Best Practices and Guidelines

These lists are the Best Practices and Guidelines that I came up with for myself (based largely on other people's lists) as part of Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over.  These are just the lists with no explanations or notes.  To see the rest, please visit the original posts here and here.


1. Don't expect to find your whole tree online.

2. Don't assume you will find your 4th great-grandmother in a week.

3. Learn to record your sources of information.

4. Start with a research log. Start it now.

5. Join a genealogical group or society.

6. Take advantage of social media.

7. Do your homework and learn the social history of the area your ancestor came from.


1. Slow down, don't get ahead of yourself.

2. Education, education, education.

3. Don't beat yourself up over old habits.

4. Come at your research like you haven't heard any family stories.

5. Have a plan.

6. Keep that research log up-to-date.

7. Track everything.

8. Be consistent in the way you record your data.

9. Cite everything.

10. Get stories.

11. Have a plan for backing-up your data.

12. Read every detail of your records so you can do it only once.

13. Verify.

14. Thoughtfully consider the nature of your source.

15. Always add an appraisal of your source.

16. Thoughtfully consider what details others will need when they use your material.

17. You do not own your ancestors.

18. Ask for help.

19. Give credit where credit is due.

20. Work and think like your ancestors.


Anonymous said...

I know a research log sounds ideal but this to can get unwieldy. How can I avoid that. My only thoughts set up a Research Log Folder with sub folders for families, perhaps introduce dates somehow, not just when you are doing the research but the period???

Christine Manczuk said...

I like this list! I'm adding the link to this post to my genealogy toolbox, just to remind myself.