What is family history? The alternative guide

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11 August 2017
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Our new blog series, by Paul Chiddicks, takes an alternative look at family history and how to approach the subject. It's family history with a twist...

Our new blog series, by Paul Chiddicks, takes an alternative look at family history and how to approach the subject. It's family history with a twist...

Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Paul Chiddicks, I am 53 and have been researching my own family tree for around 15 years now. I have both a keen interest in my own family history and also military history. I have decided to start this blog to give people some alternative ideas for research, so its kind of family history with a twist.

Over the coming months I will try to illustrate alternative approaches that might help you add to your own personal tree, all of which I have used successfully myself. Today by means of an introduction, we shall start with “What is family History?”.

What is family history?

So what is family history? Is there a right way or wrong way to do this? The short answer is that it’s “your family history”, therefore it’s personal to you and how you pursue it is entirely up to you. So there is no right or wrong way, there are many do’s and don’t’s and obvious pitfalls to avoid whilst carrying out your research and there are plenty of good books and articles online that will cover those pitfalls.

This blog is not about how you carry out your research, it’s more a look at discovering new ideas and avenues of research that maybe you had not thought about or considered before. It’s about personalising for yourself not for others, ultimately it’s whatever you want it to be. Whatever direction your journey takes you is ultimately your choice there should be pressure to conform, be a rebel and follow your own path of discovery!

Genealogy goals?

Should you have and do you need goals? My view is not necessarily so, your research can be like a flowing river taking you on a journey of discovery, so why not dive off on a tangent and follow your instinct and follow one individual on your tree more closely, just because something captures your imagination. As long as you can find your way back, there’s nothing wrong with that.

There are lots of different voyages to be found and over the next few months I will explore and share a few of those with you.

Subjects will include:

  • Google is your friend
  • Join a forum or association
  • Review, review, review again.

I look forward to bringing some fresh ideas to you over the next few months that will hopefully inspire you in your own research and if it unlocks just one door for you then the journey has been worthwhile. Join us in September for part 1 of the series.

Paul Chiddicks

Follow Paul on Twitter and his blog.

Researching the names: Chiddicks in Essex; Daniels in Dublin; Keyes in Prittlewell; Wootton in Herefordshire and London; Jack in Scotland.