Researching Your Kane Family
Researching your own family can be a daunting and time-consuming,but rewarding task. However, there are a number of steps you can take to improve your chances of success and take some of the pain out of your search. The first, and most urgent task is to sketch out the family tree you know, i.e. your immediate family, parents, grandparents aunts, uncles etc. Most people will be able to do this. If parents or grandparents are still alive, ask them to tell you as much as they can remember about their parents and grandparents. As you proceed, keep in mind the type of information you're looking for with regard to every individual, including names , places of residence , occupations , dates of birth, marriage and death (if available), and religion (if known). You may come across an old family bible, or old documents which have been stored away in an attic which will aid in your search.
Interview Family Members
Interviewing Family members plays an important role in expanding the Family tree, and can provide direct and clues to past events.
- Before interviewing family members, prepare a list of questions that you want to ask. Knowing what you want to achieve during the discussion can help you get started and keep your interview focused.
- You may want to bring a tape recorder for the interview. However, make sure that you get the permission of each participant before you start taping.
- Use photographs and other documents to help your family member recall events.
- Try to keep your interviews to two hours or less so that you're not overwhelmed with information and the interviewee doesn't get worn out by your visit. And remember, you can always do another interview if you want more information from the family member (actually, we really encourage you to do subsequent interviews -- often the first interview will stimulate memories for the individual that you can then cover during another interview).
- We're not sure how to politely phrase this next tip, so excuse us for being blunt. You may want to begin interviewing some of your older relatives as soon as possible, depending on their ages and health. If a family member passes on before you arrange to interview him or her, you may miss the opportunity of a lifetime to learn more about previous generations.
When you are ready to move to the next step, start by getting a good book on Irish research, such as John Grenham's Tracing Your Irish Ancestors . You can also visit the Irish Times' website which is based on Grenham's book. Be sure also to visit Cyndi's List for Ireland and Northern Ireland .
Your next job is to figure out exactly where the family came from, what parish, or better still, what townland. For help in understanding Irish Administrative Divisions and for a link to a searchable database of townlands, PRONI .