canstockphoto16180022 downloaded 3 January 2015This is a tough one! It’s easy to want to tackle all your family lines at the same time, but for this assignment I want you to pick one.

Do you want to practice good techniques with a little project to get your feet wet and learn the ropes, or do you want to jump in with both feet and tackle a tough one?

I don’t recommend you start with the brick wall where you’ve been banging your head for the last few years. Let’s learn some good practices first, okay?

So, how do you pick?

1. Who’s keeping you up at night that wants you to find them? Maybe you have someone in your family tree who had no descendants and wants to be remembered? Trust me, you’re not crazy. My family keep me up at night, too!

Recently BCG certified Patti Hobbs, CG, said, “I love discovering ‘lost’ family, especially those who had no children and therefore have no descendants looking for them. I want to be their advocate and tell their tales. But even with ancestors who aren’t lost, there are lost stories in their lives. Teasing those things out of the details of the records is immensely rewarding.”1

2. Pick a line that you believe is going to be manageable. Stay away from common names if you can avoid it, and try pick something where records will be available, like the census, land, probate, etc.

3. Pick a line that lived in the country where you live. We’ll tackle immigration issues some other time.

Do you have one? If not, you’ve got a week to decide.

If you’ve been working this line for a while, you probably have old copies and documents that will need some work. THAT’s for next week!

  1. Judy Keller Fox, ”Welcome, Patricia Lee Hobbs, CG,”  Board for Certification of Genealogists Springboard, 16 January 2015, (http://blog.bcgcertification.org/ : accessed 19 January 2015.