Friday, December 4, 2009

How Do I Get Started On My Family History?

If you are new to family history, or you are unsure what to do next to move ahead in your research, there are some basic guides that you might want to take a look at. Most are available at you local library or bookstore, but if you want, you can pick them up from or other online stores. The two books that I usually recommend when asked what books I would read if I was starting out are Genealogy Online For Dummies and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy. To be honest, even though I have been doing genealogical research for almost 40 years, I still read these books because they give a fresh way of looking at the problems all family historians face when researching their ancestors. And disregard the titles of the books. They may claim they are for "Idiot's" and "Dummies", which is somewhat condescending, but they are first-rate beginner's guides to the field of genealogy.

One thing that you definitely want to do when you are starting out is to read EVERYTHING you can on the subject of genealogy. Go to your local library, find the genealogy section and go through every possible resource you can get your hands on. That's what I did when I started out. At that time the genealogy section was kind of small, and there was no Internet so progress was extremely slow. The number of web sites devoted to online family history research is growing by leaps and bounds. Other than reading many of the great books available on the subject, visit genealogy websites (such as GenTips of course) because there are now so many people putting their own family histories online and providing excellent genealogy tips and resources that can help you in your own research.

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