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Kraemer Intergeneration Collection: Genealogy

genealogy word cloud

Resources from the Library

Why care about genealogy?

People begin learning about genealogy for a variety of reasons. Whether people have distinct reasons for their curiosity about their family history or are just curious, there are a number of questions that genealogy can help you answer. Investigating your ancestry can:*

  • validate family stories
  • determine famous relatives
  • provide understanding of a historical event
  • trace medical conditions
  • trace family inheritance
  • trace land ownership
  • assist in locating birth parents
  • provide community history
  • provide proof of lineage to qualify for a heritage society
  • preserve family tradition, culture, and history

Tips for Getting Started

Many some of these reasons hit home for you or you've been curious about how to get started researching your ancestors, either way here are a few tips for getting started**:

  1. Start exploring your immediate family tree. Cousins, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings are all good places to start. Asking your relatives questions about specific individuals and details about their lives is a good way to start gathering clues about the family and its history. Also ask these relatives for any family resources or memorabilia that they may have that could help your search.
  2. Search your home for scrapbooks. Scrapbooks often have important clues about family history. Look for vital records, school records, family bibles, diaries and letters, old photographs, and memorabilia about your family.
  3. Start your online family tree. Use internet resources to organize your research and records. Enter and store important information, such as names, dates and places. Some websites that will help you build your family tree are:
  4. Start with a family story. Identify a potential story about your family or someone in your family that you are interested in exploring. Look for newspaper articles and records related to the story. Family stories could include military service, working for a certain organization, sports endeavors, or a family legend.
  5. Join the family history conversation. Networking with and asking questions of other family historians is a great way to learn tips and tricks for uncovering resources and information. Joining a genealogical society or family history society is another way to connect with individuals in your area doing the same type of research. Societies also often offer training classes and workshops about family research.
  6. Search the U.S. Census. The U.S. Census is the largest resource for family history and is a good place to start looking for family information. The census data allows you to trace family members and locate their names, ages, birthplaces, immigration details, and more.
  7. Search one family story at a time. To help stay organized and focus your research, start with a small piece of your family history.

*Reasons for investigating genealogy taken from Genealogy in Time Magazine
** Tips for getting started from Find My Past

Genealogy Education in the Community

Your public library is always a good place to go to get information or help with genealogy research. Many public libraries are connected to local genealogical societies or groups who can help teach you how to search for your family and history.

Colorado Springs, CO

In Colorado Springs, CO the Pikes Peak Genealogical Society is a great resource. They hold regular workshops on how to get started with genealogical research and how to use different resources. You can find more information about the Pikes Peak Genealogical Society and the information they offer at this link http://ppgs.org/.

Other Cities

To find a genealogical society in your city, take a look at these resources to locate your closest society: