Genealogy Research: the Beginner’s Guide

Genealogy research is a fascinating area to explore, but also a challenging one to get started with. This post will help you get started on your genealogy search.

Genealogy research is about finding and learning about our family. It is about studying the past to understand the present.

But, how do you start your family tree research?

The ancestry research process can be a frustrating experience. You’ll have to dig through stacks of old photos and documents, and the information might not be complete.

The best way to start your family history research is to make a list of your family members and what you know about them. This list should include the names and birthdates of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings; marriages, divorces, or date of death. Once you have this list, you can start asking relatives about the people on the list.

While it may seem straightforward, in fact, the process can be a bit overwhelming at times.

Here are some tips to get you started in your genealogy research and make it successful.

How to conduct successful genealogy research?

A well-defined genealogy research process can bring the much-needed structure that can guide us in solving the hurdles involved in genealogy research. These five simple steps will ensure that the research is successful.  

  1. Start with the known information – The first thing you need to do is to gather known information about the family. This forms the basis of further research. Investigate and write down the available information and also note its source. Once you determine the known information, you can explore more about it in different places such as contacting other relatives or examining the birth, marriage, and death certificates.
  2. Plan the process – After identifying the known information, you have to plan how to conduct the study. Setting up research goals and setting performance goals can help you stay focused. Developing goals is best accomplished by identifying specific people or families and finding out what specific events or relationships you wish to understand. The goal should include name, year, location, and relationship. These data serve as the foundation for the research.
  3. Search historical records – The primary means of gathering information from the past to the present is historical documentation, which was created during the subject’s lifetime. Since these documents convey valuable information about the ancestors, it is impossible to find your ancestors without ancestry records. 
  4. Analyze historical records – Many times the information contained in historical records is complex. It must be evaluated to determine its reliability and relevance for investigation. By determining the value of sources, information, and evidence, reliable answers to research questions can be easily found. You must make a critical evaluation of the sources that are used and the information present in the sources. How reliable is the information? Are there serious inconsistencies in the records? When was the record created? Is this information forged? Such questions can ensure that you use only genuine information.
  5. Arrive at conclusions – The final step in the research process is the conclusion. Finding documents and analyzing information is not enough. You need to draw conclusions and describe your reasoning and the results of the first four steps. For preservation, the genealogy research results should be recorded. This helps to accumulate knowledge about research topics. Completing the last step means that your genealogy research will be saved for use by future family members or genealogists.


Your efforts will be focused and result-oriented if you follow a structured genealogy research process. The genealogy research will establish a connection between you and your ancestors and enable you to understand your roots.

With expertise in genealogy complex handwritten transcription, SBL Corp can decipher even the most challenging historical document and can index/transcribe them to change them into the most readable and understandable format for the researcher. We execute the age-old document indexing process in line with the specific needs of the researcher and ensure that your expectations are always met. Please contact our genealogy division for more information about our Genealogy/ Historical Record Transcription services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best free genealogy site?
You can access genealogical records for free on a number of websites. FamilySearch, RootsWeb, and Olive Tree Genealogy are some of the popular websites.  
Which is the best genealogy record transcription/indexing company?

The best genealogy transcription/indexing companies provide customized solutions and prioritize customer service. SBL Corp provides a wide range of genealogy indexing services both in English and Non – English and keeps customer service as one of our top priorities. We have extensive knowledge and experience in age-old handwritten records ranging from the 15th century and can offer help in deciphering your records accurately that can support you in constructing the family trees accurately. 
What is the oldest bloodline in the world?
It belongs to the Chinese philosopher Confucius.
Which is the oldest family in the world?
The oldest family in the world is Donnellys, the farming family from Ireland.
Is hiring a genealogist worth it?
Many people ask, “Why should I hire a genealogist?”? An experienced genealogist will be able to assist anyone with questions about the history of their family using genealogy research tools. It is a good idea to hire a genealogist when you are not able to access local records or if you need help translating documents. If you don’t have the time, you might want to hire a professional genealogist instead of conducting the research yourself.
Can you hire someone to trace your family tree?
With the help of a genealogist, you can discover your family history. They will perform a thorough family history research on your lineage. When you hire a professional genealogist, ensure that they are qualified in research techniques and handling family tree records.
How far back can Genealogy be traced?
It has become easier for people to connect with one another and find out about each other’s family trees thanks to the internet era. With several genealogy research lists available online, you can search for your ancestors and learn more about what happened to them than ever before. Many people can do genealogy research and trace their ancestry back to the 1600s.