There’s a very good reason why working backward is so effective. Let’s say you enter information about yourself into your genealogy database and then record everything about your parents. Next, you work on one of your grandfathers. A quick review of your paternal grandfather reveals that all you have on him is the date he died and the date he was born. If you’re lucky enough to have his birthdate and birthplace then you could get his birth certificate, which will tell you who his parents were.
But a birth certificate can’t predict his future, can it? It can’t tell you where he went to school or where he lived over the years. Documents can only tell you what occurred in the past, not what will occur in that person’s future.
This tip comes from the Family Tree University course Reverse Genealogy: Working Forward to Break Down Brick Walls.