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Steps to Getting Started with Genealogy


1. The first rule of genealogy is to start with yourself and work back! Talk to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or anyone else in the family who is older than you are. Ask questions like: It may be helpful to tape record the people you talk to in addition to writing down their answers. Keep the tapes for future reference. Be sure to ask permission before taping someone.

2. Begin a genealogy chart. Fill in as many blanks as possible. If you do not have exact dates, pencil in approximate dates. Use pencils for preliminary work. Always use letters to indicate months. Write surnames in all capital letters. Use the maiden names of your female ancestors.

3. Read a book about doing genealogy. "How to" books will tell you about many sources of information for your research. The library does have copies of some of these books that you may borrow.

4. Begin collecting copies of death and birth certificates, and marriage licenses. This step will involve money because all states charge for their copies. You will need to know the approximate date and the proper state and county. These records may give you information about the person and often about their parents. You can also find some of this information in newspaper obituaries.

5. Visit the Lubbock Public Library's genealogy area. Use our extensive book and microfilm collection. Ask for help when you get stuck. Note that our books do not circulate and must be used in the library. Volunteers may be available to assist you on weekdays from 9-12 and 1-4.