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The Lyon family

1066 - 2015

Basics of Genealogy

This page is to help genealogists without much experience to save much precious time to improve their family records particularly on Ancestry.com.

1.    Decide your aims as early as possible - do you wish to trace your family back as far as is possible or will you be satisfied with finding your recent relatives? - If the latter is true then you maybe do not need to read on.

2.    Normally you would start your tree with your parents, grandparents and any relatives who you can trace - start with these and find their birth, marriage and death certificates as is appropriate.  These will give you basic information.  Then collect any photographs, films or other data for future reference and for your collection.

3.    It really helps to get back to the 1911 Census in the UK or 1940 Census in the USA. Then there are records available to go backwards to 1841 in the UK.

4.    Decide which website to use for searching for your older relatives.  It is very expensive to buy a few searches so I recommend paying monthly to have access to search thoroughly to trace your ancestors.  I recommend Ancestry and Myheritage because they have billions of records and are not too difficult to use.

5.    For searching your past beware of several mistakes it is easy to make - you may misspell a name or place of birth.  Before 1850 most families did not move very far from their ancestors after 1850 mass movement of families in the USA moved south or west.

6.    Beware, people sometimes insert false information to claim descent from famous relatives and if one examines the other suggestions in the search there should be consistency among those who searched before.

7.  When entering a forefather and his wife you may miss that there were other children in the marriage and not even aware of them and this will deprive yourself of your whole family - which could very interesting.  You may, by tracing them down find that you have relatives you were nearer to you than you thought.

8.   To avoid these errors you can purchase a solution that has been tested and built up over many years by the authors of the Lyon Memorial books that were published in the early 1900’s by various authors who spent years by tracing the family in America.  If one includes the daughters we end up with over 15,000 people from the original 4 settlers up to 1900.

9.    Since that time the Lyon(s) Families Association has collected information with over 134,00 people on their disc and 48,000 families - some are duplicated because they are recorded on different family trees.

10.  I cannot usually go further back than the early 1900’s because most family trees apply the private protection to their data so this leaves the researcher to fill in the information about their family since the 1920 census. They can then use photos, certificates and other proofs for their own family tree.

11.   One can use the census records to help but searching them can be tedious so use Google searches or Ancestry.