Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Get Started with your Genealogy - Lesson 1

For those of you who have not started working on your family history because you don't know where to begin this lesson should provide you with some helpful pointers.  You will need to record the information that you already know.  It is best to start with yourself and your immediate family.  You can find free genealogy forms online to help you keep the information organized.  A good source for a variety of free genealogy forms can be found at the following website:  or if you would like to record the information on your computer there are several free genealogy software programs that will help you to keep your information organized.  The following links will take you to some of the popular genealogy software sites and online family trees:

There are several other excellent programs and online family tree sites.  

The forms or the software will prompt you for the information you need to record about yourself and your parents.  Once you fill in the blanks about yourself and your parents you will have already completed the first and second generations of your genealogy.

You are then ready to start collecting information from your family papers.  Most families have some memorabilia and family scrapbooks or photo albums that help to provide genealogical information.  Gather things like obituaries, wedding announcements, funeral cards, newspaper clippings, birth and death certificates, graduation announcements and other such papers.

Look through the family papers and record as much information as is given in the documents for the appropriate family member.  Once you have done this you will have a very good start on your family history.  Be sure to record the information on the forms available at the above websites or on your computer in the genealogy software program or online website.

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