JULY 2017

 Shamele Jordon



An important first step when beginning to research family history, is to interview family members. Collecting these oral histories will be an ongoing aspect of your journey. Family members may have different recollections of the same events. That is why the family historian is important. We attempt to distinguish fact from fiction.

Our job is to document the story with records and analysis. It is these stories which guide us on our journey. The best records to begin with are census and vital records. These are the records which are used in my Online Genealogy quick start method, which is an

...celebrating 31 years!

episode of Genealogy Quick Start. To begin the quick start, determine the family lineage(s) that you want to research. Then you ask the question "Who was living in 1940?" The year 1940 is important because it is the latest census available to the public. Search for your family in 1940, then 1930, and continue to search back decade by decade. Soon you will have a nice foundation with lots of people. Use this information to fill in your family tree.

While searching the census you may hit a road block, unable to find your family. This is when you turn to vital records, birth, death, marriage, and divorce. These records will provide additional information to assist with continuing your census search.

Soon you will have tons of information.



Shamele Jordon is a professional genealogist, producer, lecturer, and writer. Her biographical highlights include: producer/host of "Genealogy Quick Start;" researcher for the PBS series "Oprah’s Roots: African American Lives I and II;" NJ State Library grant recipient, researching Civil War Burials in Lawnside, NJ; former president of the African American Genealogy Group in Philadelphia; past board member of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania; faculty at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, Athens, GA; workshop volunteer at the Family History Center in Cherry Hill, NJ; former Family Reunion Institute Advisory Board Member.

Genealogy Quick Start is a 30 minute TV program providing the steps needed to begin researching your ancestry online. View on PhillyCam Wednesday nights at 6 PM or watch on YouTube using the link below.

Visit:   Genealogy Quick Start website

Watch:   Genealogy Quick Start on YouTube

Follow:   Genealogy Quick Start on Facebook

As some families look to identify and formally document their family history by getting verbal information from family elders, they discover that some of the history they've been given is tainted with untruths, and that "facts" about certain situations change based upon who's providing the information. How should the family members who are doing research go about obtaining and documenting their history so that it is as accurate as possible?


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