Genealogy: Five steps to finding ancestors

By Barry Ewell

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, July 6 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Wednesday, March 19 2014 5:22 p.m. MDT

As you check information, suggests asking the following questions:

Did I find the information I was looking for?

Is the information complete?

Does the information conflict with other information I have?

Is the source of the information credible?

Transfer any new information to your pedigree charts and group records. It's important to include sources, which are valuable in helping you resolve problems with conflicting information. For example, you may have a birth record that provides a birthdate and an obituary with another birthdate. You will want to decide which date is the most reliable by reviewing your sources; the most reliable source is usually the source made closest to the time of the event.

Editor's note: The original version of this story was posted July 6, 2013, and failed to properly attribute all source materials, which violates our editorial policies. The story was revised on March 14, 2014 and attribution to original sources were added. A version of this column also appeared in the print edition of the Deseret News on Sept. 5, 2013. The Deseret News demands accuracy in attribution and sourcing and considers any lapses to be a serious breach of ethics. The Deseret News is no longer publishing Barry J. Ewell's writings.

Barry J. Ewell is author of "Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips and Tricks for Discovering your Family History" and founder of, an online educational website for genealogy and family history.

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