Where Books Are Just The Beginning

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Getting Started

Getting Started

Much genealogical research is now carried out, not in dusty archives or the basements of city halls, but on the computer. Here at the library you have access to databases, vital records, newspaper clippings, and photographs, all on our Genealogy Computer. You also have access to physical documents and the History of Macon County on CD-ROM.

All of this information can be a little overwhelming at first, but with a little practice you will be well on your way to creating your own family tree.

Below are a few tips for getting started in genealogy:

Take a class
Ask at the Circulation Desk for information on taking one of our classes on beginning genealogical research.
Check out some of our genealogical software
On the desktop you will find a program called PAF 5. This software allows you to create your own family tree.
Use the resources you already have
Talk to older relatives, look through any family letters or diaries, and look through family photographs (especially reading anything on the back). You'd be amazed at how much information is already on your doorstep.
Check out our databases
On the main Genealogy page of this website you'll find a list of the databases and information we have to offer. Each link tells you what's available in each database and how to access it. 
Visit the The United States National Archives
This website is an excellent place for beginners. Not only does it offer a wealth of information free of charge, but also tutorials and tips for beginning family historians.
Have fun
Though often challenging, genealogy is a fun, rewarding hobby that puts you in touch with your past.