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So, you want to research your family . . .

[This and the pages that follow]
by Colleen Pustola


What is it you want in the end?

Are you going to do a family history or a genealogy? Though both terms involve the same research, there are distinct differences in the presentation.

Genealogy in the dictionary definition is the study of your pedigree or bloodlines. The line of direct descent is documented from one generation to the next.

A family history includes all the adopted and step-relatives of a family, many times not mentioning any break in the bloodline.

Develop a plan.

Are you going to research your lines straight back with only a mention of grandparents' siblings?

Or are you going to research every cousin of every [great] aunt and uncle, and their children as well?

Or are you going to do a one-name search, i.e., every Bower in the United States or the world?

You have to draw the line somewhere. Deciding at the beginning what your plan is may save you headaches (and money and time) later on.


Next: How to start genealogical research.


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