Things to Consider When Researching Your Family History

Suppose you are interested in finding information about your great-grandmother. Here are a few tips that will help you create a solid research plan:

1.  Write down as much as you know about the person or persons you want to learn more about. Include as much detail as possible like spouse’s and children’s names, place of birth, and the approximate dates of birth, marriage, and death.

2. Write down your goals when it comes to researching the person. Getting sidetracked when researching family history is easy. Once you start uncovering interesting facts about your family, you might lose sight of the reason you started tracing your family history to begin with. For this reason, writing down your aims in your basic plan is important. For example, your goal might be to learn as much as you can about one side of your family or learn more about an old story you’ve heard about your ancestors.

3. Begin searching with a genealogically focused search engine to get a clear idea of what might be available. For example, a site like can help you find information about your great-grandmother. Enter her name and where she lived to narrow down the search results. The data that you obtain will give you an indication of the range of resources available.

4. Prioritize the resources you can use. The results that are delivered on these genealogical search engines could turn up different resources like mailing lists, newsgroups, and one-name study sites. I’d recommend that you prioritize the resources that you plan to use first. An excellent starting point would be to visit a site like that give you access to civil registration documents that will allow you to verify important dates and events.

5. Once you’ve identified the resources you want to use, schedule time to use them. Researching family history is a lifelong venture. You can’t download every bit of information and documentation that you need all at once. Because it requires a lot of time and effort to research your family history, it’s best to schedule specific times to work on specific parts of your research plan. Because genealogy can be very addictive, its’ best to break every thing down in your research plan so you don’t yet sidetracked or bogged down by interesting information.

There are a wide variety of websites online that make it possible to build your family tree at no cost. is the one I recommend. As you are doing your research on your family history, keep detailed notes and share your findings with your family members.