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Genealogy: Finding Your Ancestors Online

Where to start?

  1. Start with what you know - YOU! Fill out an ancestral chart with the information you already know about yourself, your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents.
  2. Go back in time generation by generation.
  3. Seek primary sources to confirm family stories (official records, newspapers from the time, etc.).
  4. Be critical of all information sources (including relatives and official documents). 
  5. Keep good notes and organized files.


Historical documents and photos, local narratives, oral histories, indexes and other resources in over 30,000 databases that span from the 1500s to the 2000s. The Library Edition of has fewer personalized functions and options than the versions available to private subscribers. More detail about the differences.


FamilySearch is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all people discover their family story. Owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FamilySearch is free of charge to everyone, regardless of tradition, culture, or religious affiliation.

Browse-Only Records at FamilySearch

The image collection at FamilySearch includes hundreds of thousands of records that have not been indexed (and so will not come up in a historical records search. These records are organized geographically, however. So while browsing the scanned microfilm page by page can be arduous, the discoveries can be worth the effort.