How Do I Begin?
If you are just beginning your research start if possible by speaking to family members. As well as being able to expand your existing knowledge of your family, relatives can also provide lots of background information to help you build up a picture. This can prove invaluable when trying to make connections between people and places.
Perhaps they hold someone's birth, marriage or death certificate? Ask them if there is a family bible – these often list generations of family members. Old letters can also be revealing.
The last 100 years can often be the most difficult in which to trace family. Obtaining birth, marriage and death certificates will yield an enormous amount of information and often fill that missing link.
Where Can I look Next?
See our Births, Marriages and Deaths page for details of how to find and use the indexes.
For details of what information is given on certificates go to our Certificates page .
See our Censuses and Next Steps section for information about censuses and the renowned Family Search website.