About this guide

This guide lists and describes resources that can be used for genealogical research.

Akgerian man at Ellis Island

New arrival at Ellis Island Algerian man (1904-1914) from NYPL

Getting started


  1. Start with living relatives - collect stories and documents
  2. Go back in time generation by generation
  3. Seek evidence (also known as primary sources--official documents, materials, etc.)
  4. Be critical of all information sources (including relatives and the Internet)
  5. Keep good notes and organized files


  • Start with I'm related to someone famous
  • Start with my family immigrated from a specific country
  • Believe everything you find on the Internet

Top Ten Genealogy Mistakes to Avoid