You may be surprised to learn that genealogy is second most common hobby in the United States (stamp collecting is first). Why is genealogy so popular? Genealogy forms a bond to one’s heritage and by studying your genealogy, you can develop a greater sense of self. Studying genealogy can also be enlightening, revealing family stories that are surprising, entertaining, or even a little scandalous. If nothing else, learning your genealogy will ensure that when you say “I do” on your wedding day, it’s not to your cousin.
So if you’re a person who’s just getting interested in genealogy, then you’ve come to the right place. This guide will give you a complete introduction to genealogy—including showing you the tools to learn about your family’s past and how to create your family tree. The guide is organized by the sources of information you can use when exploring your genealogy. You will learn about:
- Genealogy Questions for Your family
- Genealogy and the Internet
- Courthouse Records
- Church Records
- Military Records
- DNA Geneology (hey, Oprah did it!)
- Genealogy Software
As a bonus, the guide also includes a printable blank family tree to help get you started.
Overall, while reading through this guide, keep in mind that the key to successfully exploring your genealogy is organization. Organize your approach by starting with these two steps:
- Try to develop your starting point by organizing all the information you already know. Write it all down--full names of all your relatives, where people lived, wars that relatives fought in, when and where people were born—if you can think of it, write it down.
- Then create a list of questions. Geneology begins with questions.The rest of the guide will show you where to find answers to these questions. Naturally, you should first start with your by talking with your family.