THE GENEALOGY KIDS offer 3 "Tree Tips" per episode of their show.  Tree Tips will appear on this page (updated as the episodes are posted on YouTube).

1. Look around your house for information about your ancestor.
2. Ask your family members what they know about your ancestor.
3. Look online to find out what other people know about your ancestor.

Jana's notes: These three tips sum up the idea that genealogists should conduct a preliminary survey of their ancestor before they begin their research.  Any family history research project should start with these steps so that research is not unnecessarily repeated and important details are not missed.  Tree tip #1 helps us to know what we already have (and hopefully reminds us to preserve carefully the history we have in our possession).  Tree tip #2 pulls out the important knowledge from our family members' brains so we can preserve their memories, too.  It also strengthens our bonds with our living family members when we talk about our shared history.  Tree tip #3 invites us to collaborate with people who may happen to be researching the same ancestors you are. Hopefully you'll make new friends (distant cousins) you didn't know you had and help each other.  Check out "Research Rules! with Rebecca" and "Nathan's No-Nos" for other important ideas about preliminary surveys.

1. Locate records of your ancestor's birth.
2. Locate records of your ancestor's marriage.
3. Locate records of your ancestor's death.

Jana's notes: These three tips will help you focus on your ancestor's "vital information" ... the main events from their life that genealogists keep track of.  These main events (birth, marriage, death) provide obvious places/dates to search for to get your research going.  Many records that reference our ancestors revolve around these vital dates/places.  Check out "Research Rules! with Rebecca" and "Nathan's No-Nos" for other important ideas about searching for your ancestor's "vital information".