Getting Started

Collecting Family Items

A cornucopia of useful evidence could be right under your nose. Do you or a relative have a family bible, or a box of precious papers and photographs you can mine for information?


With any new piece of information, write the surname of the person it relates to in capital letters (eg, John SMITH). This will help your eyes scan to the relevant part of your notes when you need to find it later.

As well as saving you time and money tracking down duplicate certificates, this process may also uncover precious personal heirlooms such as letters and diaries, offering a unique insight into your forebear’s personality and experiences.

Get organised

Make photocopies or digital scans of those that you will need for reference and keep the fragile originals in archival storage boxes made from acid-free paper, so they don’t deteriorate further.
A family history project generates a plethora of paperwork, so it pays to settle on a system early and stick to it. Most people now find specialist family history software a useful way of collating their findings, while others prefer a card file system or a collection of labelled ringbinders.

Next Page - Gathering Documents

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Getting Started


The Next Steps


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