Define your research
Do you want to identify all of your ancestors or just the male name line? Do you want to learn more about siblings, children or branch-lines of your family?
Organize the data
A well-arranged compilation of birth-, marriage and death records accounts for a faster and therefore much cheaper research process. Some marginalia, e.g. witnesses (to a marriage) or godfathers, could possibly provide information as to origin and social rank. Furthermore, one should always take note of the sources.
Step by step
Genealogy takes time. It is tempting to rush through the books, in order to investigate the family history as far as possible; however it is advisable for you to ascertain only one or two ancestors at a time. Otherwise, you run the risk of collecting data on the “wrong” family branch.
Keeping the track
A card index helps you to organize the data on the persons you identified. Well-arranged records are the key to recapitulate the data and share the results.