Learning Genealogy

learning genealogy

Browse articles to learn more about genealogy research strategies and techniques

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5 Free Websites for Learning Genealogy Research Places to learn more about genealogy for all skills levels

5 Steps to Discovering More Records Ways to find more record sources for your ancestor

5 Ways to Jump Start Your Family History Ideas for getting out of a genealogy research rut

6 Basic Rules of Genealogy Basic guidelines to remember in your research

9 Common Mistakes that People Doing Genealogy Make People looking for information about their ancestors sometimes make these mistakes

10 Free Useful Websites for U.S. Genealogy Research There are many free and useful genealogy websites available for U.S. researchers. We are listing here a few of our favorites that are broadly applicable to many people.

10 U.S. Census Tips For Genealogy Research Useful tips for locating your ancestor on the census

About Migration Patterns in Genealogy Research How putting your ancestors in a historical context can help you understand their migration patterns

About New England Town Records Why New England town records can be useful

Bulldozer Genealogy Why sometimes you need to look at the records more closely

Burned Courthouses and Lost Records What to do if you find out that the genealogy records to locate your family burned in a fire

Can You Really Trace Your Genealogy Back to Adam? Why the answer is no

Cautions in Using Family Tree Some potential issues to be aware of when using the FamilySearch Family Tree

Changing Place Names in Genealogy Research The names of places change over time and finding accurate ones is necessary

Climbing the Ladder One Rung at a Time Build your family tree one step at a time

Common Genealogy Jargon Definitions of common terms used in genealogy research

Considering Name Spellings in Genealogy The spelling of your ancestor's name may not be what you think

Cluster Research for Genealogy Tips for using cluster research when an ancestor is difficult to find

Dealing with Contradictory Evidence Help for evaluating genealogy records that have facts that contradict each other

Dealing with Errors Working around errors in genealogy related documents or the mistakes of others

Discovering Birth Records Types of genealogy records that may list a birth date

Examine Inherited Pedigrees Carefully Questions you should ask if you are using a family tree given to you by someone else

Examining Dates Critically in Your Genealogy Research It's important to do the math and make sure your dates make sense

Expanding Your Newspaper Search More information on your ancestor might be in additional newspapers

Exploring Church Records in Genealogy Some helpful videos about using U.S. church records

Family History Work is Work Though genealogy is challenging, it is rewarding as well

Find a Missing Ancestor by Searching for the Children If you are stuck on an ancestral line in your genealogy, more information on that person's children may help

Find Your Immigrant Ancestor - Border Crossings and Other Records On border crossing records from Canada and Mexico

Find Your Immigrant Ancestor - Manifests and Passenger Lists On using passenger lists for locating your immigrant ancestor

Find Your Immigrant Ancestor - Naturalization Records On locating and using naturalization records in genealogy research

Finding an Ancestor's Address Why you would want to find an address for genealogy purposes and possible records to use

Finding an Elusive Ancestor Ideas for finding a missing ancestor in your genealogy that it is difficult to locate

Finding Ancestors with Common Names Helps for identifying which person is your ancestor when they have common names

Finding Children Who Died Young Looking in the records for missing children who died young in a family

Finding Time for Genealogy Fitting in time to do genealogy in a busy lifestyle

Finding U.S. Marriage Records Some helpful tips to locate marriage records

Find Your Ancestor's Parents Possible documents that might list the names of the parents of your ancestor

Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor - Where to Start Steps to locating your immigrant ancestor

Focusing Your Research Tips for helping to keep your genealogy research goals in focus with so many records to choose from

Free Collections on Ancestry.com List of which collections on Ancestry are free to view

Genealogical Lessons from Archery Lessons learned from archery to help hit your genealogical target

Genealogy is Not Always Easy It may take some additional work to find the information you are looking for

Genealogy Records Types A summary of common types of genealogy records for the United States and ways that they may be useful in your research

Genealogy Sites with Records in Common List of genealogy sites who share some of their records with other sites

Going Beyond Just Names and Dates The stories of our ancestors are also important

Growing Your Family Tree Becoming a genealogist and not just a name collector

How to Find an Obituary for Your Ancestor Tips for locating newspaper obituaries in the United States

How to Find Your Ancestor's Burial Location Tips for finding out what cemetery your U.S. ancestor was buried in so that you can view their headstone

How to Stop People from Making Incorrect Changes in Family Tree Tips for keeping the correct information on your family in the Family Tree

How to Use FamilySearch Family Tree Effectively Why it's important to add sources

How to Use the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries Steps to finding old county boundaries to further your research

How to Use the LDSGenealogy.com Site An overview of the features of the LDSGenealogy.com, a site designed to help you learn more about your U.S. ancestors

How You Know You Are Past the Introductory Stage in Genealogy Research Some indicators that you are no longer a beginner

Ideas for Finding a Woman's Maiden Name If you're having difficulty finding a maiden name in genealogical records, here are 9 possible sources to look for

Identifying Where Genealogy Records Are Located Guidelines for identifying a jurisdiction where your ancestor's records are located

Keys to Finding Relevant Genealogical Sources Some general rules on where to look for record sources

Limitations of Record Indexes Why you can't always rely on the index to find your ancestor

Limits of Historical Records Some of the limitations of genealogy records explained

Locating Offline Newspapers Tips for locating historical newspapers in the U.S. that haven't yet been digitized online

Locating Probate Records What probate records are and how to determine where they may have been recorded

