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Genealogy Research: For Beginners

Information for the Beginner

  So where do you start???  You want to find out more information about your  family and your ancestors.  Start with what you already know.  Talk to your relatives.  Involve family members.  Start today, not in ten years.  So much information and clues for your search can be lost in a few years.  Try one of the tutorials listed in the side box to learn more about starting your family history search.

   Enter names, dates, and places for your ancestors on a family group sheet and also an ancestral chart.  (See the box on the right for links to blank forms.)  Record everything your family knows, especially stories.  Look for clues in the attic.  Old photos might have dates written on the back, indicate fraternal organzitions, or show the ages of siblings.  Maybe your great-grandfather was given a silver spoon with his christening date and initials engraved on it. 

   Fill in the gaps in your family tree charts by searching for historical records.  Start with the Top Ten Resources tab and look for census pages for your family and ancestors.  Document all your sources so that anyone can find this information again.  Use websites such as the ones on this information guide to search databases for family information and to learn more about what is availble on the Internet. 

Have fun and good luck!