News / Jeanne Bunting’s top 10 tips for newbies

Jeanne Bunting’s top 10 tips for newbies

Jeanne Bunting is a well renowned family historian. She regularly gives lectures to family history societies around the UK.

Here she tells us her top 10 tips for people new to family history.

  1. Always go back to the original record; never rely solely on a transcription.
  2. Always record names, dates, places and sources.
  3. Keep a research log and record what you searched for, what you found and what you didn’t find. This can save you going over the same ground again.
  4. Be methodical – discipline yourself not to collect more information until you have processed the previous collection.
  5. Back up your information regularly. If it is on computer, keep copies in different locations and on different media (frequently refresh the media). Also keep a copy on the internet. If it is paper based, photograph and/or photocopy it and keep copies in different locations.
  6. Talk to your oldest relatives. Names, dates and places are important. Talk to your children. Grandparents often tell their grandchildren things they didn’t tell their own children.
  7. Never add someone else’s family tree to your own in your genealogy program. Check every piece of information and then add it to a copy of your own.
  8. See which genealogy websites your local library subscribes to and use the computers there. Subscribe to a different site for home use.
  9. Put the meat on the bones. Find out about the kind of lives they led and place them in their time period.
  10. Last, but by no means least, remember that you can’t do it all on the internet.
Jeanne Bunting in action (photo courtesy of Peter Cleaver)

Jeanne Bunting in action (photo courtesy of Peter Cleaver)