Organize Your Search
The key to successful relative seeking is an organized effort to document your family. Today, it is a difficult task to find distant relatives without the use of a computer. Years ago there were no computers available to store family tree records and documents. Then it was onerous and expensive to travel to distant resources. Today with the internet and the ability to store large amounts of data on a personal PC, instant messaging, searching for many sources involves a search on the World Wide Web.
Organizing all this data will be easier when you use a family tree program to keep your information stored in a logical order. This has many advantages including the ability to find things quickly, the ability to print out various types of data in meaningful charts and most importantly to be able to organize your efforts.
For those that may not have the resources for a computer there are some forms that can be used until such time as a computer may be available. Obviously you have some access or you would not be reading this, so, just go to www.google.com and enter to search for “genealogical forms” and choose an appropriate web site to download your forms. You will need one for pedigree, and one for planning.
Fill in these forms for your immediate family. While you may be planning to move on to a family tree software program, the exercise will strengthen your understanding of how data for families is stored. While adding info, note that you may not have room for everything that you have on a particular individual. Add an additional page for any information that won’t fit the form.
Organize all the material you have acquired. Most genealogists soon move on to file cabinets to store the wealth of data they accumulate.