Tips from Vince Bourke’s approach to family history

Can your approach to family history research be improved?

Have you ever wondered if your approach to family history research could be improved? Hearing how others approach their research often gives us ideas and tips that could enhance our own work. Recently at our monthly General meeting in the CFHR room and via Zoom, we heard how long-time researcher, Vince Bourke, approaches his own family history.

It all started when he was a youngster and he questioned his father on who all these people are that are listed in the Family Bible. We may not all be as lucky as Vince to have a Family Bible, but talking to older relatives should be a key component of anyone’s research.

Breaking it up into smaller stories

Rather than concentrate on one large family history, have you considered breaking these family reminiscences into smaller stories? You could choose a theme… perhaps you have come across an old receipt book or a diary from a holiday that included expenses. These seemingly insignificant pieces can make for a great story about a time, or an adventure, long past.

Today’s researcher knows that the computer is our new best friend, but there is still the need for an old-fashioned pen and paper to collect your thoughts, ideas and notes. And finally, save, save, save. Ensure all your digital records are backed up onto an external drive and that you have a planned filing system for all your paper records. Enjoy the process.

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