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From Roots to Branches: How to Start Your Family Tree

Starting your Family Tree


1. If you don’t have a mobile device, take a spiral notebook and Family Group Sheets, download PDF and Pedigree Charts download PDF and meet with family members.  Your grandparents or great-grandparents are a vital resource! 

2. Inquire about what resources reside with your family. Is there a family bible?  Do you have copies of Vital Records?
(Birth, Marriage, Death records) Are there any
mementos which could aid your research?

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3. If you have a laptop/tablet with your genealogy software on it, talk to your parents/ grandparents/ aunts/ uncles, etc., and add the information they give you. When you get home you can conduct your own research to corroborate  their information. Always corroborate any information you collect with your own research, even information given to you by family members. Facts get fuzzy with the passage of time.

Documentation to include with ALL information you collect:

1. Always include the date you collected the information, whether from a person you talked with or from a website.

2. If the information is from a person, record their full name, the address at which the interview took place, the date collected and the name of the interviewee.

3. If it is from a website, record the name of the website and the date collected.



Proper Date Format

In genealogy, there is a proper form for recording dates:  dd mmm yyyy such as: 01 Sep 1915

Visit this site for great information on genealogical topics and instructions on how to use Legacy and Reunion software ($) or (free)

Use either of these sites to access records and corroborate any information you collect

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