How to Research Your Family History: Part 1
Work from the known to the unknown
Genealogical work usually moves back in time, going from something we know to something we do not know. First piece of advice: Start with yourself. You probably know when and where you were born, who your siblings are, when and where your parents were born and were married, their siblings (your aunts and uncles) and hopefully, your grandparents.
Take the time to talk to as many of the older members of your family as you can. Ask if anyone has done a family tree. Ask when the family came to Canada, where from, where they settled in Ontario and where your ancestors worshipped.
When you have all this data from family members, write it up! Draw the trees, create the family records, note who told what to you and when. Finally, organize your records! See an earlier blog post Controlling the Chaos, for some organizational tips.
The OGS has also published several books to help you get started – and continue – researching your family history:
- The Beginner’s Guide to Genealogy and The Beginner’s Guide to Ontario Genealogy, by Dr. Fraser Dunford
- Genealogy in Ontario: Searching the Records, 30th Anniversary Edition, by Brenda Merriman
More titles are available on the OGS eStore.
When you have learned all you can from your family, it’s time to start searching Ontario records. The Archives of Ontario would be an excellent place to start.