Starting Your Icelandic ResearchEdit This Page
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It's SOO great that you are interested in your family history! Your very independent, courageous, loved-to-explore-the-world ancestors are excited for you to find out about them. This article will provide help to begin that journey.
- The first steps are to gather and record. Write down what you remember from family stories. Talk to relatives who are still living. Ask them what they remember about names, places, approximate dates of life events, relationships, and any other thing they want to tell you. Make sure you then give them time to think about it before jumping in with another question! Sometimes if you ask for an exact date, that memory flies away. If you ask rather, "Did you celebrate Grandpa's birthday in the spring, summer, fall or winter," information may be remembered more easily. If they can't give you anything right then, just ask them to jot down what they might remember later.
- Look for and ask relatives for copies of documents, letters, postcards, newspaper announcments, bible pages, certificates, pictures with writing on the back and/or the photographer's name and address on the front, birthday cards, calendars which have been written on, diaries, journals, and so forth. These items may be in an old trunk in the attic, or, in the pocket of old pictures. Important documents were sometimes placed in those portrait pockets for safekeeping.
- Use family tree charts (aka pedigree charts) and family group record forms to organize the information you discover. This will help you see at a glance your direct ancestral lines, and also point out where information might be missing. There are many genealogical programs available to help you organize your information. Go to _________________ for free downloads.