Thinking about getting your feet wet with family research?
Here are five easy steps to help you get started:
1. You’re Number 1! You’re Number 1!
Start with yourself on an ancestral chart and work backwards to your parents, their parents, and so on.
2. Gab Session with Grandma
Talk to your relatives for more information and compare notes.
3. The Gathering Storm
Collect and copy/scan vital paper documents (birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, etc.) from your family members to prove the information on your growing tree.
4. Untangle the Web
Organize your information online with sites such as MyHeritage.com (free) and Ancestry.com (paid) that allow you to build a family tree and connect with other family researchers.
5. He Did What Now?
Concentrate on researching one family member (preferably living) who you’re curious about rather than focus on how far back you can take your line.
It’s common to want to immediately jump online and start surname searches in databases, but do not underestimate the value of your relative’s knowledge. Their stories will be the base and drive of your research.