Genealogy research - a step-by-step guide to making the most of your family tree, part 2
In part 2 of our series, family history expert Mary Evans takes a look at how you can improve your family tree, whether you have just thirty minutes, or a whole day.
In this special eight-part series, Mary shares her advice on how to make the most of your time, maximise your research potential, and use the resources provided by record offices and genealogy websites effectively and efficiently.
If you have… half an hour
Is there a birth, marriage or death certificate that you’ve been meaning to order? Why not do it now? Certificates for England and Wales are available online through the General Register Office. You will need the full reference for the certificate. For Scottish BMD records, visit ScotlandsPeople.
If you have… a couple of hours
If you have a couple of hours to spare it’s a good opportunity to dig out one of your brick walls (all family historians have got at least one!) and have a fresh look at it. What do you know for certain? What gaps have you got? Can some of the gaps be filled by looking at information which has only recently become available?
It’s unlikely that your problem will be instantly solved but it’s surprising how useful it can be to revisit information that you have had for a while but not worked on recently. You may just spot something that you had overlooked.
If you have… half a day or a whole day
Remember that your house, both inside and outside, will be of interest to future generations of the family. Take photos of the rooms, your clothes, your children’s toys. Fashions change and technology changes so colour schemes, items of furniture, household appliances, clothes and toys all become history after a while.
Fifty years down the line, today’s automatic washing machine may well be as fascinating to our grandchildren and great grandchildren as our great grandmother’s old-fashioned mangle is to us today!
(Image copyright Tuck DB Postcards)