1. Start with
a basic course or tutorial on building your family tree. For example,
these "how-to" sites are very good starting points:
RootsWeb's Guide to
Tracing Family Trees
(National Genealogical Society) Standards for Genealogical Research
2. Start with
yourself & work backwards to your parents, grandparents,
3. Gather documents
from family sources including:
vital records - birth, marriage & death certificates
church records - christening, marriage burial
military records - pension, discharge
bible records - (photocopy those middle and front pages
with family history notes.)
4. Get organized
- Placing documents & photos
in archival-safe top loading sheet protectors, boxes, file folders or
albums, such as those provided by:
- Using a genealogy software program that allows you to organize and present
your data, and share by import and export of GEDCOM (generic genealogy data) files.
There are free versions of these programs available from the developers. The
programs used most by our members
include the following (use the link provided to explore these programs):
Family Tree Maker
- While the Society does not endorse the use of a particular genealogy program, you
can find tech support for RootsMagic by attending the MGS RootsMagic Special
Interest Group (SIG) which meets once a month. Use of the RootsMagic
software is the principal topic. (See Meeting Schedule page).
5. Learn more about earlier
- Attend genealogy society meetings, take local genealogy classes and
read online "how-to" lessons to learn about the genealogy research
- Begin to do research at local & regional archives, libraries & LDS
Family History Centers.
- Remember that books provide "second hand" evidence of our
ancestors, shorting our search for original documents archived at
courthouses, churches and other archives throughout the world.
- Consider that the bulk of your research will be done on microfilm of
original records from those distant localities where your ancestors once
6. Hang in there!
The challenges are many, but the rewards are GREAT!
Good luck in your ancestral quest!