I want to welcome you to this series of genealogy lessons. I am honored that you are taking the time to read my thoughts and to consider my advice. Genealogy can be a life-changing adventure where you meet interesting people and travel to places that you never expected.Some folks devote hours each day to scouring old records while others take a more casual approach. Either way is completely acceptable, the only requirement is that you have fun! Most of your ancestors are dead...they are not going anywhere...so you have plenty of time to find them!
There is no rush with genealogy...so pace yourself. Do only what you can, when you can, knowing that you may pick it up again at a later time. I go weeks sometimes without looking at anything family-related and then I get back to business like I never missed a beat! Genealogy is a great, low-maintenance hobby that I hope you will enjoy as much as I do.
So what sparked your interested in genealogy? I never knew either of my grandfathers so genealogy was a way for me to "meet" them. I also wanted to find old family photographs. These were my motivating factors in getting started...what are yours?
You should use your motivating factors to set a few goals, like finding old photos. Everything you do in this hobby should thereafter revolve around meeting those goals. You may not know how to reach them yet but stay focused and you will learn how to achieve those milestones in time.
Genealogy is like a network of roads. No matter where you go, there are always lots of paths to take and decisions to make. Your time is limited so you must only follow the roads that take you where you want to go. I could get to California from Virginia, via Florida, but that would not make sense. This analogy might seem confusing now but you will understand what I mean later.
The next lesson you get from me will contain your first "real" lesson. Today was more of an introduction and to point out that genealogy is, above all else, supposed to be fun. Take your time, enjoy yourself and let's have a good time with this!