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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree March 2018 > Documenting your sources

Documenting your sources

Tracing your family history can be a thrilling experience, but don’t let your enthusiasm hamper your future efforts, as Simon Wills explains


Researching your family tree – or any genealogy project – can be very exciting and it’s tempting to race through all your sources, gathering as much data as you can and quickly extending your knowledge. But stop! It’s important to take time to record where you’ve searched. There are a number of reasons for this.

Why bother?

Firstly, you need to keep track of where you’ve looked so you don’t spend ages going through the same sources all over again at some point in the future. Often family history research is done in a piecemeal fashion and there’re so many different sources that it’s easy to forget what you’ve already seen – particularly if the same records are available from several different providers. Nobody is keen to waste time hunting through a set of records that they investigated thoroughly six months ago.

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About Family Tree

Where would today's family historian be without the wonders of the web? This issue we give you bespoke clues to help you mine that nugget of ancestral gold from among the billions of records available the major family history websites. But family history isn't just about researching facts. It's about recording and treasuring that family story. So to help you do just this, we also have a guide to building your own website for your genealogical discoveries - an online home for your family archive. Step up, and see where you can take your research next!