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How to Get Started with Genealogy Work

By Comeuntochrist.org
antique family pictures. Family History and Genealogy: Researching your extended family

In a previous post, we discussed that you can begin your family history by writing down what you know about your immediate family. This post will discuss taking the next step into researching your extended family history.

Step 2: Gather basic information from living relatives

Start by gathering similar information that you have already gathered about your immediate family, including relationships between individuals and dates and locations for important events such as birth, baptism, confirmation, marriage, and death. Begin with information about your uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents.

Start small and keep it simple. Just find one or two relatives that will talk to you and give you some information. These new connections can probably help you obtain basic information regarding who is alive, who has died, and how to contact those who might have useful genealogy information.

Depending on your family structure and how close you are with your extended relatives, you may have a tough time finding information about them. If this is the case, don’t underestimate the power of the Internet and social networking! You can often find distant relations by using these tools. Also, make sure you use the major search engines (such as Google and Bing) to look for those who you may be related to distantly.

As you ask relatives for information and search online, you will start seeing gaps within your research. Record what pieces of information you are missing and make a plan showing how you will try to find them.

As you seek out your ancestors’ stories, consider requesting a copy of the booklet entitled "My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together." This fill-in booklet can help you capture and preserve your family history and genealogy. It is a step-by-step guide that gives you a place to record important family information, including names, relationships, photos, dates, stories, and much more! You can access the online version for free by clicking here; you can also request a hard copy of the booklet (sent to you for just $1) by clicking here.


Chat online with someone about the importance of family history and genealogy.