Ventura County Genealogical Society
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1.  
Copy material exactly as it is written, with misspellings, grammatical errors, etc.
2.  
Check it out before writing it in pen.
3.  
Organize your data into notebooks or file folders. Protect your original documents.
4.  
There is no greater legacy for your children and grandchildren than teaching them about the history and lives of their ancestors.
5.  
Tracing the family medical history helps your children and grandchildren to take preventive measures with their own health.
6.  
Because each generation doubles the number of ancestors, developing a plan of how you will proceed in your research is absolutely necessary.
7.  
When you begin your genealogy research, focus on one or two families so you do not become overwhelmed. The other families will be there when you are ready for them.
8.  
Everyone has a mother and a father. Female and male lines are equally important.
9.  
A generation equals 22-25 years for a man and 18-23 years for a woman.
10.  
Organize! organize! organize! You should be able to find information quickly. If your system doesn't work, change it ASAP!
11.  
When taking notes use standard size paper, one surname per page, record source(s) so you can find it again, and the date and place of your research.
12.  
Use only accepted abbreviations (no homespun stuff).
13.  
Understand the basic terminology.
14.  
The Pedigree chart is your road map. Begin with yourself. Use maiden names of married women.
15.  
The Family Group Sheet identifies a couple and their children.
16.  
Everyone has two family group sheets, one as a child with parents and one as a parent with children.
17.  
A Chronological Profile begins with your ancestor's birth. Fill it in with various life events as you discover them. Eventually you'll have a picture of your ancestor's life.
18.  
Surname Sources. The four basic groups from which surnames developed are patronymic, landscape features/place names, action/nicknames and occupational/office names.
19.  
Think out of the box for surname spelling variations. Surname spelling standardization didn't begin until the early 1900s. Many people were unable to read or write or spell!
20.  
The Research Log is very important for keeping a record of the source of every piece of information you collect.
21.  
An ancestor is a person from whom you are descended. A descendant is a person who is descended from an ancestor. A relative is someone with whom you share a common ancestor but who is not in your direct line.
22.  
Make a list of all your living relatives when starting your genealogy research. Interview every one of them.
23.  
When interviewing a relative, etc., be prepared with a list of questions. Use a tape recorder or take very good notes. Respect the person's privacy.
24.  
When writing to a relative for information, make specific requests, don't ramble! Offer to share your information.
25.  
Remembering every letter you write is impossible. Use a Correspondence Log!
26.  
Write down your sources of information. Who/what told you? This is documentation. From this, you will be able to find the source again, if you need to do so.
27.  
Soundex is a system of coding names for the census based on sound rather than alphabetical spelling.
28.  
A variation of the Soundex called the American Soundex was used in the 1930s for a retrospective analysis of the US censuses from 1890 through 1920.
29.  
There are pay sites and free sites. The major pay site is Ancestry.com.
30.  
There are pay sites and free sites. The major free site is FamilySearch.org.
31.  
Join a Mailing List. E-mails about subjects of the list will come to your e-mail box. Be sure to subscribe for digest format.
32.  
Podcast is "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio (or video) player."
33.  
Obituaries - don't limit your scope of your research to just the deceased. You may find a relative in the list of survivors or pre-deceased...or pallbearers. These clues help place your relatives at a specific place and a specific time in many cases!
34.  
The practice of double dating resulted from the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.
35.  
An ancestor is a person from whom a person is descended, e.g. parent, grandparent, great-grandparent.
36.  
Banns of marriage are a public announcement in a Christian parish church of an intended marriage. The announcement is made three successive Sundays.
37.  
Civil records are created by and for a governmental agency.
38.  
An emigrant is a person who leaves a country to reside in another counry.
39.  
A Fact is something known to exist, be true, or have happened.
40.  
Use timelines to find holes in your research.
41.  
The use of the term Junior did not always mean the son of. Sometimes it identified the younger of two persons in a locality with the same name.
42.  
Maps of all kinds are important to your family research.
43.  
Migration is the movement from one place of residence to another, usually within a country.
44.  
A common ancestor is the mutual ancestor of two or more persons.
45.  
The term Senior may not refer to a person's father, but to the older of two persons in a locality who have the same name.
46.  
In early American History, the term "son-in-law" referred to one's step-son or the husband of one's daughter.
47.  
Joining a genealogy society in the location you are researching is a good idea!
48.  
When doing field research never use water-based pens. A few drops of rain can be lethal to your notes.
49.  
When doing field research "Posted" does not mean "except for genealogists".
50.  
When searching old cemeteries, always check outside the fence. Many criminals, "sinners" and those of mixed races were buried outside the cemetery proper.