Confused on how to use this site properly.

+4 votes
Hi, I started this tree in November and I’m even more confused than when I started. Lol there’s a lot of confusion on my end, but then some stuff just doesn’t add up in regards to information my family has given me. Can someone be so kind as to assist me on the best step to providing an accurate family tree. Thanks I’m advance!
in Genealogy Help by anonymous G2G Crew (670 points)
Hi Adrienne,
I always add a source for every fact, from if possible as it's free to register and use. People in families tend to forget stuff and sometimes things aren't mentioned, so it's just as important to provide a documentary source for the 20th century born people as it is for older profiles, to form a solid base for further work. Case in point, I have an uncle Gordon who was actually christened Douglas. Nobody calls him Douglas and nobody mentioned it to me before, but sourcing proved it.

Once I have proved a person's proper name through a birth record and/or baptism/christening record, I search for any other sources relating to them and add them in to the profile. Often, sources will bring new information and relationships. I then do a search on for the new relative I have found and flesh out a profile for them, using only sources that prove the facts. Building a tree in this source-led way avoids most errors and confusion. I say most, because sometimes there are transcription errors of sources, or there are two like named people people who have similar lives and we have to decide which source has the correct person's information.

I hope this helps you.

1 Answer

+4 votes
Hey Adrienne. I could see how your family's information not matching what your finding would be confusing.

What you want to start with is what you're sure of, or nearly sure of. Parents' names, grandparents' names, parents birth dates, grandparents' birth dates. In general people don't lie about these who are your direct relatives unless they're uncomfortable about their age or something. Your grandparents, if alive, may know the names of their grandparents, and will definitely know the name of their own parents.

From there, you have a whole bunch of information you can actually research to confirm. If you lack an Ancestry account, you won't be able to confirm as much, but you can use FamilySearch (it's free... might require an account now) to look up records to verify what you were told. It is safe at this point to rely wholly on research.

If you have any ancestors (parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc) who were adopted you're going to have to either be in a state or country with lax adoption laws or you're going to have to get your DNA tested. For example, if you are looking for your father's family and have a brother who shares the same parents as you - a full sibling - you can have your autosomal DNA tested and your brother's y-DNA tested. y-DNA follows the male line (father to son only). If your mother is alive, you can also have her autosomal DNA tested so that you can compare your matches to hers - if they match you but not her, they're from your father's side, and you can use this to figure out who you're related to how.

In short, it's a lot of detective work and may cost you a fair amount, but very doable.
by G. Borrero G2G6 Mach 9 (90k points)

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