Q: I have taken the first step, as you advised, and gathered lots of family information from all my living relatives. What should I do with this information?
A: Lock it in a drawer and throw away the key. Otherwise you will spend years chasing red herrings, mythical aristocratic ancestors and trying to find out what happened to the family fortune that should, by rights, belong to your side of the family.
Q: I have found both my paternal and maternal grandparents - John Smith and Mary Jones and Tom Brown and Alice Taylor. What do I do now?
A: Take up knitting. Or fishing. Anything - but give up genealogy.
Q: One of my ancestors may have been in prison, how will this affect my research?
A: Wonderful! Records for those who served time at Her Majesty's Pleasure are among the most fruitful. You should be able to find full details of any heinous acts of violence and malevolence towards society. Also, you will find that the case was splashed across all the local papers for weeks before the trial and if you are lucky there will be a charming 'character profile' provided by the judge at the summing up of the case. In most cases you will be able to access a professionally taken photograph of your ancestor.
Q: Will anyone else be interested in my findings?
A: Absolutely not! Most people view the hobby as one degree removed from train spotting and suitable only for those with borderline personality disorders. There will be one exception - second cousin (ten times removed) Jim, living in retirement in Florida. He will make contact through the Internet and he will believe that you live right across from both the record office and library and that you have endless time to check little things out for him. Beware! That invitation to spend some time with the family in Florida will never materialize.
Q: Is it possible to find any useful information on the Internet?
A: Of course! You will find that Mrs. Freda Lightbody of Penge is the direct descendant of both Queen Victoria and Woden.
Q: Help! I have searched all the possible census records and can't find my ancestors anywhere. What do I do now?
A: Don't despair. Have you checked the records for prisons and lunatic asylums?
Q: What will research into my family history cost me?
A: Most of your disposable income, your marriage, your friends, your peace of mind.........
Kindly borrowed with permission from http://www.great-harwood.org.uk