Family History research process:
- Inventory and analysis of information already obtained. Examples include oral histories; photographs; birth, baptismal, marriage and death certificates; newspaper clippings; legal documents such as land deeds; and family bibles.
- Formulate a strategic research plan. Breadth of fact finding defined. Where will the research begin? Where do you want the research to take you?
- Research domestically and internationally. In most cases, research travels overseas and across borders. My expertise includes United States, Canada, France, and Mexico.
- Retrieve evidence. For example, request copies of birth certificates from a hall of records or a probate file for analysis.
- Evaluate documents. Could it be an error from the Census record? Is that really your grandfather in the newspaper clipping or someone else with the same name?
- Write a report with all findings including negative ones, if any. Without editing or judgment, a thorough summary of all findings is prepared.
- Recommendations for future research. Possibilities of delving further into other branches of a family tree are discussed.