Simple Steps for Starting Your Genealogical Research
Based in Putnam, Connecticut, Anthony Cosentino has served as a social studies and sociology teacher at Woonsocket High School in Rhode Island since 1999. He has also worked as a fireman with the Putnam Fire Department since 2009. Beyond his professional activities, Anthony Cosentino is interested in genealogical research.
Genealogical researchers track individual or family ancestry through various historical records, which may include census reports, death certificates, marriage filings, divorce filings, and other official and unofficial resources. While genealogical studies can involve complex research projects that take years to complete, you can begin your genealogical research with a few simple steps.
The easiest way to start a genealogical research project is to begin with yourself. From this starting point, you can work backward with information you have on hand, such as your parents, grandparents, and extended family members. Do not overlook the potential benefits of looking through old photo albums and other family memorabilia. As soon as you start hitting roadblocks, you can reach out to family members for insight.
After you have gathered as much information as possible by speaking with relatives, begin looking at four key areas of interest: names, dates, locations, and relationships. These pillars of genealogical research often correspond with valuable sources of information, such as birth certificates, known addresses, and familial relationships that may be stated in official documents or implied in other records. As you gather more information from federal, state, and county records, you can expand and deepen your research through popular genealogical platforms such as Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.