Thursday, August 11, 2011
"You Don't Need to Know What You're Looking For ..."
Well, if you don't know what you're looking for, how will you know it when you find it? How will you know that the person you're linking to is actually your ancestor?
Those ads remind me of Alice in Wonderland and the Cheshire Cat: “One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. Which road do I take? she asked. Where do you want to go? was his response. I don't know, Alice answered. Then, said the cat, it doesn't matter.”
If you don't know where you want to go--don't know what you're looking for--then it doesn't matter which person you link to. Anyone will do. But if you want to find your family, you need to have a plan. You need to know what, and who, you're looking for.
Talk to your family. Call your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, your parents' best friends. Look on the backs of old photos, because information may be written on the back. Look in the family Bible for names. Once you know who you're looking for, it can actually be easier to find them, because you know where they probably will be and who will be with them.
Do the research to find your family members. Take the time to document and prove each connection in your family tree. Don't just blindly follow a twitching leaf that someone else has posted and take that person at his word. You might end up climbing someone else's family tree instead.