El Salvador Getting Started
Getting started with research on your ancestor from El Salvador is not difficult. This page is designed to give you a few ideas about how to get started. Begin by following these steps:
1. Write down what you know[edit | edit source]
Start with yourself. Begin by writing down what you know about yourself, your parents, and your grandparents. Use the link below to print a pedigree chart you can use to enter the names, dates, and places you may already know. If you do not know exact dates and places, estimate them. Circle any missing or incomplete information, and decide what you want to find first.
Use a family group shee to record information about family groups. Use one form for each family. You will record the names of the husband and wife at the top of the form and then list each of their children in the order they were born.
2. Gather records[edit | edit source]
Begin by looking for records that you may already have around your home. Follow Boyd K. Packer's advice. Get a big box and put in on your couch or your table, someplace that you will always be bumping into it. Then go about your regular life. Whenever you run across a record of your life or of your family's, put it in that box. Here is a list of the types of records that you might find:
- Certificate of births, deaths, and marriages
- Funeral programs
- Documents relating ro education
- Documents about military service
- Newspaper articles
- Birth announcements
- Marriage announcements
- Citizenship or naturalization papers
- Family bibles
Then after a few weeks, dump out the box onto your table and examine the records carefully. Many important clues might be found for your ancestors. Remember, the most important information is where they lived in El Salvador.
3. Talk with your family[edit | edit source]
Contact your family and friends. Ask about family information and stories. Ask if you can make copies of any records or pictures that they might have. Find out if they know other people who might have family information. Write down everything new that you learn, while it is still fresh in mine. As confident as your are at the moment, in a year or two you will probably have forgotten important facts. And by then, it might be very difficult to get the information again. It is best to get it all recorded when the information is new.
Stories handed down in your family are important to your family. But do not take those stories as fact, many times over the years the wording gets changed. If you hear a family story, write it down so its not forgotten. Then check the facts in the story. You should be able to verify the kernel of truth, even though the wording might not be right.
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As you take this genealogical journey remember that your relatives and family friends may also be interested to learn more about their ancestors and heritage. Please share with them the inforamtion you find. It may spark more memories and clues that will help you along the way. You can preserve, share, and donate your family history with the help of free softward found at FamilySearch.org.
5. Ask for help[edit | edit source]
Visit a local FamilySearch Center for free personal help and many other valuable services. Center staff may also direct you to other local community resources. Find a center near you online at FamilySearch.org. You can leave a question on our Facebook Research community pages. For those who speak Spanish you may feel more comfortable posting in the page Investigación Genealógica en Centroamérica. If you prefer a page that is predominantly in English, we recommend the Hispanic Genealogy Research page which has been designed for those who have Hispanic ancestry but may not speak much, if any Spanish.
6. Know the town of origin in El Salvador[edit | edit source]
Probably the most important piece of information you will need to begin research in El Salvador is the name of a specific town in El Salvador where your ancestor was from. The article Locating Place of Origin will give you some ideas about what you can do to find this important piece of the genealogical puzzle.
If you already know the name of the town or village in El Salvador where your ancestor came from, you are now ready to begin looking for records. Please see the article Finding Records to help you locate the records of your ancestor's hometown in El Salvador.
For more inforamtion see the El Salvador Quick Start Guide.