Recently, someone contacted us for a free consultation on how to do their genealogy. Here is our advice.

Thank you for contacting HEIRLINES FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY, Inc. for advice on how to begin doing your own in-depth family history research. Here is a list of free or inexpensive resources you can use to learn more about your family tree. After trying these ideas, if you decide you need more help with your genealogy, please contact HEIRLINES for professional assistance on your brickwall research. Call Toll Free: 1.800.570.4049 or contact us on our website: where qualified experienced experts are ready to begin climbing your family tree professionally.

HEIRLINES recommends these great resources to help you in pursuing your own genealogy research. When you are just beginning, there are a couple of free or nearly free things you can use. The #1 place to find help with free genealogy is the Family History Library Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—the largest family history library in the world. They have created a website called to help you use the resources of this database online.

Here are 10 steps to discovering more about your family tree.

STEP 1: Click on, to go to their home page.

Please pay particular attention to the little green box labeled
INFORMATION on the left side of the home page.

STEP 2: In the INFORMATION box click on “How do I get started?” You will find valuable steps that will help you begin your genealogy research.

STEP 3: Also located in the INFORMATION box, click on “Family history forms” for free forms you will need as you do your genealogy research.

Print off the forms and fill them out as a part of getting starting. Learn
what they mean and how to fill them out so that you have something to
take with you when you go to the family history center or genealogy

STEP 4: Go to the section on the right hand side of the homepage labeled Find a family history center near you where you can access many of the library’s materials.

A family history center is a branch of the main Family History Library in
Salt Lake City, Utah. They have volunteers who help you access the
library’s materials at no charge. For a nominal fee you can have stuff sent
from the Family History Library to your home town family history center.

STEP 5: If you really want to have fun, click on “Search for Ancestors” and see what people around the world have submitted to the Family History Library’s database.

Except for the small mailing fee to have the records sent to your local
family history center, this site is completely free. They have wonderful
people who volunteer and love genealogy and will help you at no charge—
they want to help you.

STEP 6: Another resource available to you is a genealogy society in your local area or genealogy society of particular ethnic group you are interested in, i.e.: Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), or the Jamestown Society as examples.

The local genealogy society can be found by either asking the people at
the local family history center or if you don’t have a family history center
nearby you can locate a genealogy society by doing a Google search or
using whatever search engine you desire. Make friends with people in
these societies. They will help you. They can give you some leads. They
have ideas about the resources that are close to where you live and would
know whether those resources are free or if they cost money.

STEP 7: If you want to learn how to do genealogy like the professionals, go to Heritage Genealogy College at

STEP 8: You can access some paid subscription sites for free when you are in Salt Lake City using the Family History Library. You can ask their volunteers where is the closest library in your home town that has access to the paid database subscription sites called or Also, you may purchase Ancestry’s database at

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is now encouraging their family history centers to have Ancestry available for patron use at each local library.

STEP 9: To use the database Heritage Quest, you need to find a public or private library where it is licensed for use.

You can ask volunteers at the local family history center where Heritage Quest is available if at all near you. (Heritage Quest will not be available at the local family history center.) Heritage Quest is not available for private purchase because it is only licensed to libraries at a cost of thousands of dollars.

STEP 10: You can contact an online library called Godfrey Memorial Library at For $35 they will sell you a year’s membership to their library. This membership allows you access to an online library database that includes Heritage Quest.

Genealogy and family history research is very time consuming. It is a hobby that will bring you many, many hundreds, if not thousands of hours of enjoyment as you pursue the answers to who you are. Besides the family history resources of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Internet is a great place to begin discovering your roots. Just type your name into a Google search or whatever search engine you wish to use and see what comes up. Just remember, that everything on the Internet is not true or is usually undocumented. You will need to do further research to properly establish your family tree.

So, have fun and if you ever reach a brick wall or roadblock, let the Professionals at HEIRLINES FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY help you find your Ancestry! Our Professional Genealogy Research Services can help you when you are ready to authenticate your ancestry.

Submitted by Mary E. Petty, B.A.
Vice President,