Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/02/24/how-guide-beginning-your-genealogical-journey-153487 --> Your heritage is not just about tribal membership or lack thereof and each family is unique.
- Obtain vital records (birth, death, marriage) for yourself, your parents and all four grandparents. These are usually available from state, county or city vital records offices in the United States. Some are available online. Be forewarned, most of them are not free to obtain. Next, locate your families in the 1940, 1930, 1920, 1910 and 1900 U.S. Censuses. These are online but mostly available through subscription genealogy services. Your local library may have also access.
- Work backwards in time. Forget about modern-day standardized name and place spellings—you will encounter many spelling variants in your search. Census enumerations provide information, though are not always 100 percent accurate, about individuals, such as:
- Where each family member was born and their age;
- Where the father and mother of each person was born;
- How long the couple has been married;
- Whether it is a first or second marriage for each spouse;
- How many children the mother has given birth to and how many of those children were still living at the time of the particular census.
- Arm yourself with facts and documentation about your families as you begin to search. Don’t fall for a “French model” tale—your family history deserves better.