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Beginning Your Family History

Perhaps you want to find documents to back up stories handed down from generation to generation. Or, you need to put together a medical history to understand patterns of illness in your family. Regardless, researching your family history requires organization, persistence and education.

10 Steps to take when you begin to research your family history:

  1. Educate yourself about genealogical research.
  2. Use family group sheets and pedigree charts.
  3. Go from the present to the past. Start with yourself.
  4. Begin at home (preliminary oral interviews, records in attics, drawers, basements, etc.)
  5. Document your notes.
  6. Draw up a research plan.
  7. Contact research facilities for informational flyers, hours, fees, parking, web site, etc.
  8. Get the most research out of libraries, courthouses, etc.
  9. Photocopy all of the records you find.
  10. Support the library/historical society/local & state, etc.

An easy-print version is also available.

Other helpful genealogy Web sites can be found on the right in our Related Resources.

Who will you find?

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