San Diego California FamilySearch Library/Getting Started
START YOUR FAMILY HISTORY
Click here and view the examples of some famous people, then
follow the step by step process outlined below.
Fill out a Pedigree Chart with everything you know about your
ancestors. Start with yourself in position one.
Note any missing data on the pedigree chart from step 1.
Communicate with parents, siblings, grandparents and other relatives,
including your oldest living relative, to obtain whatever additional
information they have regarding your family line. Ask about copies
of BIRTH, MARRIAGE and DEATH CERTIFICATES, as well as
journals, letters, photos and other records available. They may know
of others who have information about your family. Add the
information you have gathered to the pedigree chart and use
Family Group Sheets to organize families.
Search available records beginning with the easiest first. Go to
FamilySearch and enter the name of the individual and other
requested information and click on “Search”. By clicking on
“Advanced search”, you can enter more details which will reduce the
number of names that appear.
1. Search the online census, both federal and state: Ancestry.com This is a subscription site, however it is free at the San Diego Family History Center. FamilySearch This site is free over the internet. Heritage Quest This site is also free at the San Diego Family History Center.
2. Search the social security death indexes. Rootsweb This site is part of ancestry and is free.
Ancestry.com In addition to the Rootsweb social security index, Ancestry has an index and is free at the San Diego Family History Center. FamilySearch.org This site is free online.
3. Search Google with the name of the individual you are looking for. Enter the name in quotes to refine the search.
4. Search military draft records on Ancestry.com
Go to FamilySearch Catalog and do a place search.
Click on the records you want to search.
Vital records may include:
Church records may also provide information about:
You may also go to Pro-Genealogists to look for vital records in the
places your ancestor lived.
Make a record of your research on a Research Log. Various software programs are available to record and organize your genealogy information:
Personal Ancestral File (PAF) can be downloaded free from Family Search.
Links to other software programs can also be found on the Family History Products page. These include:
Search for land records under a place search as shown in step 5.
Look for immigration records:
CastleGarden.org (between 1820-1892)
EllisIsland.org (between 1892-1924)
The Ancestry website has more extensive information, including passenger lists. The Ancestry site is free at the San Diego Family History Center.
Military records – Popular search sites include Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, and FamilySearch.org.
Other resources for research on your family can be found in the FamilySearch Wiki.
MISSIONARIES AT THE SAN DIEGO FAMILY HISTORY CENTER
ARE ALSO AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU GET STARTED.