Moving Your Research Skills to the Next Level Using more than one genealogy record and examining the records carefully

On Defining Success in Genealogy Research Finding joy in the journey

Preserving Family Stories Why should family stories be preserved and how can it be done

Preserving Our Own Family's History Ideas on preserving the history of your current family for generations to come

Probate Records and Land Deeds: Useful and Often Underused Often probate records and land deeds are overlooked in U.S. genealogy, but they might what you need to solve your brick wall. Here are the basics of what these records are and how to use them.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Declaring a Brick Wall Before you decided you have a brick wall in your genealogy research, there are some questions you can ask

Researching Past Owners of an Old Home or Property How to find out about who owned a home previously

Sanborn Insurance Maps - an Overlooked Genealogical Resource What the Sanborn Insurance maps are and how they can be helpful

Search for Every Ancestor, Not Just Your Direct Line If you want to do accurate genealogy research, you must look for all of the family members

Searching for Death Information Tips on finding death certificates and obituaries

Searching through Layers of Sources to Find Your Ancestors Looking at the deeper layers of genealogy records can be helpful

The Different Views in FamilySearch Family Tree The traditional, portrait, fan chart, and descendancy views in Family Tree

The FamilySearch Catalog: the Amazing Free Resource You Might Be Missing How to find two-thirds of the free genealogy records on FamilySearch

The Importance of Moving Our Family Records Online Why you should put your genealogy online

The Need for Examining Original Documents in Genealogy Why doing a check of the original document images is useful

The PERSI and Genealogy A summary of what the PERSI is and how to find it

Tips for Researching Immigrants to the U.S. Ideas for finding a place of origins and tips for specific immigration countries

U.S. Census Basics An overview of the types of census records available and what information they contain

Using City Directories in Family History Some helpful videos that explain using U.S. city directories in your genealogy research

Using and Finding U.S. Church Records Types of church records and how to find them

Using Civil War Pension Files The value of Civil War pension files are and how to locate them

Using Civil War Records Locating and using Civil War records for U.S. genealogy

Using Compiled Genealogies What to do if you find your genealogy in a book

Using Distances and Travel Time Between Places in Genealogy Research Using the time period and distance between places for better accuracy

Using DNA Testing for Genealogy Basic information about the types of DNA tests that can be used for genealogy

Using Land Deeds and Plats Tips for using land deeds and plats for U.S. genealogy research

Using Multiple Research Tools You can find more genealogical information if you use more research tools

Using Newspapers in Your Research Why newspapers can be helpful in genealogy research

Using Online Databases: from General to Specific Searches How to search from general to specific to get better search results in genealogy research

Using Old U.S. County History Books About county histories and how to use them

Using Revolutionary War Records Locating and using Revolutionary War records for U.S. genealogy

Using Tax Records for U.S. Genealogy Basic information about how tax records can be used to learn more about your ancestors

Using U.S. Census Records Effectively Some helpful videos that explain how to analyze the U.S. census records

Using U.S. City Directories Basics of using U.S. city directories in genealogy research

Using U.S. Land Records in Genealogy Some helpful videos about land records and how to use them

Using U.S. Military Records in Genealogy A helpful video about using U.S. military records

Using World War I and II Draft Registration Cards Draft registration cards and their uses in genealogy research

Unique Features of the FamilySearch Family Tree A brief summary of the unique features of Family Tree

When It Is Time to Quit Searching for an Elusive Ancestor How you know you have done a reasonably exhaustive search

When You've Done Everything to Find Your Ancestor Ideas for expanding your genealogy search

Where to Go from the 1940 U.S. Census Next steps for searching for genealogy records after finding your family in the 1940 census

Why Attend a Genealogy Conference or Class Things you can learn from attending a conference or class

Why to Use the FamilySearch Family Tree It's a good idea to put your genealogy research information into Family Tree

Why We Add Sources The importance of recording sources as you do genealogy research

Why You Want the Death Certificate of Your Ancestor Information that can be listed on a death certificate, when death certificates can be helpful, and how to locate them

Widen Your Search Looking for possible records that may not be as obvious

Y-DNA Testing: The Useful DNA Test You Might Not Be Using Yet Basics of Y-DNA testing

Brick Wall Case Studies

A "brick wall" ancestor is one that you are having difficulty finding. Below are case studies about a difficult genealogical question that we were able to solve with the details of how we did it. Though these articles might not be about your individual ancestor, we hope that reading about some of the strategies we used will help you to break down your own brick walls.

Articles Especially for Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

5 Easy Ways to Get Started with Your Family History Ways to do family history besides doing genealogy research

Common Myths about Genealogy among Members of the LDS Church Family history work is a responsibility for all

Where Do I Start? First Steps for LDS Members Starting Their Family History Beginning steps for family history research in Family Tree

A Family History Success Story How our family successfully used the FamilySearch Family Tree in a collaborative way to find many names for temple work

The New Family History Center is in the Home Most LDS family history work can now be done from home

Success in Finding Ancestors or Cousins that Need Temple Ordinances Basics on finding research opportunities in FamilySearch Family Tree

Suggestions to a New Family History Consultant Helps for new consultants on getting started

Take Time for Your Family History The importance of family history work

Keep Looking! Find Me Please Spiritual guidance in LDS family history work

Time to Think About Your Ancestors Finding time for family history work

If Your Genealogy Appears to Be All Done Finding work to do when it appears in Family Tree that all of the work is done