im new at this where do i start? :: Genealogy
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im new at this where do i start?

Question by mtpokits

I'm a smith and I know my dad was born in bridgton Maine, I know his parents names George and Verna but that's it. Help please:-)

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by mtpokits Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-09-17 20:40:54

mtpokits has been a Family Tree Circles member since Sep 2011. is researching the following names: SMITH.

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by asheppard on 2011-09-17 21:26:06

The best place to start is with what you know.

1. Yourself - Your birth Certificate will confirm parents

2. Your parents Marriage Certificate - will give you dates and their fathers names and sometimes occupations.

3. Your fathers & mothers Birth Certificate - will confirm their parents.

4. Your grandparents Marriage Certificate - will give you dates and their fathers names and possibly occupations.

5. Check the Census, Electoral Rolls and Birth Death & Marriage Indexes looking for siblings their marriages and any deaths.

Try also ask other family sometimes they know more than they think they do.

Just keep working backwards and then you can go sideways with Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. Check and recheck all the information making sure it matches correctly and most of all have fun and enjoy the discovery. If you get stuck post what information you know and someone may be able to help you further, make sure that the information you are posting is not for people who are still living.

Happy Hunting

by dj_webb18 on 2011-09-22 20:56:06

As the above poster says always start from yourself and work from the known to the unknown. One researcher who didn't heed this advice spent 25 years and thousands of dollars compiling a huge pedigree and then on a whim decided to find his own birth certifcate, only then did he find out he had been adopted and that none of his compiled ancestry was actually genealogically his, which begs the question of why his parents didn't tell him sooner when they knew he was doing so much work on their genealogies.
You seem to be relatively lucky in that your grandmother's name is fairly unusual (at least to my UK ears/eyes anyway) so it should make it much easier to narrow down the possibilities and find the right records, which is just as well considering that your surname Smith is especially common (by which I mean lot's of people bear that name, not that they aren't middle or upper class lol), this is because in the days when surnames were being adopted by people every village or hamlet had a blacksmith who then became Mr Smith.
Good luck with you research!

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