Clan MacLennan-Worldwide Family Research InterNet Links
The very first point to recognize is that your Family history research will be, a never ending quest. Remembering this one aspect alone will save you countless hours of frustration and confusion. Yes! the Clan MacLennan is an ancient family with historical records dating as far back as the first millennium. You are beginning a journey which will bring you BACK in time hundreds of years. In order to begin our adventure we will have to first prepare ourselves.
"Organize yourself", before you even begin this process. You will be adding to the information that you find continually. The sources of records will come in varied forms of microfilm, certificates, letters, pictures, newspaper articles, books, memorabilia galore and so on.
Start off with a separate family history filing box that can be easily indexed with index separators. This can be upgraded to suit your needs as you begin to collect and collate the articles from your various lines within the Clan MacLennan.
A great site to check out and see a possible checklist where you may get your "Family and Home Information Sources" form can be downloaded at; www.byubroadcasting.org/ancestors/charts/oldpdf/checklist1.pdf. To read the file you will need the Acrobat Reader program. You can download it for free at; http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.
A good idea is to record where you have done your research. This will come in handy especially if you decide to place an ancestral line into a Family History Book. That's right, you will eventually have enough information to maintain not only one book but several depending on the amount of research you have completed. Even if you don't intend to collate your info into a literary presentation it is a must to begin a filing system with index cards and a number of charts. You can download these charts from a number of places on the internet for free.
Charts will become your own guide as to who is who and where they came from and what they did. I suggest strongly that you go to a site on the internet and use their FREE research charts. It will save you a lot of pain later on.
The Church of Latter Day Saints, through the Brigham Young University have created a wealth of information including videos to assist all family researchers on the internet. The link to the university is located at: www.byubroadcasting.org/ancestors/charts. Below, you will also find links to specific charts that may be quite helpful in your research.Pedigree Chart (PDF format)
Family Group Record - page 1 (PDF format)
Family Group Record - page 2 (PDF format)
Research Questions (PDF format)
Research Log (PDF format)
Source Notes - page 1 (PDF format)
Source Notes - page 2 (PDF format)
Record Selection Guide (PDF format)
Instructional Video Index(PDF format)
(To read these files you will need the free Acrobat Reader program.)
I might also add that these charts are the MAIN tools used in genealogical research. Even with all of the wonderful genealogy computer programs available today, filling in the blanks on the Pedigree Charts and the Family Groups Records are your main objective in researching your genealogy.
You may wish to purchase one of these programs - such as Family Tree Maker. If you do buy one of these, be sure that you will be able to save the files created into the generic GEDCOM format.
Step #1 - Record what you know
Start with your own family beginning with YOU! This will give you a template to use for all of your research. Remember that this template is meant to be flexible. Your objectives will change as you proceed with your research.
Begin with, what I like to call, your own rough notes. Write down your name, when and where you were born, and if you were baptized in a church, the date and place. If you have brothers and sisters, do the same for them. On the same sheet of paper write down a little about who you are and what your life is like at this point in time. These notes are your own and to be used for referral purposes only. The only thing that has to be really correct are actual dates and places. It doesn't matter if you don't know the exact spelling of places either, you will eventually come up with the correct modern day form. I say modern because you will come across OLD SPELLINGS and you will have to decipher them. Always remember that we communicate today far differently than we did one hundred years ago. Your first glimpse of a 1800 census or land record will be evidence enough to validate this statement. My own surname changed from McLennan to MacLennan over 100 years ago. I couldn't find my Mac grandfather for about 3 weeks because of this one fact.
Which brings me to very important point - NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING - GET THE AUTHENTIC / LEGITIMATE DETAILS RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!
Record what you know about your ancestors, ie; your parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents
Write what you already know about your ancestors on a Pedigree Chart and a Family Groups Record. Seek out your parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents and so on within your immediate family.
