The process of starting your personal family search is extensive and rewarding. The information that you will find will help you pass down stories to your children for generations to come. There is a remarkable set of resources available to the new researcher in obtaining all of the necessary information needed. The first item of course is to gain access to two main genealogy research databases. The first is Family Search which a non-profit family research website operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This site has invaluable information and in my personal exploits I found that there is a difference in the records that can be viewed from this and Ancestry.com which is another rich source of records.
Start a free account at https://www.familysearch.org/en/ and began your tree with the information you currently have; in especially your mother and father as well as any grandparents names. Ancestry has a free trial and with this link you will receive 30% off your first month of membership. When starting your search look for places where your grandparents or parents lived in first. Also, if you have any older relatives with information that will assist you they would be great for verifying the sources you have found.
Some states have databases that will be helpful especially if you have family members that lived in the southern portions of the United States. The most beneficial are most dependent on which states your ancestor lived in. For example, my family records were located at an historical church in southern Alabama this was a valuable source for birth and marriage records. Churches, vital records offices at the county and state level will prove invaluable. Also, many cities have genealogy databases that you can access for records. If you need any assistance feel free to email and we will be happy to assist you in your search.
Do broad searches in the beginning with just your family members first name, last name, city and state. If you get little results look through the U.S. Census records by year. This is a great way to locate other family members as well as the ancestor you are searching. This Wiki will be updated with videos to aid you in starting a basic search and we will expand it to allow for images, links to other family trees and actual documents.
Save all of your research in your tree. The documents that you save can be referred to later in the event that you uncover unknown property records, land or other sources for your family. In addition, if you are unsure about hints that are provided by Family Search or Ancestry save them to your shoebox to access later. Ancestry maintains what’s called a shoebox where records can be saved until you can verify the information that has resulted from your search.