Here are a few basic steps to get started on a family tree project:

1.    Gather your personal information and the information you know about your family.

2.   Good sources of information include:

3.    Try to start your research by focusing on a single surname or a family group. With a focused approach, you will be less likely to get confused or overloaded with facts.

4.    Draft a family tree with the information you have discovered so far about yourself and your relatives. Try to record key dates for each family member on your tree such as birth date, marriage date and date of death. This family tree, called a pedigree chart, will help you organize your information and pin point the areas where you need more information.

5.    Interview your relatives, showing them your pedigree chart. Ask for their help in verifying the information and filling in the blanks. Encourage them to tell you stories about their childhood and their lives. Be sure to ask specific questions to provide additional details such as the street address of where they lived or the names of their aunts and uncles. By looking together at old photographs and documents you can ask questions about people in the photograph or information detailed on a document. Making an audio or visual record of your interview is always an excellent idea if your relative agrees. This will let you concentrate fully on the conversation, since you won't have to be taking detailed notes.

6.    Keep copies of everything you find. Knowing the sources of your information is always important and can help to settle any confusion you may find later in your research. And, if you have a copy of the original source document, you can always return to discover new information.

7.    Stay organized. A family tree search can take a long time and involve a lot of information. By staying organized you can not only find the sources of your information but you will also be able to quickly go back to the information for further research.