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Homework Topics

Genealogy and Family History: Check It Out!

Basic Genealogy for Kids
How to Research Your Ancestry
Using Technology to Find Your Family History
Design Your Family Tree
Your Fascinating Family History
Family History 101
Family History Detective
Family Photo Detective
Once upon a Memory
The Art of the Family Tree

Getting Started with Genealogy

What you will need:

  • a pencil with an eraser
  • a notebook -- looseleaf, so you can rearrange pages
  • tape for copies of old photos
  • Family Tree chart (below) -- punch holes and keep in notebook

On the family tree chart, fill in all the information you already know. (Use pencil!)
Next, talk to your parents, your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins:

  • Write in full names, dates and places of birth and death for every ancestor they know on the family tree chart.
  • In your notebook, write down the stories they tell you about your ancestors. Give each ancestor their own page.
  • Ask to see old photos, and ask if you can make copies to put on your ancestors' pages.
  • You may need to print out more family tree charts to record great-grandparents' ancestors

Some other sources:

  • Family Bibles -- Many of these show when children were born, married, and died.
  • Scrapbooks -- all kinds of family stories may be kept in one.
  • Newspapers -- Looking for a story or photo? Microfilm of old Gaston Gazettes are available at Main Library.
  • U.S. Census -- online from 1790 through 1950. (HeritageQuest or FamilySearch -- see Websites below)

Reference Books
For Last Names research, the library has some resources in the Reference section:


More Research Guides

Primary Sources

As your family's historian, you will spend most of your time tracking down the records produced by and about your ancestors during their lives. Called "primary sources", these documents include birth & death certificates, family bibles, military records, and more. The following resources can help you locate these records:

  • 629.3 KEM NCC. International Vital Records Handbook (6th Ed.).
  • FamilySearch Research Wiki offers information on how to find, use, and analyze records of genealogical value.
    Go to:
  • See our other genealogy research guides for more details on specific types of records.
    Go to:
Where to Write for Vital Records


Author: Gaston County Public Library
Title: A Young Person's Guide to Genealogy
Revised: 5 April 2022

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