Family Tree for Beginners: “Dummies” if you prefer…7 Free books to help you get started

Great News! You decided to start working on your family tree! Now what!? Family tree research can be a bit overwhelming. If you inherited someone else’s work like I did with “BoB” you probably want to start but it’s a daunting task. I can say at first my head was swimming too!

Some people like to watch videos, some people like to ask questions and some people like to read. If you like to read I’ve compiled a list of seven beginner books “For Dummies” like my grandmother would say. All of these books are available for FREE at the internet archive online. Just start a free account on the internet archive and start reading!


  1. Genealogy Online for Dummies by Matthew Helm – 2008 – Learn how to search and locate records online. Some info may be out of date but still a good read for free if you are new to online research.

2. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy by Christine Rose & Kay Germain Ingalls – 1997 – Learn quick and easy methods to trace your ancestry.


3. The Family Tree Guide Book by the Editors at Family Tree Magazine – 2002 – Contains web sites, archives, libraries, city guides and more tips. Again, might be slightly out of date but a FREE read where you might find a tip or a clue.


4. The Library: A Guide to the LDS Family History Library by John Cerny & Wendy Elliott – 1988 – Contains information on the LDS Family History Library in Utah, the largest genealogical collection in the world.


5. Cyndi’s List – by Cyndi Howells – 1999 – A comprehensive list of 40,000 Genealogy Sites on the Internet. Cyndi’s List is still active online today – a great index where you will find what you are looking for!


6. How to Do Everything Genealogy – Second Edition by George G. Morgan – 2009 – Everything you need to know to learn how to become an expert researcher.


7. Plugging into your past: how to find real family history records online by Rick Crume – 2004 – How to use online resources and tools to find family history.


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