Step #2 - Decide what you need to record
Create an individual interview sheet that will help achieve your objectives. It should look something similar to the following:
- Date of birth (DOB)
- Place of birth
- Date of Marriage ( if any)
- Place of Marriage ( if any)
- Date of death
- Place of death
NOTE: These are only a few sample questions. Check out the previous charts for your own research questions / objectives. Children, land ownership, military information are only a few additional questions that may be used. For your information; did you know that there were two McLennan family members that fought on each side of the the American Civil War? They were both killed in the same battle and buried in the same cemetery. A tid bit that would be a great additional fact for some Clan Family Historian I am sure.
Step #3 - What records/sources of information do I need to acquire?
Did I say that this project was free - wrong!!! All researchers inevitably pay for their sources. Be careful in your choices and WHO you purchase information from.
There are two main types of genealogy records:
- Compiled Records: Are records that have already been researched by others, such as biographies, family histories, or genealogies that may be on microfilm, microfiche, in books or at FamilySearch computer stations.
"In Search Of Clan MacLennan" written by Malcolm Lobban and James McLennan is an excellent source for the geographical history of the Clan MacLennan. It was published in 1998 by Lindsay Publications, Glasgow G14 9NP, ISBN 1898169160
- Original Records: Are records that were created at or near the time of an event, such as birth, marriage, death, or census records.
NOTE: It is a must to record all of your source information in order that you have valid records. Aunt Harriet's word may be true but it is not proof. As well many of the search sites that you will probably go to your in your research are usually transcriptions from the real source. These sites are useful to point you to the legitimate documents and actually save you hours of time BUT they are not the REAL documents. just copies and are susceptible to human error.
Step #4 - Obtain and search the record/source of information
Sources for obtaining your immediate needs:
Again, with whatever source, search the records. Look at broad time periods, check for spelling variations and write down your results even if you come up empty-handed.
- Many local libraries have very good genealogical materials. This is especially true dealing with information for the surrounding areas of that library's location.
- Family History Centers (LDS) are an excellent source to obtain records. Find where one of this Centers is near you and see what is there.
- Branches of government work on many occasions use the interlibrary loan system. You can borrow microfilm and other archive sources in this manner, without having to travel any great distance. Our Clan MacLennan Research Resource section contains various government archives from countries around the world.
- We have created a 'Shortcut" link for those interested in your Scottish Heritage. The Clan MacLennan's Heritage Connection pages have many listed links and sources dealing with specific Scottish Family Research links.
Step #5 - Record and Evaluate the informationWhat do I do with the acquired information?
- With every source of information, the first thing to do is to evaluate what you've found. Did you find the information that you were looking for? Is that information complete? Does it conflict with other information?
- The second thing you need to do is to copy the information to pedigree charts and family group sheets. Remember to record the sources.
- Organize the information. Use a filing system that have already set up.
- Lastly, share the information with interested family members.
The following suggestions for writing up your own records are close to or exactly the same standards that most family history researchers use.
- Write the "surname" in all CAPS. Writing it this way allows the eye scan records easier (MCLENNAN, Angus Daniel).
- List the dates in this fashion: (09 Jan 1776) instead of 09/01/1776. Writing it this way maintains order.
- Write the "places" in this order: Village / City / Township, County, Province / State, Country. (Lochiel Village, Lochiel Township, Glengarry County, Ontario, Canada)
Step #6 - Load GEDCOM file to Clan database
This section will be replaced once the new database become operational.
By contributing your data to the Clan database on GenCircles, you might find lots of ancestors.
The database has a function known as SmartMatch which regularly searches other contributors files for matches with your ancestors.
Before your files can be uploaded to the Clan data base you will need to save your information in the generic GEDCOM format .
You can send your GEDCOM file to me by email for uploading if you wish.
Where do I go from here?Create a new objective and start the process over again based on what you now know about your family.
The Clan MacLennan World Wide Site has created a genealogy research section. It is a collection of informative and helpful resources for dealing with family research on the internet. You will find the section at Clan MacLennan Worldwide when updated.
See also Clan database page
This page is maintained by: David MacLennan