Beginning Your Family Tree

With Libraries closed and limited access to libraries and genealogical resources, this may be the time to begin researching your family tree. Researching your family roots and learning about ancestors and family members is called “genealogy”.

The first rule in “genealogy”/researching your family tree is “begin with the present”. This means begin with yourself and work backwards. While we are at home is the time to check that box of old papers that was your mother’s, father’s, grandparent’s or great-aunt’s.

If your parent/s and/or grandparents are still living, give them a call. Some people are reluctant to talk about themselves but asking the correct question might stimulate memories. During this Covid-19 pandemic we are hearing about the great flu pandemic of 1918. Ask them if they remember this time or if their parents ever spoke of this time. It would probably be surprising how many of us may have lost family members during the 1918 flu pandemic.

Though we are self-isolating ourselves, and are not able to visit our family members we can begin asking questions and gathering dates of births, marriages and deaths. Maybe Mom has a box of papers in her attic that belonged to her grandmother (or maybe even a trunk of possessions) that you can view when these restrictions are removed. Maybe you will even make Mom curious about that old box upstairs or in the closet and since she has time on her hands now, might just check it out.

Check back later for more suggestions on starting that family tree.

If you have questions, please contact our Library Genealogist, Wanda Stoffregen by email at  She will be happy to assist you with your research.

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