Building a family tree online can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to make sure that the information you’re adding to your tree is accurate and reliable. One of the key components of building a reliable family tree is finding and verifying sources. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and best practices for finding and verifying sources for your family tree online.
Start with What You Know
Before you start searching for sources online, start with what you know. Write down all the information you have about your family members, including their names, birth and death dates, locations, and any other relevant details. This will help you focus your search and ensure that the sources you find are relevant to your family.
Search for Records Online
Once you have a list of names and dates, start searching for records online. There are many websites that offer access to historical records, including birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, census records, and more. Some popular websites for finding historical records include Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, and MyHeritage.com.
Verify Your Sources
When you find a record online, it’s important to verify that the information is accurate. Look for other sources that confirm the information, such as census records, church records, or newspaper articles. If you can’t find other sources to verify the information, make a note of this in your family tree so that others know that the information may be less reliable.
Evaluate Online Sources
In addition to historical records, there are many other online sources that can be useful for building your family tree, such as family trees created by other users, genealogy forums, and online obituaries. However, it’s important to evaluate these sources carefully to ensure that the information is accurate. Look for sources that are well-researched and include citations to other sources.
Use Offline Sources
While there are many records available online, there are also many records that can only be found offline. Consider visiting local libraries, archives, or courthouses to search for records that are not available online. Talk to family members who may have old family documents, such as letters, diaries, or photographs, that can provide valuable information for your family tree.
Keep Detailed Records
As you find and verify sources for your family tree, it’s important to keep detailed records of where you found the information. Make a note of the website, database, or archive where you found the record, as well as the date you accessed the information. This will make it easier to go back and verify the information later, and will help you avoid duplicating your research efforts.
Finding and verifying sources is an important part of building a reliable family tree online. By starting with what you know, searching for records online, verifying your sources, evaluating online sources carefully, using offline sources, and keeping detailed records, you can create a family tree that is accurate and reliable. So why not start your search for sources today and discover more about your family history?