A beginners Genealogy Lesson
There are many records in your own home that you probably have not thought of that will contain genealogical information. Some of these are personal journals or diaries, letters, baby books, birth, marriage and death certificates, divorce and adoption decrees, school yearbooks, wills, deeds, military records, family Bible records, newspaper clippings, family histories and genealogies.
Obtain some family group sheets and a pedigree chart or two so you can record the information you have in an orderly fashion, and also be able to retrieve it expediently. You may want to make a file or notebook for each family name.
After you have collected and recorded the information from your immediate family and the records you have in your own home, begin branching out to interview grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. You may find there is another genealogist in the family, and that they have done some family genealogy as well.
As you begin, especially in the very early stages of your research, stay focused on your direct line (parents, grandparents, great grandparents). It is fine to record aunts and uncles, whatever the generation, but do not spend a lot of time searching for your great-aunt’s first husband’s second cousin. If you discover that you had a famous cousin, then that cousin has most likely had a considerable bit of information recorded about him. By all means collect this, and then move on.