Hints-and-tipsHandy hints and tips are useful in all genres, and genealogy is no exception. Here is a list of 10 handy hints that I have compiled for you. Some of these I’ve learnt from others, while others are from my own experience.

I hope you find them useful.


1. Label and date your photographs, future generations will thank you forever!

2. Store your certificates and precious documents in acid-free pockets and folders.

3. Always use a pencil to fill in a chart first.

4. Make a note of EVERY source that you have checked in a research log. It will save you time and effort later.

5. Learn the geography of the region your ancestors came from. Boundaries did change, so it will help you work out where to look for records.

6. Search secondhand book stores for an old dictionary. The older it is, the more similar it is to have words and meaning your ancestors used.

7. The Internet does NOT have all records online, not by a long way. But we all know this anyway, don’t we!

8. Verify EVERYTHING (online data, family stories, diaries, your fourth cousin’s tree etc). As the saying goes, “genealogy without documentation is mythology”.

9. Backup your data regularly, and store a copy offsite.

10. Visit your local archives or society, and see how they can help you.