Genealogy 101-Learning Family History

Genealogy Lesson 1

Who Are These People and  Where Did They Come From?

One evening you are going to be watching television  and your child is going to come in look at you and say,

“I have a school project due tomorrow about my family  tree and where my ancestors came from. Can you help me?”

This is how I first got introduced to the world of Genealogy.

Census Reports- One tool for Genealogy
Census Reports- One tool for Genealogy

This was before the days of ‘Googling it” and ‘’

I knew who my parents were and that they were from Georgia.

I also knew my mother’s parents and their names.

My father’s parents had died before I was born, so I didn’t know their names.

I did know I had several kin that fought in the Civil War,that a major portion of my ancestors had been staunch Baptists, and most all of the family lived around a place known as Stone Mountain, Georgia.

That’s where  my knowledge  of my family history ended.

Luckily, my sister knew a good bit about the family tree, so she filled in the blanks and my daughter’s project was saved.

I started thinking it was time to learn some more about my ancestors just in case my other children got this same assignment one day in their academic future.

Genealogy Lesson 2

Who are All These People and  How Are We Related?

The first time I visited the library I had no clue what I was looking for.

After wandering around the library for 30 minutes, looking in book indexes for anything with my family surname in it and failing to find anything, I asked the librarian to help me.

The librarian directed me to a section of the library where all the family history books and files were kept.

I opened a book to the index. My heart must have skipped a beat, because there it was …my surname!

I turned to the page, read the passage, copied it and put the book away.

This procedure of finding names and copying passages went on for a couple of hours.

I was happy. I was researching my family name.

But how were we related.

I went back to the librarian and asked her,

 “How can I find out if these people are related to me?”

She took me back over to the Family History Section and pulled a book off the shelf.

Handing the book to me she said with a smile,

” It will be much easier for you to understand what you have to do, if you start from the beginning.”

 “Unpuzzling Your Past: a Basic Guide to Genealogy written by Emily Anne Croom. (1995), was to be the first book of many I would study on the ‘How-to-of – Genealogy’.

One of the first things I learned was,

“Start with yourself, then go back from there”

After tossing all my notes I had so happily written  in the recycling bin, I started over with:


My Name is:_______________

I was born:________________

In The Place:_______________

My Mothers Name is:_________

My Fathers Name is:_________

Exploring family history got so much better after that.

Genealogy Lesson 3

Continuing Education

I continue to do family history research, and I enjoy it.

I still get frustrated at times, and still I find it a fascinating  and rewarding experience.

I learn something each time I sit down with the books , and for every question I find the answer to, raises two more questions.

Along my 15  years of genealogical research, I have met many people.

Some helped me make a family connection, and I have helped them make connections in turn.

You know what the darndest thing about all of this working with family history is?

I started doing family history research so I would be prepared to meet the needs of my children and their schoolwork.

Besides the one child I mentioned at the beginning of this blogpost, none of my other children ever had an school assignment  to make a Family Tree.


So, Take heed People!

If you you are watching television one night and your child comes in  looks at you and says,

“I have a school project due tomorrow about my family  tree and where my ancestors came from. Can you help me?”

Be able to look at your child in the eye with confidence and say,

“Sure! Let’s go there and Google it! and see what we can find out on!

I’m pretty sure our family tree is in there somewhere!”

Thanks for reading.

If you should have any questions about this blogpost or just want to say “Hi!” you ca reach me at my ‘Contact’ page or via E-mail at

Stay Well!


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