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Research Planning

The preparation or planning stage is the most important part of a genealogical  project because careful planning saves time, money and effort.  Planning also prevents aimless and endless accumulation of data, and helps cope with the variety of problems that arise.  Proper planning and organization will identify what research has been completed and what remains to do.

Begin by selecting the family to be researched.  Assemble and study what is known about a particular family so that there is no time wasted in duplicating research.  Next, decide what information is missing.  The home is a good place to start.  In your home or the home of a relative, there may be family documents containing genealogical information on names, dates, places, events and relationships as well as data on an ancestor's early life, education, residences, accomplishments, personality, and interests.  Analyze these records carefully for any important genealogical information that they may contain.  Once the genealogist identifies what is known about a specific family and determines what knowledge is needed, they then establish a plan on how to obtain the required data.  Some genealogists like to create a Research Planning page on which they write their research goals, suggestions, notes and other data.

After exhausting resources in the home, gathering data from relatives comes next, including relatives living within and outside of First Nation communities.  After starting the process of locating, interviewing or writing to relatives, consider researching genealogical records found in public repositories.