||This is a series of pages to help beginners start their family
history using proven research techniques. In our travels
we see lots of researchers who seem to lack a plan of attack.
They use the fowl yard principle - hunt and peck - rather
than developing a strategy!
• The most important principle of all family history
research is to start with yourself, or the subject of your
enquiries, and work backwards in time through available
records from the known to the unknown
• If you try to work forward in time from some historical
character who is supposedly your ancestor, or of your surname,
the usual consequence will be much wasted time, many dead-ends
and little real progress.
• It is most important to note here that a pedigree
or ancestral chart goes backward in time from the present,
starting with you [or the subject of your research] and
shows your two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents,
and so on.
• A descending chart is quite different in that it
shows all the known descendants of a given ancestral pair
[eg children, grandchildren] and who they married [cousins,
aunts, uncles, etc]. It comes forward in time from the past
to the present. It is often called a tree. It is something
to consider when you have collected a lot of information.