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Where to Start When You Don't Know Where to Start

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Step 1
What You Know

Step 2
Interview and Gather

Step 3
Examine Documents

Step 4
Create an Organizational Plan

Step 5
Arm Yourself

Step 6
Ready to Reach Out

Step 7
The Journey Begins

Step 8
Genealogy Sources

Step 9
A Word of Caution

Step 10
Your Ancestors Await You




Genealogy is the fastest growing hobby in the United States. The advent of the internet has brought research opportunities into everyone's home. With just a few clicks of the mouse, we can find long-lost, or never-known, cousins. The sense of "family" that these genealogy connections bring is more important today than ever before because we live in a mobile society with families spread from coast to coast. Researching family history helps us to connect to our roots and to learn more about ourselves.


Where do you start when you don't know where to start?
Many people who are new to this pastime believe their family history is ready and waiting for them on the internet. Just type in a name and out will come generations of ancestors. While you may be fortunate to find one or more of your ancestors in pedigree databases online, your own family history is unique to you. You will want to use a variety of resources and research tools to discover who your ancestors were. This tutorial will guide you through the steps to begin your genealogy adventure.

This tutorial provides basic instructions to get you started on the right ancestor tracking path. It is by no means exhaustive in its coverage. Follow the tutorial all the way through the ten steps and you will lay the groundwork for a successful genealogical journey.


As you travel through this tutorial, note that all red links open a new browser window. Many of these links take you to Internet sources while others open documents and charts created specifically for this tutorial.


Begin Tutorial with Step 1...

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