Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

5 Nov 2016: You Should Write a Book About That! November 5, 2016

Since I’m not only a novelist, but a genealogist as well, over the years I’ve had several friends tell me I should write a book about genealogy.  Well, I’m taking their advice and doing just that.


I’ve started to write a guide for those just starting out on the journey of tracing their family tree.  I’ve helped dozens of friends over the years do just that so I really just have to write down what I’ve been telling people over the last decade or so.

But it’s never that easy.

My “Step One” so to speak is to have the reader gather up as much information as they can find, things they have scattered around the house, littering the back corners of the attic.  My list of suggested items to look for includes:

  • Newspaper clippings
  • Birth certificates or Baptism records
  • Adoption paperwork
  • Marriage records
  • Military records
  • Immigration records
  • Death Certificates
  • Obituaries
  • Family Bibles
  • Old letters or other correspondence written to or from you ancestors
  • Photos of each family member


From these items, most people can begin to gather enough information start with before they reach out to relatives and the dreaded internet to fill in the blanks.

Can you think of any other items to tell people to be on the look out for?

Yes, I’m looking for suggestions, so please comment on this post if you feel so inclined.  🙂


UPDATE: 22 Jan 2017

The book is now available on Amazon.com at https://goo.gl/eSSZwa



2 Responses to “5 Nov 2016: You Should Write a Book About That!”

  1. Timothy W. Davis Says:

    Jennifer…possible additions: divorce records; high school and/or college graduation diplomas and yearbooks, other certificates of skills and awards.

    Another “Step” I’d include early in the research is to do Y-DNA, mtDNA and Family Finder testing, currently through Family Tree DNA labs in Houston, TX.

    Plus, early in the research, I would recommend writing down the names, birthdates, locations (and death) and the relationships of everyone in the family as you think you currently know it. Add in family rumors, speculations, and stories. Part of what you are attempting to do is “verify” the family history, and the information, as you know, helps identify areas for search.

    Hope this helps.

    Enjoy your project.


  2. Devan Cole Says:

    Tomb stones, especially at Jewish cemeteries where ancestry is almost universally listed thereupon.

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