information that people may forget they have on hand such as family Bibles.  Before there were common depositories of information, such as courthouse records, families often had a large Bible with the family pedigree just inside the cover.  In addition, they kept articles and obituaries of family members inside the pages.  Service records, birth certificates, photos which list those pictured or any family treasure is a good source of information which could lead you to other members of the family.

    One caveat, however:  Don’t take the verbal testimony of family members who are trying to recall information as the absolute truth.  Memories fade, inaccurate stories were often told and you need to back up unsubstantiated data with facts from somewhere else.

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