Hampshire Archives and Local Studies

Getting started in Family History

  • Starting with yourself and working backwards write down all that you know about your family.
  • Talk to your relatives and record what they remember. It's a good idea to make a list of things you want to find out to make sure they don't miss anything.
  • Look for family mementos - letters, photographs, news cuttings, family bibles. Ask relatives if they have anything that might be useful -often old mementoes and documents have been put away and forgotten about.
  • Write down everything that you learn, with a note of where the information has come from. Make sure you also record when a search has been unsuccessful - this will prevent you looking in the same place twice!
  • Start to draw a family tree, leaving plenty of space to add information as you find it.
  • Read a book on genealogy - it will give you a good idea of what sources you will need to use and the information you can expect to get from them.
  • Now you can start adding detail to your family tree - using the wealth of sources available in our archives, libraries and museums