Genealogy is the study of families through tracing their lineages and history. It's a growing hobby for many people and a big money maker for a few companies.
Searching your family history has become somewhat easier in today's technology, but it's just as challenging as ever, if not more so. With all the online information sites, family tree makers and databases, finding your roots has become a veritable jungle. Don't go trudging in without some preparation.
Below are some suggestions for starting or continuing your research without becoming overwhelmed:
- Purchase a notepad or notebook (and pen or pencil) or an audio recorder. -- There are still places where your laptop or pad computer, cellular phone and other "modern day" helpers won't work.
- Talk to your relatives. -- You don't neccessarily need to find the oldest living member of your family, although that would help. Someone may have already started a family tree and you can add on to theirs.
- Record and organize your findings. -- Start a filing system, either on your computer or the old fashioned way, or both. Organize your findings and make notes to refer to information stored elsewhere.
- Pick a free and fairly easy research spot. -- Visit your local library and/or a FamilySearch Center (also known as a Latter Day Saints church). Both of these offer forms, guidance and sometimes "How To" courses.
- If you can't go to one of these, start with FamilySearch or US GenWeb. They are both free and offer "Getting Started" Information.