Friday, July 18, 2008

Family History, Resources and Documentation

Family history research is both fun and challenging. It is a real live investigation of people you share your DNA with. Way better that a T.V. drama or novel or P.O.P 'news' article.
Our family had done some research many years ago and there where a lot of holes unfilled. In fact, in a 100-page history written up by one of them he said, "If I didn't have a name or particulars I made one up to make it read better." Great for a novel for someone who knew Zane Grey while growing up. Not to good for source documentation.
When we started doing more serious investigating into our ancestry we discovered that the facts where more exciting than any created to fill in a story. Revolutionary War veterans, Civil War veterans, founders of frontier cities, real pioneers, friends to the famous and infamous. And that's just on this continent.
We believe every family has stories that need to be told and recorded for their posterity to include the tales that where less talked about. You know, the ones that your parents and elders didn't mention when you where in the room. These stories bring your family to life so you can know who they where and enjoy the results.
But it must be real. Documentation is extremely important. Record you sources clearly. Sometimes it takes longer to record the source information that it did to find the person, but just do it.
Based on our personal experience if you don't all you have is a really good 'fish story' and something that won't be of any benefit to help you or anyone else find the missing people in your family. There are many examples, ours is believing that the maiden surname of a grandmother was Stone for more that 50 years because it was created to make the story read well. It wasn't. It is Wood, found through a chance research result after spending years looking for a relationship to a surname that wasn’t' in that line

The great part of this is that the right name was found, extensive family relationships added, and extreme elation that a mystery was solved. Just enjoy the process, the results are worth it.
Let us know if you have resouces or other things that we should add here. Especially let us know if you have common ancestry where we might share data.

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