Sunday, April 14, 2013

Getting started on your family history

Help Desk
St Albans
The "Ask Chris" facility is really designed for people who have already carried out some research on their family and are familiar with the online census returns, civil registration and parish registers - and have hit a brick wall. However I occasionally get queries from people who appear to be just starting out, and in some cases their "Brick wall" is between them and the local library or bookshop - and they haven't yet discovered an elementary guide on the subject.   If I have time (and I often do not), I will quickly check out the key online records (to ensure that the the information can be found) and then point them in the right direction, including a few details to encourage them to look for themselves. If you are a beginner and want to know the kind of answer you are likely to get why not see what I have said to James, whose main query centered on a marriage that took place at Sandridge in 1833 between William Thompson and Elizabeth Woollatt - the couple then living in St Albans for the rest of their lives. 

The point is that if you let other people do all the easy stuff for you, you will never learn how to do it for yourself. As a result you will come to a dead halt as soon as the way forward is not immediately obvious. This is why the motto of the main web site is:
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.
Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime

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This is the newsletter for the Genealogy in Hertfordshire Web site. Comments on this blog are moderated and may be transferred to the web site where appropriate. If you have a local or family history query you want answered you must use "Ask Chris" - See box in right hand column. Anonymous comments cannot be answered.