Identify Candidate Families for Further Research

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Your genealogical quest has already pointed you in a direction, such as learning when your mother’s family first came to the country. Now identify goals that will advance you towards your quest. Most goals focus on researching an individual or that individual’s family.

Browse through your various family group records. Look for families you could research to move you toward fulfilling your quest AND be easiest to research first. This would probably be a family closer to you in time—a parent or grandparent family. There is a greater chance living people would recall events, and have records or mementos of more recent generations. Starting research on earlier generations before pinning down the information about more recent generations might cause time consuming errors. Don’t skip any family links.

Search from the known to the unknown;
recent generations before earlier generations.

Normally, it is best to start searching recent generations first, and slowly move back in time to earlier generations. But a few researchers choose to research the descendants of a particular person. For help with this kind of research see How to Find Descendants in the United States.