How Do You Begin to Search for Your Family Genealogy?

Begin your search for your family genealogy by writing down your own name, birth date and birthplace; the same for your parents; your spouse and marriage date; and your children's names and dates of birth. Ask relatives for information, check family bibles and records and search free records at

Use the free family interview questionnaire on and the free family tree feature on When interviewing relatives, ask about family stories and legends, occupations of family members, military records and even criminal records.

Use the information to check for newspaper articles, marriage and birth announcements, commencement and bar mitzvah announcements, and obituaries. The National Archives maintains free census records from 1850 to 1940, naturalization records, immigration ship passenger lists, military records and land records. You must visit a branch office to view their films. Some of this information is available for free at