How to Begin Your Genealogy Family Tree?

1.  Start with what you know about your family history.  Begin writing down the dates and places your parents and grandparents were born, married and died.  I would suggest you write this information on downloadable pedigree charts & family group sheets so you can see at a glance what you currently know and what you want to learn.  You are now on your way to genealogy research of your families surnames.  Yes, your heritage includes both your father and mother's surnames.  By the time you include your grandparents you are researching four family names and with your great grandparents eight family names.

2.  Visit with your oldest relatives and ask them your questions.  Show them photos and ask who is in each photo and what they know about each person.  Where was the location of the photo taken and when?  Take good notes or record your visit for later clues.  Ask your family for assistance as all will benefit from your research.  The time will come when you wish you could have asked "just one more question" before grandmother passed on.

3.  Go ahead and type your family surnames into Google, Yahoo! and MSN Internet Search Engines and see what you can learn just for the fun of it.  Everyone wants instant answers even if the results leads you in the wrong direction for your specific family name.  Remember that your mother told you to eat your vegetables and then you could have ice cream?  Well, the fun of the Internet is to quickly find your family names and what other people have researched.

4.  To learn for sure who your family was and the part in history they participated in requires you to start with your parents and grandparents and document the dates and places they have orally told you.  This type of research requires you to get organized and learn to cite your proof sources.  Then you know for sure who they were and better understand who you are.  After all, each of us inherits our DNA from them.  Many of our traits, characteristics and even personalities come too us from them.  Our hair, eye color, height and weight are strongly influenced from our heredity.  Even how long we will live and which diseases may eventually cause our death can be traced back through our inherited genes.

Everyone in your family will appreciate your research in linking them into the human family and its migration West from the original countries of origin.  This will cause you to see history from a very personal basis if you know how your grandparents lived their lives during these historical moments.

Collect your families genealogy, photos and personal histories to share with your children & grandchildren.  I council with my descendants the stories of how grandpa or grandma met the challenges they faced in their time period and encourage them to do the same in their day.  Sometimes that story will give them the courage that if grandpa could do it then so can I.

I encourage you to begin your Family Tree research, learn all you can about your family names and document your research to share with your family and others.  Research of your family names helps you build your Family Tree and to know who your ancestors were & who you can become!