Previous Research

Check, using the various directories (such as the annual Genealogical Research Directory) that are published for the purpose, and the various online regional surname lists, whether anyone else is already researching any of your family lines. Check published genealogies and books of pedigrees also, in case you can link your family up to one that has already been researched. However, do not take as gospel some lengthy pedigree which apparently enables you to claim an impressively long descent perhaps from royalty (or a notorious criminal). Rather, take this pedigree as potentially valuable information whose accuracy you have to confirm carefully before you adopt it.

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