Genealogy can be a relatively confusing pursuit, particularly for beginners. Simple mistakes can be incredibly time consuming, which can be rather disheartening for beginning genealogists. Despite these issues, genealogy is a past-time that provides incredible value. It teaches you about your ancestors and where you came from. It can even be used to obtain legal benefits, because it can help you prove your heritage. Avoiding some of the most common mistakes can help you get a solid start on your genealogy project.
Focusing on the Individual
Many beginning genealogists focus on individuals rather than how the individuals relate to the family and the bigger picture. Of course it is wonderful to learn as much as you can about each individual ancestor, but it is also important to get a general idea regarding the complete family dynamic.
Keeping notes is one of the most important aspects of genealogy research. You must keep thorough, organized notes of your finding. Failure to do so can negate a good portion of the work that you have already done.
Jumping to conclusions or making assumptions can cause you to search for leads in completely wrong directions. Just because someone has the same name as the person you are searching for does not necessarily mean that they are the same person. Additionally, names and dates are often mistyped, so you should review these frequently.
There are many other issues that can arise with genealogy research. An individual pursuing a genealogy project should create specific goals, rather than vague ones. Additionally, they should refrain from depending too much on the research of other people. Do your own research and fact-check; other people are perfectly capable of making mistakes too. Many beginning genealogists neglect their living relatives, even though they are a vital source of information.
Genealogy can be difficult, but it is more than worth it. If you have hit a snag in your genealogy research, we are here to help. To learn more about our genealogy services, contact us at Heritage Consulting today!