How To: Research your genealogy and family tree

Research your genealogy and family tree

Researching genealogy takes a little enterprise and the skills of a master sleuth.. Watch this video to learn how to research your genealogy and family tree.

You Will Need

* A notebook
* A tape recorder
* Internet access

Step 1. Interview

Record interviews with family members. Use photo albums, diaries, scrapbooks, news clippings, and old letters to jog memories.

Step 2. List family history

Make a family tree. List dates and locations of births, marriages, and deaths.

Step 3. Access original records

Access directories and census records at your local library. State records can confirm birth, death, and marriage information.

Step 4. Make a system

Devise a system to organize your information, using cards, databases, or numbering. Sort out any missing information, contradictions, or redundancies.

Investigate records compiled by others, such as biographies and family histories.

Step 5. Discuss with family

Discuss your findings with family members and go over memories that might trigger additional searches. Record interviews so you can reference them later.

Ask extended family for stories, pictures, or information they may have gleaned from intermarriages and family crises.

Step 6. Announce searches

Visit online genealogy message boards to announce your searches. Browse location-specific sites for new information.


FACT: The phrase "six degrees of separation" was popularized by a 1990 play and refers to experiments on the interconnectedness of society.

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