See also Family History Research Wiki and an article by Virginia Banerjee on Getting Started
- Define your goals. A family tree? A family history? Your family? Your spouse's family? A book? A Website?
- Start with your family. Then work backward, one branch at a time.
- Interview family members. Get their input. Ask for records:
birthplaces, marriage, ancestors, and immigration. Record what you learn.
- Gather readily available information. Family trees, birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, obituaries, and photographs. Google your ancestors.
- Make a family tree. There are several different ways:
- Ask for help.
- Get U.S. census information. Access available free at Darien Library and most other libraries.
- Search city directories. The New York Public Library has directories for cities across the country.
- Search historical records.
- Use social networking. Facebook groups and pages related to genealogy and history
- Read about genealogy. MGS Newsletters, books, and Internet links.
- Attend workshops. MGS program Meetings. Organizations mentioned in the MGS Newsletters.
- Make field trips. Visit libraries, archives, historical societies, town halls, churches, cemeteries.
- Put results on-line. Consider putting your results on-line to attract input from distant cousins. See Members Pages
Beware of ready-made family histories and coats of arms, usually worthless.