Where do I begin?
- Start by talking to older members of the family
- Take detailed notes or record the interview, if the person does not object
(Interview the talkative ones more than once)
- Remember to ask to see pictures, bibles, and other memorabilia (which helps jog memories)
- Look around your home for documents such as birth, marriage, military, and death records
- Examine resources to understand the basics of researching
- Join a genealogy group, especially in the areas you'll be researching
Resources for Beginners - There are many resources for basic instruction, including:
- AAGS, Cleveland - assists beginning members in group workshops
- Ancestry.com (library edition)
- Many books are available for new researchers - check your local library
Forms - Various sources have developed forms to record information. Some free sources:
*Mid-Continent Public Library
Fundamental Resources for Genealogists (online, at libraries, or can be purchased):
Redbook - "American State, County and Town Sources"
The Source - "A Guidebook to American Genealogy"
Other Tools for Researchers
City/County Names - National Association of Counties (NaCo) -
Figure out the correct city/county
Today's Dollar Values -
Calculate the value of property in today's dollar using the inflation calculator
Soundex Converter - System used to index U.S. censuses which codes similar sounding surnames; helpful when unsure of correct surname spelling
Cousin calculator - Relationship terms & definitions