There is definitely a beginning to a family history, but really no end. Considering how many ways we are all related, you could potentially go on forever by starting a new line once you have reached the end of the one you are working on.
There are many reasons for people to do research on their family history, but regardless of your reason, there are some tried and true methods. There are good websites and wastes of time. There are free and their are paid. I personally use a combination of both free and paid, and additionally, I use Family Tree Maker software.
The two primary sites I will be using are new.FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com
Over the years, I have actually made great strides in finding family members and adding them to my tree. That being said, I have made some grave (pardon the pun) mistakes. I have not cited my sources as I should, and starting today, I will be correcting that error.
Each name I put into the family tree, when I have a document to scan, I will do so, take the copy, 3 hole punch it and put it into a binder. On the website, since recent information is still susceptible to be used for identity theft, I will be keeping it private and in the binder. Anything from an ancestor that has passed on, I will be indexing and placing on the site for other ancestors to use for their research. On the website, for my own reference and for those that wish to research me when I pass on, I will be referencing a date and page number, so the book information can be printed.
The documentation I have on myself is fairly obvious, but I will be scanning and printing them anyway.
I have entered the information into new.FamilySearch.org. However, I will be using Ancestry.com concurrently. On Ancestry.com, there is a place to add a story and facts. Since I had a few family changes during my childhood, I will be adding the information I can think of right now to “add a story.” Later, this may clear up confusion for future generations.
It’s a start!
Remember, cite your sources!!!