All families share stories and life experiences about their members. As the generations evolve, having those stories documented provides a history in time about those people and their adventures.
As the years progress, sometimes we meet these people, but many times we don’t and that is where the value of documenting stories with references makes all the difference to current and future generations. Maybe it helps us humans to know where we come from and our lineage.
Genealogy has become a global hobby. People from all corners of the planet and every culture are taking interest in their family history. While most genealogy is for family eyes only and never published for the world to see, the number one cardinal rule in doing genealogy is that ‘without proof there is no truth’.
As you start your family search, don’t forget to take the time to record your findings.
Documentation will make your research easier and faster
Save your time and other peoples time by documenting where you find your facts and research. As a hobby researcher, you most likely will be interrupted as you search and will have to stop at some point and pick up where you have left off. That could be the next day, next week, next month or even next year. Documenting where you have found research is time saving.
Documentation helps prevent duplication of research
In the course of your genealogical research, you can’t help but spend some time researching family members others have already researched. Without documentation, you don’t know what sources somebody might have already used. This means you will likely use some of the same sources earlier family historians have used. This wastes our time and resources which could be used to solve questions others haven’t yet answered.
Documentation gives others confidence in your research
This is the old standby point you read in every genealogy textbook, but that does not make it any less true. The problem is that many people, especially those just starting out, do not plan on publishing their research findings, as they are just doing it for their own interest. Throughout the course of your research you are constantly using the research of others, which may be a published family history, a brief biographical sketch, or a computerised lineage from an ancestral file or an online family tree.
Consistent formatting is useful, even required on some sites and very helpful in your search for your family history.