Genealogy Basics

It Begins with You

  • Start with yourself and work back in time
  • Ask family members for information, artifacts and family stories
  • Identify your immediate family members—mother, father, siblings and grandparents
  • Record full names, nick names and the maiden names of the women
  • Record the date and place of birth, death and marriage
  • Include the name(s) of spouse(s)
  • Record Your Data and Sources

Record Your Data

  • Record the data you collect on a Family Group Sheet
  • Use international style for dates—13 Aug 2016
  • First, the Wife & Her Partents
  • Next, the Husband & His Parents
  • Then, the Kids
  • Site your Sources


A Family Group Sheet Uniquely Identifies  a Family as Yours


 Tree Style Ancestral Chart


 Ancestral Chart – Vertical


Resources Other Than Your Family

  • Birth, marriage, death & cemetery records
  • Census records
  • Social Security records
  • Newspapers & city directories
  • Land records
  • Tax records
  • Probate records

Online Family Trees

  • They are good for finding clues, not data
  • Are notorious for not citing sources
  • Data without sources are not facts, they’re just stories
  • Check carefully against your family group data
  • They are notorious for bad research
  • Their sources are NOT your sources—check their sources for validity
  • ALWAYS look a gift horse in the mouth

Save Your Data on Your Computer

  • Family Search—Free online Family Tree
  • Family Tree Maker—About $40 from Amazon
  • Ancestry—By subscription

Join a Genealogical Society

  • Learn more about genealogy at every meeting
  • Personalized help from fellow members
  • Great conversations!
  • The Cedar Hill Genealogical Society
    • Always free admission
    • Meets the second Thursday of each month
    • 7:00pm; 6:30pm to socialize and snack
    • At the Zula B Wylie Library in Cedar Hill

from the Researching Your Family History on the Internet computer class


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