DIY Genealogy Report – Getting Started in Your DIY Genealogy Report

The foundation of your DIY genealogy report will be laid with the information you’ll find in your immediate surroundings. Beginning with yourself, you’ll need to gather as much information as you can from your family about your family. Start by writing down everything you know yourself about your relatives - their names, birthdates, where they live, when and where they died if applicable. You may be surprised to realize you don’t know as much as you thought, or you may recall even more than you appreciated. Whichever case it is, the place to begin is at home when compiling a DIY genealogy report.

Continue Your DIY Genealogy Report by Speaking With Relatives

Once you’ve exhausted your personal knowledge, continue compiling your DIY genealogy report by asking your relatives what they may know. The collective wisdom of your family members may add several layers to your DIY genealogy report, and save you a lot of time regarding research. Of course you’ll need to verify any data that you accumulate, but you may be amazed what they might know. Family gatherings like Christmas and Thanksgiving are opportune times to pursue this course in a DIY genealogy report, as the occasion naturally lends itself to appreciation of family.

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As your relatives begin reminiscing about family past and present, they’ll inspire each others memories, and a flood of information may be forthcoming. Record what you learn with a small voice recorder if you can, as it’s much more convenient than taking notes by hand. Hearing the stories and anecdotes that will surface may be so entertaining that you might forget to write them down! If it isn’t possible to gather with family at such occasions because of long distances and the like, contact them by email or in a short letter and arrange an appointment to speak with them. Some may already have information that they can send you, while others may be eager to help you in other ways.

Interview Techniques for Conducting DIY Genealogy Reports

It might seem that sitting down and talking with relatives about your ancestors is a natural thing to do, but it isn’t always the case. Different circumstances or complex relationships may come into play, so it’s important to plan how you’ll ask them to help with your DIY genealogy report. You’ll want your relatives to be at ease, the thought of you compiling a DIY genealogy report may make some of them sceptical or evasive. This could be especially true of relatives who you may not have seen or heard from for some time or never met at all. Prepare for the worst and expect the best, but be tactful and considerate when pursuing your line of questioning.

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When interviewing relatives for your DIY genealogy report, ensure that you have a clear list of questions that you want to ask. Begin with simple information like names and dates before you begin digging to deep. Let your relationship develop naturally, and it won’t seem obtrusive when you ask "Did great-grandmother Thompson really sleep with that famous actor?" You’ll need to exercise diplomatic skills when asking such questions, and make sure the timing is right. Asking such a question of a family member who is going through a divorce or such wouldn’t be very appropriate.

Relatives can add immense value to a DIY genealogy report, but always make sure your priorities are right. It will do no good to you or your relatives to sacrifice family relationships for the sake of uncovering a nasty family secret to put into your DIY genealogy report. Remember you’re doing this project because you treasure your family. Always exercise discretion and compassion when interviewing them for your DIY genealogy report.

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