Four Basic Ideas

1. Start with the information you have, and use it to find out information you don't have.

2. The Basic Genealogy Data Flow:

Source of information about your family (such as obituaries, census data, birth announcements, stories that people have remembered)   
-- flows into --->
Your genealogical records (which are usually a database which is
part of a genealogical software package)
-- flows into --->
Reports, charts, and paperwork that you can share with others (and
which are usually created by your genealogical software)

3. Genealogy is all about building a database, which means it is easy to start and stop, as time permits.

4. Although consistency is important, you can change your mind about how data is recorded, as you learn more about genealogy, and especially early in your research.  Don't be locked into a particular convention by an early mistake to use it.

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