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The Research Process

Step 1. Set a goal. A goal would usually be to find an item of information needed to complete a Pedigree Chart or Family Group Record. This could be:
  • name

  • a date

  • a place

  • a relationship

Whatever goal you set, keep it simple.

Step 2. Decide which individual or record might have the information you need.
Which individual or type of record would most likely have the information you need to satisfy your goal?

Step 3. Locate the record.
Write a letter to the individual or agency most likely to have the record.

Step 4. Search the record.
When you receive the response, read through the record to make sure the information you need is there. Be thorough in your search. Does the record contain the information that you want? Does it contain related information that may help you?

Step 5. Copy the information.
Transfer the pertinent information to your Pedigree Chart and Family Group Record, making a note of the source of the information. Obtain photocopies whenever possible. By doing so, there is less chance of error.

Step 6. Evaluate the information.
Is the information that you received what you wanted? Is it accurate? Does it agree with what you already know?

Step 7. Use the results. Add the information to your family history and SET NEW GOALS.

A recommended format of a Research Log is attached.