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OLD TOWN CLEVELAND

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"Where history is never forgotten!"

Family Histories

     "To rescue from oblivion the history of a large and honorable family is a praiseworthy achievement.  Somebody must begin the work.  It is to be hoped someone will complete it."                                                                                                                                                                          

Rev. Joseph Woodruff Bozeman, 1885

     Start your family history with yourself and work backwards.  Visit family members and copy all of their pictures, newspaper clippings,and listen carefully to every little detail.  It is best to video and/or audio record all of your visits.  Some elderly relatives have a tendency to be shy about being recorded....assure them that the recordings are for your eyes and ears only.  While your memory of the visit is fresh-- type your notes and the information from the recordings.

     Next visit your local history library and make friends with the Librarian.  Ask if the library has any family history books or vertical files that include your family.  In the late 1990s, most communities published local heritage books that are full of local family histories.

    After you have found everything you can find thru your family members and local libraries a trip to a Latter Day Saints Library and the State Archives may be a good place to search.

     I like to use ancestry.com -- some local libraries have free family history search sites available--be sure to ask.  Please keep in mind everything you find on line has been put there by a human and humans make mistakes. Just because it is online doesn't mean it is accurate--try to verify data with other sources.

     A family history is never finished, but it is important to get the information that you have in a useable form that you can enjoy and share with others..  I started writing family histories in 1989 then took a few years off from genealogy to raise two children.  I started writing again in 2005 and have published three family history books, one cemetery book and a book about the Trail of Tears.  --Debbie

To see more about the books I have written: Click Here

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