I’ve been researching my genealogy seriously for about ten years now. Earlier this year I applied for a “First Families” certificate during the 150th anniversary celebration of Isabella County, Michigan. This is a certificate presented to descendants of pioneer families who settled in the county prior to 1899. Little did I realize how much effort that application would require.
My research over the years has been devoted to tracing my family backward starting with my great-grandparents. I’m pretty good at referencing the sources I use. But, I knew the facts about myself, my parents and my grandparents were correct. The First Families certificate required proof. That’s when I realized my careful research back to the early 1600’s was not based on a solid foundation.
I am now going back through my family tree from the present day, and citing birth and marriage records that prove my descent. I’m amazed at how much information I took for granted. Not only will this strengthen my existing historical research, but I will leave a much better legacy to future generations.