How to Research Your Family History
Curious about the family members that came before you? Learn your family backstory in three simple steps.
1. Build a Family Archive
Write down everything you know about your family, including dates and locations of significant events (birth, death, marriage), says Jill N. Crandell, director of the Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University. Search your home for documents and photos, then cross-check your info with relatives and ask about what else they know.
2. Use Database Sites
Fill in holes and gather additional records on a site like Ancestry. Document what you find and share new info with interested relatives.
3. Roadblock? Call a Pro
A genealogist can uncover hard-to-find information and help you parse records you’ve already found, says Diana Elder, an accredited genealogist in Highland, Utah. Find a credentialed one through icapgen.org or bcgcertification.org (expect to pay $20 to $60 per hour).