Yes, talking to relatives is paramount. I had no immediate relatives to talk to when I started researching in my late 30s. However, my mother had a stash of obits, notes, several 18th C. Prayer books and even an 1890 professional genealogy chart on my New England lines. That chart was very poor.
We all get into genealogy at a different time and for a different reason. I was asked to join DAR and so I had to follow their rules. I was given a file folder for each generation with birth, marriage and death certificates printed on the front. I readily learned that my grandfather’s first cousin was a member of DAR so I had several Patriots to choose from for membership. So my first six months ‘in genealogy’ was sending for birth, marriage and death records for the first 4-5 generations on this one particular line. After 4 generations I could find printed VR and town histories. My point is that I started with vital records. I later went back and did this on all of my first 4 generation of ancestors. I am ¾ German/Austrian but they were in the USA for those generations.
After that I got into the censuses, then deeds, probates and court records. This is still pre- WWW. The point is that I started well in that I had to prove those early generations. Later I discovered my mother’s first name was not what she said and her father’s first name was not what he said. The lineage was correct but … I have found it almost impossible to correct this as I have numerous documents saying these are their names, however, I also have earlier documents giving different first names.
I have done limited research in Canada. If you can get into a genealogy group. I learned so much from more knowledgeable friends in the beginning. My support system has always been my genealogy friends. No one in my first 3 generations is at all interested.
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