How to Start Your Genealogy (With Free Charts)
The Very Basics of How to Start Researching Your Genealogy
inding your ancestors is a basic desire of almost everyone. There are many good genealogy guides online with great information. This mini guide is meant to be a very basic, simple start. You don't have to be overwhelmed with information to get started researching your genealogy. Start at the start. The experts have to begin there, too, each time they research a new line.
Start With Yourself and What You Already Know on a Pedigree Chart
You Get the Number One Spot on Your Family Tree
lace yourself in the first spot on a standard pedigree chart. Fill in all the information you can about yourself. Then fill in information about your parents, then grandparents, etc. Fill in all the details you can, as far back as you can on each line. The pedigree chart is a record of your direct line (lineage). It becomes the roadmap of all your research.
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Group Families Together and Fill in More Information on a Family Group Chart
You wouldn't want to leave anyone out, would you?
edigree Charts allow you to trace your lineage straight back, but they don't take into consideration all the children in each family.
Once you have filled in the pedigree chart as far as you can, fill in family group records for each family, listing parents with children and other important family information. As you fill in the blanks on the charts, you’ll discover a lot of other information, such as occupations and residences. Be sure to record this information as well, in the notes section or on an attached blank sheet of paper.
Now Look for the Missing Information
The Detective Work Begins
tart looking for information for people closest to you first and push back. Search for records in your house and within your reach. Next, call living relatives for information they have. Document your sources of information on the chart you are filling out in the notes or comments section. Attach blank pages if you need to. Get as much information as you can from your oldest living relatives. Let family members know you would like information about the family, and not to throw out old records and photos when settling an estate. Be willing to share your work and research with them if they’re interested.
Don't be overwhelmed. Even experts have to start at the start each time they research a new line.
Expand Your Research
ow expand your research to outside resources, such as libraries, societies, and the Internet. Start with sources on the Internet first because it puts information at your fingertips and requires the least effort. There are many free sources to search first, then you may choose to subscribe to those sites that seem likely to have the resources you need. Next go to local libraries and LDS Family History Centers.
There is still a lot of groundwork you can accomplish at home to prepare for your trip to the library. These sources will give you many other leads to follow.
You're Off to a Good Start
his should get you started. There is more information about the proper way to record names, dates and places, as well as documentation and source information. There are commercial and free genealogy software programs to help you computerize your records. There are so many resources available from your home (computer) before you even set foot outside on your quest for information.
Researching your ancestors is a very rewarding project. Words cannot describe the purpose and feelings you’ll experience as you connect with your kindred dead and learn about your unique heritage. Good luck with your quest!
Say you're missing your grandfather's death date. Using the following links, go to FamilySearch.com first and do a search for your grandfather. Next go to Ancestry.com and see what they have. Both sites will guide you to the Social Security Death Index and other resources to check.
A Starting Place for New Genealogy Researchers - The Very First Place to Start if You're New at Genealogy
on't get bogged down in information overload. Start with the basic information from the basic genealogical sites. These sites will lead you to more information as you go.
- Family Search
Family Search is a free genealogy site. It's the one place to start. They have the largest free database of names and resources. You may find that someone else has already done a lot of the work on your family. You can also download free the most pop
You can gather a wealth of information free from this site. They do have a paid subscription level, but before you decide you need that, pick up what you can free. It will keep you busy for days, if not months.
- Family History Center/Library
Locate the closest Family History Library near you.