Starting Your Family History

Click here for additional help in getting started with your family history.


Fill out a PEDIGREE CHART with everything you know about your ancestors. Start with yourself in position one. To obtain the Pedigree Chart, click here.


Note any missing data on the pedigree chart from step. Communicate with parents, siblings, grandparents and other relatives, including your oldest living relative, to obtain whatever additional information they have regarding your family line. Ask about copies of BIRTH, MARRIAGE and DEATH CERTIFICATES, as well as journals, letters, photos and other records available. They may know of others who have information about your family. Add the information you have gathered to the pedigree chart and obtain FAMILY GROUP SHEETS to organize families. To obtain the Family Group Sheet, click here.


Search available records beginning with the easiest first. Go to FamilySearch and click on the search tab. Enter the name of the individual and search the collection of records. If too many names appear, refine your search by adding additional information.


Search the online census, both federal and state.