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Manasota Genealogical Society  
Manatee Genealogical Society of Bradenton, Manatee County, Florida

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Getting Started
See also: Manatee County Items at the Family History Library

1. Start with a basic course or tutorial on building your family tree. For example, these "how-to" sites are very good starting points:


        RootsWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees's Lessons

        FamilySearch's  Learning Center 

        NGS (National Genealogical Society) Standards for Genealogical Research

2. Start with yourself & work backwards to your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc.

3. Gather documents from family sources including:

  • vital records - birth, marriage & death certificates

  • church records - christening, marriage burial

  • military records - pension, discharge

  • bible records - (photocopy those middle and front pages with family history notes.)

  • family portraits 

4. Get organized by: 

  •  Placing documents & photos in archival-safe top loading sheet protectors, boxes, file folders or albums, such as those provided by:        
  • Using a genealogy software program that allows you to organize and present your data, and share by import and export of GEDCOM (generic genealogy data) files. There are free versions of these programs available from the developers. The programs used most by our members include the following (use the link provided to explore these programs):


Family Tree Maker

  • While the Society does not endorse the use of a particular genealogy program, you can find tech support for RootsMagic by attending the MGS RootsMagic Special Interest Group (SIG) which meets once a month.  Use of the RootsMagic software is the principal topic. (See Meeting Schedule page).

5. Learn more about earlier generations

  • Attend genealogy society meetings, take local genealogy classes and read online "how-to" lessons to learn about the genealogy research process.
  • Begin to do research at local & regional archives, libraries & LDS Family History Centers. 
  • Remember that books provide "second hand" evidence of our ancestors, shorting our search for original documents archived at courthouses, churches and other archives throughout the world.
  • Consider that the bulk of your research will be done on microfilm of original records from those distant localities where your ancestors once lived. 

6. Hang in there!  The challenges are many, but the rewards are GREAT! 

Good luck in your ancestral quest!

HOME | Publications | Getting Started |Research |Mailing List |Manatee County at FHL
Meeting Schedule | Regional Activities| Volunteer Opportunities
Copyright 2013, Manatee Genealogical Society,  PO Box 1194,  Bradenton,  FL 34206
, Webmaster   -   Sunday, 17 May 2015