I'm often asked how I have managed to uncover so many facts about my family ancestry, and how I am certain that I am related to the people that I write about. It's a valid question, and one that I welcome.

When I started this journey over 20 years ago, I had no idea that my paternal family history was so well documented and that I was related to so many interesting people, both living and dead. It was only through years of research and fact checking that I slowly began to uncover my family's past and then I was able to expand my research and make some pretty amazing discoveries.

Genealogy and family research is not something that can be rushed if you want an accurate picture of your family history. Some online sites make researching and creating a family tree seem very simple, and they even offer nice templates and "hints" to help you create your own family tree. The only problem is that a lot of these "hints" are not at all relevant to the ancestor that you are researching; you still must carefully vet each and every piece of information to ensure that it is correct and applies to your particular ancestor. Also, with a lot of records, the names, dates and places may have been copied incorrectly transcribed (most records are transc