Genealogy 101

Genealogy 101 serves as a clearinghouse for resources that can help you in your research efforts. There’s an amazing amount of articles, lessons, online presentations and other material available online that can help improve you research skills. The goal here is to collect and organize that material so you can easily find it.

5 Minute Genealogy

One good place to get a quick overview of the basic research principles is FamilySearch’s 5 Minute Genealogy lessons. There are a number of video lessons – each lasting 5 minutes – covering the basics of genealogy research. Each lesson includes the video, a downloadable handout and a challenge. This series is focused on using the FamilySearch platform and online family tree – all of them free to use.


The FamilySearch platform is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons) and is available for all to use. It offers a number of useful services and programs to support your research efforts including a growing database of digitized historical records and catalog of available records that have not yet been digitized. Their new online Family Tree allows users to add individuals and connect with ancestors that have been added by others. Another collaborative effort is the Research Wiki – a fabulous research reference for all areas of genealogy research written and updated by FamilySearch users. These services are free to all. You will need to create an account to use any of the services.

Cyndi’s List

This is a directory of everything genealogy that can be found online. For almost 20 years, Cyndi has built and maintained this amazing list by herself with a small crew of volunteers. It should be your first stop to discover what’s available on a particular subject.

Subscription Databases

These online platforms offer access to huge collections of historical records – at a price. Many also offer additional services like learning centers and collaboration tools. You’ll find a complete list of both subscription and free database services at Cyndi’s List.

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