How do I go about starting my family tree?  As the song goes, “Start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start.”  Start with your close family.  Ask them questions about your family and its history.  This is the time to try to get a broad overview.  You want to know where they lived, and when.  Write down notes for everything.  Dates, stories, people’s names.  Keep track of who is related to who and how.  I think the best thing to do is start with your grandparents if you can.  Get all the information you can.  You’ll never find a genealogist who didn’t wish they had more time to ask questions, or start earlier to ask questions of those who are gone.  There is an old African Proverb “When an old person dies a library burns to the ground.”  We lose so much knowledge when someone dies.  Take advantage while you can, you will likely have a great time, learn a lot, and become closer to your family.  Don’t forget to ask any older siblings.  They may have memories that you don’t.

Now, once you have notes, start a chart, so you can see how everything interconnects.  I like to start on paper, because you can arrange your ideas better, without having to learn a piece of software yet.  This is a good free Pedigree Chart you can download to get you started.  You can even fill it out right on your computer, save and print it.  You can use this Family Group Sheet to keep track of each family you are working to find.

Here is another link to help find more free genealogy forms.