Introduction to Genealogy
You are going to find a great amount of study material available for the
genealogist. The sheer volume of material someone wants you to read is
Almost all of them want to sell you something.
The Web is growing so fast it is a total waste of time to write a
hard-copy book. Everything will have changed by the time the book makes it
bookstores. It does no harm to read a few of the better ones from your local
Library. I certainly wouldn't buy anything at the moment.
Get it out of your head that you are going to be visiting musty old
somewhere in Virginia. We don't do that anymore. The Mormons have
in that courthouse. For $3.25 they will send you the microfilm. Just learn
the location of
the nearest "Family History Center." Ask at any Church of Latter
While we are on the subject of the Mormons: don't waste your time
looking for them
online. They are not there. In February 1999 they anounced they will be
on the Internet but no mention as to when this will happen. Learn to use
"Family History Centers." It is possible to be a genealogist today
nothing but the FHC. It is not practical to be a genealogist and try to do
You will never meet nicer, more helpful people, than the volunteer ladies
FHC. You can actually get a good start in genealogy by just following their
You are very welcome there and except for ordering film and fiche, it
doesn't cost a cent.
One caveat regarding the FHC: don't trust their Ancestral File. It can
somewhat as a guide but is full of errors and inconsistencies. Use the FHC
to request from
Salt Lake City microfilms of original documents. One of your ancestors may
have written a
book that is long "out-of-print", but you may still be able to get
Genealogy programs for your computer.
This is an area where you can waste a lot of time debating the relative
merits of a
half-dozen programs that all do much the same thing. All of the popular
programs are good.
I use Family Tree Maker for Windows with zero problems. Family Tree Maker
strong on-line presence and is going to be around for a long time. It makes
Choose a different application and in six months you will probably be able
to say the same
for your program.
I am unable to find a better "How To" procedure than this one
by Family Tree
Maker. I would appreciate suggestions. It seems to me that this procedure,
along with help
from the Sisters at the" Family History Center", will teach anyone
"Basics" of genealogy.
As I said earlier, you canít possibly read everything available.
written just a few years (months ?) ago are of almost no value. The World
Wide Web is the
area in which you will learn "Genealogy for the 21st Century."
Along those lines
I suggest you read, on a regular basis, the on-line publication linked