Genealogy Wise

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Got Genealogy?

GotGenealogy.com is devoted to helping researchers find and document their ancestors by utilizing online resources. Can you do it all online? No, no, a thousand times no. But you can do a whole lot online. We'll show you how.

Website: http://www.GotGenealogy.com
Location: Cyberspace
Members: 86
Latest Activity: Feb 20, 2014

GotGenealogy.com's "GOLDEN RULES of GENEALOGY"

1. “SPELING DUSN’T COWNT”
Back in the day folks couldn’t spell and many could barely write, so check all variant spellings of names. Whenever possible, use wild card or Soundex searches to help find variant spellings of your names.

2. ASSUME NOTHING
Check all your facts, don’t assume that any particular document is right or wrong, and always try to find other independent sources to corroborate your facts as much as possible. Verify, verify, verify. For instance, don’t assume that:
- your ancestors were married
- census information is accurate
- vital (or other) records were correct
- your ancestor’s life events were recorded
- your ancestors were enslaved
- newly freed slaves in the same vicinity with the same surname were related

3. USE DISCRETION
Never lie in your genealogy reports, but use discretion when reporting family information, as it may affect some of your living relatives.

4. ALWAYS DOCUMENT YOUR SOURCES, NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY CONTRADICT ONE ANOTHER
Over time, you will compile more data and those once seemingly contradictory pieces of evidence may prove to be just the pieces of the puzzle you need to prove or disprove your theory. But be consistent as you cite your sources. There are all sorts of standard citation formats that you can follow, but even if you just make up your own form for listing your sources, be consistent with it. Future researchers (your descendants) will thank you. Cite your sources.

5. MOST DATES ARE APPROXIMATE
Prior to the 20th century, anyway. It’s okay to state that someone was born “abt. 1845” or died “May 1915” if you don’t have an exact date. And even if you have an exact date from one document, another document may have a different date. And which date is “correct?” They all are.

6. IF UNSURE, SAY SO
Future researchers will thank you for being honest if you simply say that you cannot prove a specific fact, yet you “suspect” such and such is true. Don’t fudge the facts. Ever.

7. YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL ONLINE
Yes, we love doing our research online and we think that there’s nothing better than using the computer to find new sources, view digital images of original documents and even connect with long lost relatives. But, for genealogists, the internet will never replace the wonderful work of libraries, county courthouses, archives, and historical societies. You can’t do it all online. Do as much as you can online, then turn off your computer and hit the bricks!

8. JUST BECAUSE IT’S ONLINE DOESN’T MEAN IT’S TRUE
The internet is a wonderful thing but it’s filled with oodles of bad information. Don’t make the mistake of believing anything you find online at face value. Verify against other sources of information, even if you paid for the information.

9. PASS YOUR RESEARCH ALONG
No matter how many decades you spend researching your family, your research will never be done. In that stead, plan on passing along your research to the next generation’s researchers. Leave excellent notes, cite all your sources, explain your shorthand … in essence, leave your research the way you’d have liked to have found it.

10. DON’T DIE WITH YOUR STORIES STILL IN YOU
Giving credit to Dr. Wayne Dyer for his Don’t die with your music still in you, we want to remind you to tell the stories as completely and as accurately as possible. Genealogy isn’t about just doing research. Genealogy is about telling the stories and ensuring that your ancestor’s legacies live on for generations to come. Without the stories, the research won’t do anyone much good. The legacy of your ancestors rests in your capable hands. Doing the research is fine, but always remember that you have been chosen to tell their stories.

You have our permission to use/publish these Golden Rules as much as you like. Just give us credit for them, okay?

Discussion Forum

Teaching Genealogy to Middle Schoolers 11 Replies

Started by Lisa B. Lee. Last reply by Lisa B. Lee Nov 19, 2009.

November Issue of Got Genealogy News is Online 2 Replies

Started by Lisa B. Lee. Last reply by Lisa B. Lee Nov 9, 2009.

Got Genealogy Featured in Podcast! 2 Replies

Started by Angela Walton-Raji. Last reply by Angela Walton-Raji Sep 8, 2009.

Comment Wall

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Comment by Mary Hellman on February 20, 2010 at 7:42pm
I'll hurry and check it out.

Thanks Lisa.
Comment by Lisa B. Lee on February 20, 2010 at 4:21pm
Glad to hear it, Mary. Did you notice your comment on the new site? Check out the "What Our Members Are Saying" page ... you're FAMOUS!!
Comment by Mary Hellman on February 20, 2010 at 8:45am
I joined the new website about a week ago. It looks like it will be a great help. Already I have viewed a video tuturial that shed some light on wild cards with ancestry.com. I am a premium member.
Comment by Lisa B. Lee on February 4, 2010 at 11:23am
The new Web site FINALLY goes up this weekend. Oh, what a tiring few months it's been, no thanks to a Web developer who ripped me off and refused (or was he just inept?) to finish the project ... thanks to some help from a sensitive and caring customer service rep at Network Solutions (they rock!), the new site is nearly complete and will go up this weekend, over a month late.

All's well that ends well. Read the gory details in my blog:
http://www.gotgenealogy.com/blog/
Comment by Lisa B. Lee on November 18, 2009 at 12:38pm
So glad, Kate. Be sure to wear your bag, proudly.
Comment by Kate Steere on November 18, 2009 at 7:31am
Hi Lisa-
I got my bag yesterday, and I loooove it! :) I esp love the story that goes with it. :)

many thanks!
Comment by Lisa B. Lee on November 9, 2009 at 11:19am
Robyn;

Thanks for your interest. They cost $20 and you can buy them at my Web site, www.GotGenealogy.com. Once they're gone, they're gone, though. Changing designs next year. One day, this current model will be a collector's item, so you should probably buy several :>).
Comment by robyn anderson on November 7, 2009 at 10:15am
how can i get one your cool got genealogy bags
Comment by Mary Hellman on November 7, 2009 at 8:11am
Hope your son heals quickly and you get over your back pain and your cold. Yes it sure did pour down rain on you lately. How could anyting else go wrong? Hang in there - all these things will pass.

Mary
Comment by Lisa B. Lee on November 5, 2009 at 11:55am
Okay, so the November issue of the Got Genealogy News is a bit late. Both my Web master and I were fighting colds (she's in Michigan, I'm in California), then, I threw my back out. Now, my 15-year-old son is on crutches, and we're going to the doctor this afternoon to see what he's _________ (insert here ... broken, sprained, bruised or pulled) now. He's a gymnast with dreams to be a stunt man. Yeah. A stunt man. He's actually quite good at gymnastics, but he likes to push the envelope, and often lands his new moves wrong, hence the collection of old casts mounted on his wall.

So, will finish the GGN and get it to my Web master today or tomorrow ... should be up by Saturday. Seems like when it rains, it pours.
 

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