Colquhoun Genealogy for Beginners

Where to Start

Begin your genealogy search with yourself... Who were your parents, and their parents, and their parents, etc.? This is the basic process. You can make your genealogy "deep or wide". If you keep going back in time through grandparents, this is the depth of your research. By tracking siblings of these ancestors, you are broadening the width of your research. Tracking siblings may not interest you, but in research it's often through the research of a distant 'cousin' that you'll find your missing ancestor's information, thus is worth the extra tracking.

Where to Look

stoneIf you are reading this, you have access to the internet and a treasure trove of information for your genealogy research. You can begin by using any reputable search engine, and typing in accurate information that you already know, i.e., her name and a place she last lived might reward you with an obituary, etc.

Traditionally helpful resources are found in your old family records (birth certificates, marriage certificates, obituaries – pay attention, they often contain the names of parents and children, old family Bibles, etc.), court records, old church records, cemetery records, census reports, and immigration lists. Check out the vast info on the tombstone below, you never know when a simple piece of information can bring you a treasure trove of research information. 

BooksThere are numerous books and manuscripts written on Colquhoun genealogy. A beautiful set that our Clan Historian, James Pearson recommended to me was The Chiefs of Colquhoun and their Country: Volume 1 & 2 by William Fraser, written in 1869. The original books have been expensive and hard to locate but copies are now available on or Ebay at a reasonable price for the set. A great resource set for Colquhouns especially for those who migrated to Ireland, Canada, the United States, and Australia is Our Calhoun Family, Volumes 1-4 by Orval O. Calhoun, written in 1976 - 1991.

How to Chart

Today your best bet is to start with an online program. If you are reading this, you have access to the internet and can open an account, and begin your family tree immediately. Be sure to take the tutorial in your program to learn their charting process, and tips on how to locate and sift through information on your family found online. Beware of accepting new information, if dates don't match up, you have incorrect information somewhere. Be sure to back up your tree and keep a copy offline. Online programs include,

If you prefer a paper family tree, I'd recommend a file system by heads of each generation. Keep your files in 'generation order.' Create a paper file system and/or library of your research and sources. Copy items that you think will be of interest to future generations within your family. Below is a basic family tree diagram for those tackling this by paper. The sample below was done using Microsoft Word, color coding helps you keep your generations straight.