Beginner's Guide to Genealogy - Print Edition

  • Beginner's Guide to Genealogy book cover
  • Beginner's Guide to Genealogy Table of Contents
  • Beginner's Guide to Genealogy - Print Edition
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Start your family history research! This easy-to-understand guide will help you find your ancestors efficiently and with confidence. Inside, you'll find expert advice on the basics of genealogy, with tutorials for building a family tree, finding and understanding key genealogy records, and organizing your files and research, plus a roundup of can't-miss beginner-friendly genealogy websites. 

Who Should Get This Book

You’ll love the Beginner's Guide to Genealogy Book if…

  • You're new to family history research and don't know where to start
  • You want to get a family member or friend interested in genealogy
  • You'd love to go "back to the basics" and revisit work you've already done
  • You're interested in 104 pages of family history research advice

Excerpt: Sample Tips

Here are some tips you’ll find in the Beginner's Guide to Genealogy Book:

  1. Move backward in time. Start with the most recent members of your family (you and your parents), then carefully document each generation as you go backward in time. This will keep you from making rash jumps—you don't want to end up researching the wrong ancestors!
  2. Talk to your relatives. Ask any living relatives about their memories. Don't ask just about facts and dates—get the stories of their growing up and of the ancestors they remember. Try to phrase questions with "why," "how," and "what."
  3. Always check your sources. Verify any information you find in family trees created by other people using records and documents. Apply this same mentality to "hints" generated by sites like and FamilySearch, which can be helpful but are not foolproof.

Contents of the Beginner's Guide to Genealogy Book:

Part 1: Jump-Starting Your Research

  • 10 Steps to Start Building Your Family Tree
  • Counting Cousins: How to Calculate Cousinhood
  • Busted!: 10 Genealogy Myths Debunked
  • The Roaring Twenties: 20 Timeless Genealogy Tips

Part 2: Tech Tools

  • 25 Best Genealogy Websites for Beginners
  • Should You Take the Hint?: Evaluating Hints in Online Family Trees
  • Walk of Fame: The 101 Best Genealogy Websites

Part 3: Genealogy Records 101

  • Counting Up: Practical Tips for Searching Censuses
  • First Generation: 3 Basic Immigration Records
  • Source Spotlight: Birth Records
  • Source Spotlight: Marriage Records
  • Source Spotlight: Death Records

Part 4: Organizing Your Research

  • Work It Out: 7 Genealogy Worksheets
  • Ties That Bind: How to Create a Family History Binder
  • Showing Your Work: Genealogy Source Citation Basics
  • Your-Digital-Files.jpg: How to Manage and Label Digital Files

The Beginner's Guide to Genealogy Book (104 pages).

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