4. Whether you're just getting started or an old hand at researching family history, work from the known to the unknown. Methodically use what you know to uncover new information. It's useless to try to discover your perhaps-mythological Native American third great grandmother if you don't know your grandmother's maiden name.
5. Keep an open mind and don't jump to conclusions prematurely. Family history research is detective work. You need to carefully trace connections between you and earlier generations. Keep in mind that two people in the same locale may share the same name without having family connections. Just because the name's the same, don't make assumptions. Analyze information carefully and keep asking yourself if things make sense. You'll save a lot of effort in the long run.