Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Climbing My Family Tree

Everyone has different techniques when it comes to genealogical research. At the moment, with a 3-month-old baby and work, my technique is non-existent.  ;)

But all kidding aside, each of us has a different way of approaching research. Some of us have a combination of methods we use.

I'm not referring to using the internet or tracking down certain records, but how we actually decide to go about our research with regard to the family tree itself. I have 3 different approaches.

Tackling the Brick Wall

I think all of us do this. We focus on our brick wall ancestors and sometimes devote hours, days, weeks, even months and years to them. I have a few, most of whom are immigrant ancestors. When I work specifically on them, they are the sole focus of my research. However, I always take a break, so I can come back with fresh eyes a few times a year.

One Branch at a Time

Roughly 4 times a year, I climb my entire family tree, from me, up through each and every single ancestor. It leads me to those brick wall ancestors, to whom I devote extra time and energy, and to those loose ends...

Tying up Loose Ends

These are the people who just need the smallest amount of research to verify dates and places. Usually I find them in my Massachusetts ancestors in the 1600's. I'll admit, this is where I get lazy, and I need to do a better job of rounding out these entries in my family tree with complete information.   

This is how I work may way through my family.

Copyright (c) 2013 Wendy L. Callahan


  1. Happy Blog Anniversary! Good luck with climbing those trees. Many you have great luck with your research & many happy postings ahead. Colleen

  2. Happy Blogiversary! I like your three approaches. I've been a member of Geneabloggers for about six months. This is a great blogging community. This week I've been working on the Civil War. It was not civil.


    Grant Davis

    1. Thank you so much, Grant! Ah yes, the Civil War. Ironic name for a war, huh?

  3. I do all of those as well. Then there's also talking with grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.. and adding in siblings I'm not directly related to.

    I also have ancestors in 1600's Mass. The most notable one is Susannah North Martin. She married George Martin. And she was hung in 1692 during the Salem witch trials.

    1. Isn't it great that they have so many records available in Massachusetts, especially court records? It really helps us put their stories together.

  4. Wendy, Happy Blogiversary and it's been a pleasure to follow you for many years here and to "see" you daily on fb.
    You mentioned doing one branch at a time...many years ago a Pro told me that was the best way, but I've never done it. Now I'm thinking I should at least try it (maybe on a short line).
    Enjoy your cake and ice cream.

    1. Thank you Barbara! I enjoy following you too. Mmm, cake and ice cream...