In my genealogical studies, the first assignment was to introduce ourselves. The second assignment was to identify what we knew when we started researching our ancestry, and what our first step in carrying out our research was. Here is my response:
When I first began my research, I knew the names of my siblings and parents, and their vital stats. On my father's side, I knew the name of his mother, but she had remarried and the gentleman I know as "Grandpa" was my father's stepfather. I did not know the name of his biological father. My father had died and was an only child, so I was not able to get information directly from him (or any sibs). On my mother's side, I knew both my grandparents names and birth dates, and the names of my mothers siblings, as well as the names of a couple of great-aunts who were still alive at the time.I had a number of extensive interviews with my mother and was able to get the name of my father's father, as well as the names of my mother's grandparents and their siblings. She also gave me some vital statistics, but mainly only the years and perhaps month.
My mother also suggested some surnames that she believed were in the previous generation to her grandparents, and this was a big help in further investigations. Even though the information was vague, it gave me some hooks for searches, and confidence when I found marriage and birth records for that generation. She also told me that her paternal grandparents were from Scotland, and her maternal grandparents were from England. This turned out to be only partially true!
More to follow!