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Davenport University Archives Guide

Genealogy

Family History and Genealogy Research Guide

Here are some suggestions on how to start researching your family history:

  • Start with yourself: start with what you know and work your way backward. Find out the vital information (birth, marriage, death, and burial) information on your parents or grandparents.
  • Keep track of your information: record names, dates, places, relationships, and sources of your information.
  • Look at home: look for information in birth and death certificates, family bibles, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters, diaries, military discharge papers, baby books, information on the backs of pictures, etc.
  • Talk to your relatives: write, visit, call, or e-mail family members who may be able to help you fill in the blanks in your research.
  • Read a book: look at what the library has to offer. We have books and e-books on how to do family history research and books on specific groups of people who have come to the United States.
  • Use the Internet: there are many useful genealogy websites and services on the internet. There are also a lot of disreputable sites. On the Web Resources section of this page, we have included a few that might be useful in your search.

Databases for Genealogy Research