Your Interactive Guide: Essential Steps for Beginners - cont.
Join A Local Genealogy Society
Itís time to get hooked up. As your
research begins, join one of the many African American genealogy societies that
exist, including the national AAHGS.
Deciding Which Line to Research
As you can see from the pedigree chart that
you downloaded, there are many lines to pursue, and at some point, you have to
make a decision. That decision is: which line should I research first? The best
rule is the line that you know most about from your own family ties and the
amount of information that you have collected up to this point. Example: Your
motherís side of the family may contain intriguing stories, but you havenít
a clue who her parents were. Your fatherís line yielded lots of information
when you wrote and called family members. Decision: Go with your fatherís line
for now. As time and opportunity permit, you can pick up information on your
motherís line, especially if both parents came from the same area. EXCEPTION:
Interview members of the family on both lines at the beginning.
Ordering Vital Records
You will not find all of the marriage,
birth and death certificates in one place or with one family member. Often, you
will need to find this information, if it exists, in various places (Bureau of
Vital Records for your state, a local County Courthouse, cemetery headstones,
etc.) To find out how to obtain vital records for your state and county, go to
the following website. Make sure you bookmark these sites because you will use
How to Obtain Vital Records: http://www.vitalrec.com
SSDI - Social Security Death Index: http://www.ancestry.com
This is an important tool when you donít know the date of death for one of
your ancestors. The SSDI is online at Ancestry.com. You can also write a
letter to the Social Security Administration requesting a copy of the
original application. The response time for receiving copies varies, but
plan to wait at least one month.
IGI - International Genealogical Index:
First read about the IGI. Then try to locate some of your ancestors by
entering their names.