As I begin work on my next genealogy book, Jumpstart Your Family Tree, it seems only appropriate that I fully leverage the technology at my disposal for the benefit of any interested readers.
My Jumpstart Tips will be a way to keep the community engaged with new ideas relevant to family history research. Whether you are just starting out or need a periodic reminder to keep you motivated . . . I'll try to cover the spectrum of ideas. If you use Twitter, then you may wish to follow these tips there too!
In some cases, the tips may be from friends of mine, many of whom are expert in certain aspects of family history throughout the world. I'll certainly give credit where and when it is due. Enjoy and spread the word!
So for my first tip, I'll simply remind you to GET MOVING! Family history isn't something you will finish in a week or two. Or even a year or two, but you can make progress EVERY DAY if you try.
One of the best ways to find things is to actually let them find you. I'd suggest finding 2 or 3 of the most interesting photographs, letters, documents or other items in your possession. Scan or photograph them, then send either via email or some other means to a few carefully selected family members - those you think may have similarly interesting items in their possession. By GIVING first, you will likely find that others will be more willing to SHARE what they may have. The more unique the items you share, the more likely they are to generate something interesting in return!