Our family has a rich history reaching back over the centuries. Its important for us to read about and understand people and places from our past. Obviously the further back you go the less likely it is that there will be reliable sources to corroborate what you believe is your ancestral lineage. Most of what we do know results from the work of private individuals who have looked into their own family history.
Often the easiest way to start your family history research is by building on the research of others. A great first start is to ask around your extended family, as its not unusual for someone to begin researching their family history, only for it to be put in a box and never seen again. Gather together everything you already know from your available sources.
- Start with yourself and work backwards through the generations.
- Talk to family members and friends.
- Find out what family documents, photographs, or objects are held by family members.
- Get copies of birth, marriage, and death records
- Try to be as specific as possible about the details, including names, dates, places, and spelling.
- Keep a note or jotter book and regularly review its contents.
Besides local libraries and community Family History groups there is an excellent resource available at the National Library of New Zealand http://natlib.govt.nz/researchers/guides/family-history
Family history can be an expensive interest particularly when you need to view or purchase various records. Clan Little aims to keep family history simple and affordable. Whilst there may be benefits in purchasing the services of a Professional Genealogist care should be taken before signing up with organisations with expensive fee structures. Sadly there are some who only want to profit from our curiosity. Before signing up with on line services seek independent advice and be clear about your expectations.