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Friday, October 21, 2011

Why Search Into the past?

Why did I start my long investigation into my Butler family tree? It started with a simple question to my father.."What were Papa Butler's grandparents names?" My dad didn't know, and I thought to myself then "I want to find out". Trips to the Atlanta Archives started and many hours of looking at microfilm records. This was before the Internet and just finding a census record was time consuming. The records were hard to find and even harder to read. One good thing about that time was that original records were used to verify information. When you find "facts" on your family tree, make sure there is an original document to back it up. The oldest member of your family is the place to begin. Asking these older family members about your family tree can give you great information that can be lost after they are gone.

After finding everything you can from an older relative you may want to start with census records. The census records give evidence of where families lived and how they migrated. Look for different spellings of both first and last names. I found that census takers sometimes spelled phonetically, so spelling can vary greatly from one census to the next.
Just these two sources will give you a lot of insight into your famly and yourself. Get started and have fun along the way.

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