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GEOSCI 198: Nature and American History

How to research your family history

Follow these basic steps to start researching your family history:

  • Start with what you already have. Make a note of the names, date, and places you know.
  • Talk to your family members. Ask them about family stories and names or dates you may not have. Keep in mind that some family lore may have evolved over the years.
  • Start searching online. Use Ancestry Library or other genealogy databases to look for records that list your ancestors. Census records, for example, can include useful information like occupation, household members, and birthplace.
  • Keep track of all your resources! Be sure to save any documents you use and note where you found them.

Check out "Getting Started Researching Your Family History" from the Wisconsin Historical Society, listed below, for more tips on researching Wisconsin families.

Genealogy databases

Wisconsin genealogy resources