Getting Started in Genealogy & Local History

How to Start Searching for Your Family

  • Start with yourself and work your way back.
  • Write down everything you know already - names, dates, places, etc
  • Ask family members for information.
  • Look for any papers or other sources you may already have: marriage/birth certificates, obituaries, family bible, etc.
  • Once you know where your family came from, you have a starting place to look for more information.
  • Contact libraries, courthouse, genealogical societies, etc to search for family information. 
  • Search the Internet for more information, contact fellow researchers, learn more about the areas your family came from.
  • Forms are available that will allow you to keep track of your findings.  These forms can be found in books, online or in the local history room at the library.
  • You may wish to hire a professional genealogist.  A list of certified genealogical researchers can be obtained from: The Board for Certification of Genealogists, PO Box 14291 , Washington , D.C.   20044


This is just the start of your search.  Many books are available at the library that can help you get started on your family history.  A few titles are:

Family History 101 by Marcia Melnyk

Genealogy for the First Time by Laura Best  

Unpuzzling Your Past by Emily Croom