Guidelines for Good Genealogy

Guidelines for Recording Genealogy Information

Recording quality genealogy information is not difficult and is expected by most researchers. The following guidelines will help you to produce a reliable family tree and an important secondary record that others can use.

Guidelines for Sharing Genealogy Information with Others

Some Other Thoughts

Write it Down

  • A family member tells you something interesting in a phone call.
  • A friend mentions a snippet at a function.
  • A family member reminisces while you are visiting.
Whatever it is - write it down. As soon as you can, on a piece of paper, your phone, wherever. Include who said it, the date and time, where and what was said. Transcribe your jottings to an interview form as soon as possible. You now have a record that you can use to maybe chase that a missing piece, or a clue to finding that elusive fact.

Do Not Assume - Challenge Everything

  • Just because it is printed in a book, it is not necessarily a fact.
  • Dates carved on gravestones are often wrong.
  • Your surname probably was not spelt the way it is today.
Record your assumptions but always test them and be prepared to follow a different course if necessary.

One Original Record is not Proof for Everything

  • A Death Certificate is only a secondary record for age, place of birth, etc.
  • A Marriage Certificate is only a secondary record for age, father, professions etc.
Document what you have and quote the secondary record but always pursue the original record.

Further Information

Want to know more?

For similar points and further reading you may wish to refer to these sites:
Please do not consider this an exclusive list. There are other sites with similar points and more.

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