The first rule of genealogy: Begin with yourself and work backwards.
Talk to parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles, anyone in the family who is older than you.
Ask the following questions:
What is your full name?
When and where were you born? Where did you grow up?
When and where were you married?
Whom did you marry? What is (his/her) full name? When and where was (he/she) born?
How many children did you have? What are their names?
What were your parents’ full names? When and where were they born? Where did they grow up? When and where were they married?
What do you know about your grandparents?
Do you have any family Bibles, papers or family photographs?
SUGGESTION: Record the people you talk to as well as writing down their answers, and keep the recording. Always ask permission first to record the conversation.
Begin to fill in a genealogy chart with the information you have received. Fill in as many dates for births, marriages and deaths as you can. If you do not have exact dates, pencil in the approximate dates (ex., died 1870-1880, or born about 1908).
Begin collecting copies of death and birth certificates and marriage licenses. This step will involve money because all states charge for their copies. You will need to know the approximate date and the proper state and county. These records will give you information about the person and often about his or her parents. The Local History and Genealogy Department of the Library does have some records for Lucas County and can give you addresses for each state. Most state health departments have websites.
Begin reading a book about doing genealogy. These “how to” books will tell you about many sources of information for genealogical research. Most branch libraries, as well as Main Library, have circulating copies of these books. You will not be able to do actual research at the branches, but the “how-to” books will prepare you for the next step (see list of resources at the end).
Visit the Local History and Genealogy Department at Main Library. Bring your charts and plan to spend some time here. Our books do not circulate and must be used in the department.
We are open:
Monday – Thursday
9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday
9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
12 – 5 p.m.
Note: During Main Library’s renovations (Sept. 2018-2019), Local History will be open by appointment only. Call 419.259.5233 for more information.
Join one or more genealogical organizations. See the list of local organizations below.