Getting Started

If you are new to genealogy and tracing the roots of your family, WELCOME!

It can be difficult to know where to start in your journey of finding out the story of your ancestors, but once you do you are will go on a journey of discovery to uncover the origins of your family and their history.  Read on for our top tips for getting started!

Write down your family tree

This is the easiest way to get moving on your journey.  List out your family tree as far as you know it.  If you can only get back to your grandparents don’t be discouraged, everyone needs a starting point and after all, this is why you are doing the research in the first place!

Ask your family

Once you have exhausted your own family knowledge seek out family members who may be able totell you more and fill in some of the blanks.  Asking older relatives may allow you to go back further in your family tree due to their own memories of the family.  It is not just memories that relatives can provide: There are all sorts of documents that may have been handed down to family members which will prove useful in your research. Family bibles, for example, commonly listed the births and death of family members.  Military service papers, photos or letters from ancestors who travelled overseas can give a surprising amount of insight into your families movements over the years.

Stay on track

When you start building your family tree you will quickly realise how quickly the branches of your tree multiply.  Seasoned genealogist will tell you that, ultimately, you have to explore all of them but when you are just starting out choosing a few families to keep track of will simplify things and allow you to hone your researching skills.  Once you are more comfortable with research and recording methods you will be able to go back and investigate other branches of the family.

Look for stories

A good way to help decide which families to follow is to look for family stories that peak your interest. Perhaps there is an old story of a great-great-great uncle that was said to have stowed away on a ship to the new world or your great grandma swore that you were related to Mary Queen of Scots. Use the stories as a direction to take your research in, who knows what you might uncover!

Jump start your research 

There are lots of online research resources that can help in your quest to uncover the roots of your family. contains a wealth of knowledge, from DNA analysis to access to birth, death and marriage records, they currently have a sale going on that you may want to take advantage of as you embark on this journey of self-discovery, visit to see what options are available to you.  Many online services also allow you to digitize your research and family tree, keeping it safe and accessible.

Join a society

To understand the basics, meet others with similar interest and open up your resources consider joining a genealogical society, you can find out more about the befits of joining a dedicated organization here.

Happy researching!

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