1. Set an objective. What do you want to learnyour ancestor’s marriage date? His spouse’s name? Where the couple was living in 1836? Be as specific as possible.
2. Note the facts. Record what you know from original documents and records. Include names and spelling variations, family relationships and dates of birth, death and marriage.
3. Develop a hypothesis. Make some guesses based on what you know. Estimate when your ancestors married, speculate on the spouse’s name, consider probable hometowns.
4. Seek your sources. Research which records will likely prove (or disprove) your hypothesis. Find out if they’re available, where and in what format. List all the options.