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Beginning Your Family History

Step 6. Draw up a research plan

Make a list of information that you are missing on your pedigree charts and family group sheets. Find out about the records that will give that information and where to find those records. The books listed in Step 1 are a good place to start. You may want to look up web sites for the research facilities you need to visit. Always draw up a research plan to allow yourself to make the most of the time at the research facility.

Begin with these three basic genealogical sources:

Family Histories
Has anyone already written about your family? The WHS owns an extensive collection of published family histories. Check PERSI (Periodical Source Index) for any article that might have appeared in a genealogical magazine. This is located on CDs at the reference desk in the Reading Room.

Do a full census check on your family. This source can give you an abundance of information by itself. The WHS owns all of the federal censuses (1790 to 1920), the Wisconsin state censuses (1836 to 1905), Canadian censuses (1666-1901), and a partial collection of indexes.

Vital Records
Find vital records (birth, marriage, death) for each member of the family. These will provide names of parents, dates of events, siblings, etc.

Who will you find?

10-percent discount on vital records, microfilm and more at the Wisconsin Historical Society!

Become a member today!


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