Genealogy is the pursuit of information about your ancestors. Family history research goes beyond simply tracing family lines -- gathering names, dates, and places -- to discovering how our ancestors’ experiences were affected by the times in which they lived.
The most basic principle of family history research is to use the facts you know about your family history and work backwards, looking for documents and artifacts that reveal more information and bring to life the bare outline of your family tree.
* Many U.S. records can be located on free websites, such as FamilySearch.org and GermanRoots.com, and paid subscription databases, such as Ancestry.com and Fold3 [both databases can be accessed for free on-site at the Center for Jewish History]. For further guidance in locating U.S. records, please consult the Genealogy Institute’s United States research guide.
* For country-specific guidance on locating international records, please consult the Genealogy Institute’s "Records by Country" guides.