Saturday, August 2, 2014

Starting Step A: The Question


The first step is to think about and write down a "focus question" for your genealogy research.

Genealogy usually starts out with a question.  Often this question is as simple as "what can I learn about my mother's family?"  Or "who wrote this diary that I found in my grandmother's apartment when she passed away?" Or "why did my ancestors come to America?"

Whatever it is, it will focus the early part of your research, so spend a few minutes thinking about this question, and write it down somewhere.

As an example, my starting question was:
I would like to know something about every ancestor of my daughter, who lived in the United States (or precursor colonies), a little bit about their schooling and education, and if they had type-1 diabetes.
The question should include something about who you want to learn about, and what you what to learn about them.

Since changing your "focus question" is easy, and can be done at any time, you don't need to worry about getting this question perfect.  All you need is something to start you on your Genealogical journey.