You begin with you!
Here are the primary vital statistics that you should start with.
- Full name including maiden name
- Date of Birth
- Location of Birth, City, County, State
- You may include any Christening or Baptism event if you like
- School location, if you wish to include elementary up through college
- Any locations you grew up in or lived throughout your childhood to adulthood
- Any military affiliations, church or civic organizations
- Any other important information that you would like to record
Next, following the list above, begin to log information about your spouse and if you have any children.
From here, you continue with your parents and can branch off on both sides, maternal and paternal grandparents, great grandparents, and so forth.
One thing you must remember, the older generations you go, it always duplicates in sets. Parents are 2, grandparents are 4, great grandparents are 8, 2nd great grandparents are 18, 3rd great grandparents are 32 and it just goes on and on and on. It can become overwhelming if you don’t have a system in place early. I recommend Ancestry or Family Tree Maker or similar software or website.
There are many types or charts or posters that you can find online if you would like a paper copy. Just google Family Tree Chart.
For now, just keep it simple, start with yourself and your immediate family. Concentrate on logging as much information as you can. Start to collect photos of each person, a profile photo would be best. Depending on how you want to present your family tree (digitally or hard copy or both) will structure how you keep your records and citations.
Helpful hint: NEVER throw any bit of information away!! You never know if it will help you later.
Good luck and look for my next post about citing sources and keeping records.