When starting off a new project, I aim to gather as much information in the initial stages as possible. The more information that I have to begin with, the faster the family tree comes along! That’s not to say that little or no information makes research impossible, more often than not there will be a way to start a family tree going.
I research all lines of the family tree, back to 6 generations, wherever possible. The information I acquire along the way usually includes dates of birth, marriage and death, and wherever possible, the census information that is available. This will tell you a huge amount about the people in your family; places of birth, occupations, siblings, children, even disabilities are mentioned – although not necessarily in a politically correct manner!
(It’s important to note that if you have any Irish ancestors, you may find following their journey back near impossible. All census records that were taken prior to 1901 in Ireland were destroyed, either by the fire in 1922 at the Public Record Office that housed them, or by order of the government.)
Sometimes other records come along that give a fuller picture of individuals in the family tree. Migration, Military, Wills and Probate, Phonebooks; all of these provide extra little bits of an insight into your ancestors.
In terms of genealogy research services that I offer, I am just as happy to help if you have hit a brick wall in your research, as I am providing a full blown book of my findings. Sometimes it’s about thinking outside the box, or a fresh pair of eyes. This might be where I can help you!