Where to begin?? How many of us have stood at the beginning of the yellow brick road that is family history and wondered just where to begin. The secret to this particular quest is that we need to begin at the end of our yellow brick road. We are the culmination of the stories of everyone that has come and gone before us. Looking for and learning of them is the highest honor we can pay them. So ... let's get started!
Now there is one thing I want to address straight out of the gate. I have heard, time and again, that the reason some individuals do not want to begin or participate with Family History is that they are afraid that if they did this then their children would go hungry, their husbands would go without clean laundry, and that they would give up on the rest of their entire lives because they would be so consumed by their Spirit of Elijah! HORSE PUKKY!!! You can make pretty decent strides on your family history -- even if you have never even started the basics--in 5 minutes a day. And I'm going to show you how!
The best place to start is to start with you! Take a piece of paper -- any piece of paper it doesn't matter what size the paper is, whether it has lines on it or pink daisies trailing up the side of the sheet. Just write your name -- if you are a married woman -- use your maiden name.
Underneath your name write your date of birth. Now in Family History we use the international date format of day, Month (spelled out) year. So, today's date would be written out as 8 May 2016. The standard month abbreviations work with this as well. For example -- if you were born on Christmas day in 1994 -- that date could be written 25 Dec. 1994. This is one of those things that you should just get used to from the start.
Beneath your date of birth, add your place of birth -- and there is a standard format for this too! This one is written "Home to Country". Start with "Home" as in your city -- I currently live in Buckeye so that would be the first place in my birth location; next come county -- for me that would be Maricopa County -- followed by State -- Arizona--and the final part is the Country -- which would be USA. So -- my location would be: Buckeye, Maricopa, Arizona, USA. You can put the word "county" if you want, most of us just leave that off, especially if we have both a city and a county in the location designation (this isn't always the case). This is also one of those things you should get used to right out of the gate.
Next line -- if you are married -- put the name of your spouse -- if your spouse is a female and has taken your name -- use her maiden name. Next line -- put the date of your wedding -- use the dating format I taught you 2 paragraphs ago, i.e. Day, Month, Year. And the following line -- can anyone guess?? Of Course -- the place you were married and we are going to use our new best friend -- the location format!! Remember "Home to Country" -- so if you were married in Las Vegas Nevada by a singing Elvis impersonator -- you would write it Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, USA. I just threw the Elvis impersonator in for effect--unless you were married by an Elvis Impersonator and then I want to see the photos!! (check out photo of what this could look like)
Next -- if you have children whether from a marriage you are currently in or a previous one, here is my suggestion -- don't put them in at this point. Remember we are starting from YOU -- moving back from your position within your family -- your ENTIRE family.
So at this point -- look up at your clock -- there should be about 5 minutes gone since I let loose with the horse pukky. You can put your paper away somewhere you will be able to find it again because we are going to be meeting this way regularly.
Any questions or concerns regarding a searches already going -- you can email me at the new got-roots email box -- woo hoo!! Send me a holler -- firstname.lastname@example.org.