Getting Started

Genies love beginners!! Enclosed are some tips that will help you get started finding your family.
1.      Come to our meetings, make a friend, and pick up some of the forms mentioned below.
2.      Talk to your relatives and collect all the names, dates and places you can find.  Record everything you know so others can help you. 
3.      Start a Pedigree or Ancestor Chart so you will have all the information you need handy.  Use pencil.  Start with yourself as #1.  Your father is #2 and all the fathers are even numbers.  Your mother is #3 and all the mothers are odd numbers.  Add 1 to a man's number and you have his wife's number. Here’s one:   There is a larger 7-generation form available at meetings.
4.      Read Basic Genealogy Tips (Tab on left).
5.      Leave a comment on this blog if you have questions or want individual help Getting Started.
6.      Put what you know in a family tree website. Hint: is free.  (See Family Tree Websites on left.)
7.      Read Census Tips (Tab on left).
8.      Birth and Death were only filed with the counties and states after 1900.  Look for church records before that.  Marriage records, wills and deeds go way back.  Death records may have parents info in addition to cause, date and place of death.

Sit back and relax.  How are you doing?  Time to move on?
9.      Take an online beginner class or webinar (see Beginner Classes on left).
10.  Check out some of the places where volunteers offer help.  Hint: Family History Center or Bellingham Library.  (See Local Resources on top bar.)
11.  Google your surname with “genealogy”.
12.  If you use Facebook, search for a facebook group by surname or topic.
13.  Don’t be overwhelmed.  This can be a wonderful lifetime hobby.  Ask for help.

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