One year, here’s what I’ve learned top 5

  1. Life stories are amazing. Every single life has a story. Whatever the current population is  plus all the people who have ever lived! … have a story. It’s wondrous. And that’s only people. Who’s to say if every cat and bird and wolf and alligator don’t have exactly the same kinds of stories?
  2. Organize as you go (I know it’s very basic).  Jump in, find what records, names, dates and notes you can AND keep on top of it or within a very short time you will be buried in a mass of records, names, dates and notes that, as a group, are much harder to herd than each individual record, name, date and note.
  3. HathiTrust is brilliant. Free, searchable, savable, downloadable, copy and pasteable, this is a phenomenal online resource.  At HathiTrust the options are a full text search or a catalog search. It’s easy to create a ‘friend account’ to save books you’re working with in a single collection, or specific numerous collections. More about HathiTrust soon, I’m still discovering it’s awesomeness.
  4. There is a benefit to letting your research guide you as opposed to having a set goal and not straying from that goal. I’ve happened across a number of both direct and indirect ancestors because I followed where the search led. Like shopping at a Goodwill or similar thrift shop. If you go in looking only for a burgundy chair or a book by Robert Graves, you’ll likely leave empty handed. If you go in with an idea of what you need but totally open to whatever … you may walk out with a pair of Old Navy size 14 tall burgundy boot cut corduroys and a small statue of the goddess Athena.
  5. Start when you’re young!