Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Begin at the Beginning

Saturday I spent the entire day trying to untangle the web that is my husband's Mennonite ancestry.

That is when I realized starting from the beginning was necessary to understand more fully the information being presented.

The mistake was concentrating on connecting family members without understanding the basics about the Mennonite people and their beliefs. Back to the Google drawing board to find resources about this faith and it's people.

The first website discovered was Mennonite Church USA and their link Who Are the Mennonites? The site answers basic questions and provides a short video.

Most importantly there is a glossary to terms found throughout Mennonite genealogy. These have been extremely helpful in deciphering relationships and church affiliation.

The lesson learned is when researching a specific area, religion, or government you are unfamiliar with begin at the beginning. I wasted most of the day trying to connect dots and ending up with a huge headache.

For those with Mennonite heritage here are additional sites.

Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society

Mennonite Church USA

Mennonite Church Canada - Genealogy & Historical Research Links

Mennonite Church USA Archives' photostream - flickr


  1. Fantastic tip, Deb. It really does help to understand the history or culture of a group such as a religion, geographic area, etc. It can make all the difference in the world!

  2. Thanks, Stephanie! Greatly appreciated your comments. Funny how sometimes we forget the basics when researching our family history!

  3. Exactly! Just another reason that I love your blog. :)

  4. Thanks for the reminder, Deb. I can't tell you how many times I have beat my head against the wall just because I didn't take the time to look at the history of the area or the religious culture.

  5. Sherri-you are very welcome! Sometimes I get so caught up in the hunt the basics are forgotten.

  6. Thank you Deb, I agree understanding the basics on a group of people is the first place to start.