Part one of Researching your Family History has to do with talking to living relatives to get information on your family. We all need somewhere to start, plus it will give you valuable stories you will not get any other way.
This part will talk about the different resources you should use to do your Family History. Some of these will be free and others aren't, but come with free trials.
The first thing you should do is get computer software for tracking your family tree and inputting the information. There are many out there to try. Also, keep track of your sources, whether you find them online or not. Track everywhere you look so you don't look in the same place twice.
Family Search is a free database ran by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or The Mormons. The church is making all of their microfilm available free of charge. You can find birth, marriage and death records. You can find census records which can help you find everyone in a family unit. There are so many records.
Ancestry.com is a fee based search that has millions of records. There is a free trial but you need to give them your credit card information. If you forget to cancel your free trial, it will be charged. Ancestry.com has family trees, military records, immigration records, census records, etc. It is another invaluable resource that I think everyone should use to track their family tree.
USGenWeb is another resource I use. It is free and is arranged by state and then county in the United States. Some of the county websites have more than others. You can search the USGenWeb for cemetery, vital statistics, county books, etc.
Fold3, which used to be Footnote is a fee based program I love because of the military records. It comes with a 7 day free trial. There are many other records, but I love the fact that I can find a lot on the Civil War Veterans. Footnote is the place where records from The National Archives can be found.
Newspaper Archive is another fee based program. This database is great for finding obituaries and birth notices. You can find out so much about your family from the newspapers.
Next part will be about wills, census records, birth, marriage and death records, land records, etc and why each is important
Do any of you have questions about researching your family history? I am a Professional Family History Researcher and have a book published.