There is no "one" way. There is no "right" way, There are just ways.
Also just like the subjects discussed --- those subjects are difficult to discuss in "mixed" company without a strict forum.
I received an email, which I am sharing here in part. Based on my education and experience I am going to reply to this person interested in genealogy. I am using this format to encourage others to comment and add "words of wisdom".
My answers will be in itialized bold: Some of my answers may surprise the experts. I am open to discussion to all and any comments.
Now that I'm retired (retired??? you are the same age I am!!! retirement is not a reality -- it is just a con, to make us get up every morning and suffer through our work week) one of the projects I want to do for myself and family is to do more research on my family name. Great!!! and you are correct -- it is for you and your family. Since you are heavily involved with genealogy, 10-16 hours a day can hardily be considered heavily involved!I thought I would ask you what I should absolutely do vs. what I should absolutely avoid at all costs. I know there are lots of web sites, some excellent and some a waste of time and money. BINGO! you got that right!
I want to do as much as I can on my own, as I enjoy learning new things, do you also enjoy bashing your head against brickwalls?? tired red eyes?? and isolating yourself alone in a dark, cold closet for hours? but I'm also a strong believer in avoiding pitfalls wherever possible.My suggestion here is to equip yourself with a head helmet, thick-up to the hip water/mud boots, bug spray, plenty of caffine, and a good comfortable chair.
Also some motion sickness pills for those long trips down those pitfalls.
Because you are asking to go on a journey -- not like anything else in the world!!
I have a family bible AHHH The Best Start ever. I do not know them but I love your parents and grandparents already. that actually takes me back several generations, back to a grandfather born in Goshen Indiana in 1800. OH that explains so much to me!! of course Indiana!!! Yep, you fit the Indiana mold!
This information includes siblings and of course I have recent information. I also recently spoke to a long lost cousin that lives near Fresno that has some information that she is wanting to share with me. I have found a bunch of "SURNAME"'s in Goshen Indiana which is where the above grandfather was born, and spoke to them but none of them have a clue as to how we are connected. They say there is one buried there in Goshen that they don't know the relationship to them. I actually met one family and it was spooky to Sharon and I as I had just lost my father a few months before we met and the father could have been my father's twin. Very very kool!! Hank Jones has written books about this unusual phenonmenon--- genealogy seredepity.
Anyway, I assume Ancestry.com is software I should buy and then sign up for. EEEEKKKKKKK STOP___Advance to GO___Do not collect $200.00____Start over!!!
They have a version that allows me to install on two computers and I know Sharon is wanting to do the same with her family so I thought I would get that... that is if you think this is the best one for me to get started with. Also there is a Family History Library just down the street from us Can I come live with you??? I want to live near a FHL!!! I have even had people suggest I become an LDS just for my genealogy study!!!! that has genealogy records. A couple of people that live in our area said they used it and it was very helpful.
Hope I'm not imposing too much by asking, but I would sure appreciate your advise before getting started. I am so excited about this!! Beyond words. Now for my first suggestions and the whys?????
I will gather some data for you ---- and direct you to some good first steps.
Set up a well-lit, quiet, out of the way area, gather some folders, put aside 3 blank notebooks. Set up your time to spend each day, each week, each month, and we will begin your input of "facts known" on a "free" web site, develope a first pedigree chart, and family group sheets. Get a map of USA.
More to follow; soon very very soon!