Stop, Look and Analyze Your Genealogy Sources

By Diane Haddad

My husband has been nagging gently encouraging me to do genealogy work on his family tree. So on a recent Sunday after the kids were in bed, I spent brief yet productive quality time with the laptop.

The genealogical gods smiled. The combination of a unique last name and a large family (my husband’s grandmother was one of 13) in a relatively small town had census and immigration records practically throwing themselves at us.

You know that rush when you find record after record, and you just want to keep clicking and saving, clicking and saving (perhaps egged on by a spouse full of puppy-like enthusiasm)?

I had to force myself to stop and take notes on where all that information was coming from.

As many genealogists who’ve been there will tell you, and as participants in our upcoming Source Analysis One-Week Workshop will learn, it’s much less painful to slow down and record source information when you first find it, than to re-find everything later.

Not sure what to write down about each source? We share three steps to citing family history sources in this Q&A on

The Source Analysis Workshop, an online event Aug. 25-31, covers not just how to cite genealogical sources, but also

  • how to evaluate the reliability of the genealogy records you discover
  • how to draw sound conclusions about your family tree

Learn more about what’s included in the Source Analysis One-Week Workshop here.

Register by Aug. 18 to save $34 on tuition with coupon code WORKSHOPEARLY.