Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Beginning Genealogy Guides

Many people reading the genealogy blogs are professional or experienced amateur genealogists, and it is easy to forget that there are many inexperienced people looking for genealogy guidance in our societies and online.

I looked for comprehensive beginning genealogy guides on the Internet last night in hopes of using it to help the beginners in our local society, and I thought I would share them with you.

Cyndi's List at has a complete list of web sites with articles and study lessons. The best of the bunch I found were:

1) Kimberly Powell at the About.Genealogy site provides a 4 lesson study titled “Introduction to Genealogy” at

2) The Rootsweb Guide to Tracing Your Family Tree is at There are 31 “how-to” articles on many facets of genealogy research, plus guides for many countries as well.

3) A Beginner’s Guide to Family History Research, by Desmond Walls Allen and Carolyn Earle Billingsley, a 13 article series at . This is copyright 1997, so it is a bit dated, but only with respect to the Internet and computer sections. The series explains the research process very well.

4) Genealogy Research Associates have a two course education series. Course 1 provides a brief overview of family history research procedures in 6 lessons, and Course 2 covers some specific record groups in 7 lessons. The courses are at

Lastly, the very best online genealogy tutorial, using examples and practice lessons, is:

“Researching Your Family Tree” is an online interactive tutorial site at There are 5 modules, each with a number of subjects. This tutorial provides step-by-step methods of finding genealogy resources in traditional repositories and online databases.

Our Chula Vista Gen Society has used modules from this in our monthly Computer Lab to help new members and experienced people new to computers to wade into the online databases.

I'm sure I have missed one or more beginners guides - if so, tell me!

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