How-to Guides & Tutorials
- Ancestors: Introduction to Family History Research, http://www.pbs.org/kbyu/ancestors/researchprocess/public/index.htm, is a set of four online lessons designed to get you started in genealogical research. Topics covered include the initial organization of information, deciding what you want to learn, choosing and obtaining information from a particular source, and evaluating your results.
- Family History: How Do I Begin?, http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/search/rg/guide/all_t3_resmeth_-_how_do_i_begin.asp, is a brief article from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) Family Search Web site. It addresses the five steps involved in doing family research. Unfamiliar words in the text are linked to the sites glossary. The article may be downloaded in Adobe PDF format.
- First Steps: Genealogy for Beginners, http://www.lineages.com/FirstSteps/, includes an online beginner's guide and forms toolkit. The guide outlines the steps for conducting successful family research and explains the GEDCOM format, soundexing, and the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). The toolkit, which consists of a set of genealogy forms in Adobe Acrobat format, is delivered via e-mail in response to requests submitted online. The forms include lineage charts, family group record, research calendar, research extract, a contact log, and forms to record births and christenings, marriages, and deaths.
- Genealogy Classes, http://www.genealogy.com/university.html, offers close to 100 free online lessons (tutorials) that cover all aspects of genealogical research. Categories include beginning genealogy, Internet genealogy, tracing immigrant origins, and researching with Genealogy.com. Specific lessons cover topics such as vital record substitutes, preserving authentic family memories, creating effective queries, and immigrant obituaries. The tutorials are high quality, well-illustrated, and easy to use.
- Genealogy "How-To" Guide, http://www.genealogy.com/mainmenu.html, has step-by-step instructions for locating different types of family information, as well as printable census, correspondence and other forms. It also contains addresses and information about hundreds of archives and libraries that both beginners and experienced researchers will find useful. The guide includes a discussion of the limitations and pitfalls associated with the different records types. It also offers a dictionary of genealogical terms. On the same site, Biography Assistant, http://www.genealogy.com/bio/index.html?Welcome=1004474921, includes a number of questions to ask/answer when writing a biography of a family member or yourself. Questions are geared to sex (male and female) or status (yourself, living, or dead).
- Getting Started, http://www.ancestry.com/learn/start/main.htm, is a tutorial designed to teach the basics of family history research, including how to make sense of and organize the data you collect, and how to use the computer in your research. Topics cover oral interviewing skills, dating photographs and other home sources, creating pedigree charts, creating research activity logs, legal considerations, research ethics, and many more.
- Help for Researchers, http://www.usgenweb.org/researchers/researcher.html, from the USGenWeb Project site, is a very helpful list of tips for beginning researchers, covering everything from the difference between primary and secondary sources to how to locate an ancestors maiden name. Other resources include a list of the most common mistakes in genealogical research, sources for genealogy forms, and how to write and use queries.
- Treasure Maps, http://www.amberskyline.com/treasuremaps/, offers tutorials on genealogical topics such as using Census records, deciphering old handwriting, using LDS Family History Centers and other information. You can also subscribe to a free monthly genealogy newsletter.
Originally written by Peggy Jobe, International Documents
Librarian and Webmaster, Government
Publications Library, University of Colorado at Boulder. Substantially
revised and updated by Christine
Hamilton-Pennell, Owner and Consultant, Mosaic Knowledge Works.
Published as a service to its member libraries by:
Central Colorado Library System
4350 Wadsworth Blvd., Suite 340
Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033
Last Modified 11/15/01