Genealogy Decision Charts

Get on the fast track for your genealogy research using our decision charts. These charts make it easy to find the quickest way through the maze of genealogical information on the Internet. With so much information, it is easy to spend a lot of time going nowhere on your family history.

This site will show you the quickest ways to research the basics for your genealogy. The fastest way is not always the least expensive way. Nevertheless, we point you to free resources as well as free trials to minimize your costs.

Fast Track and Reference

Before getting to the first decision chart, there are other features that will appear along with the decision charts on most pages. These include:

  FastTrack When you see FastTrack appearing at the left, this points out one of the best resources for researching your genealogy.
  Reference When you see Reference appearing at the left, this points out a good reference for family history research.

Decision Chart

Here is the first decision chart to get you started. Happy hunting!

Have you interviewed as many family members as possible to gather family history? No - move right Interviewing family members is the best place to start researching your genealogy. If you have lost track of some family members, there are online tools to help you track them down. One of the best tools is Intelius. Click here to use Intelius.
Yes - move down
Have you requested birth and death records based on the information from family members No - move right Use family information to order birth and death records. Go to Birth and Death Record Tips.
Yes - move down
Have you searched for family trees posted on the Internet to see if they can provide more hints about your genealogy? No - move right Search for family trees. Go to Family Tree Tips.
Yes - move down
Search the Federal Census for names from family members, or names you found on birth or death records, and names you found in family trees. Go to Federal Census Tips.

Advanced Research

This site is designed to provide the basics in researching your genealogy. It emphasizes the use of the Federal Census, Social Security Death Index, online family trees, and birth/death records. There are, of course, more sources of information. If you are looking for advice on additional sources, go to Genealogy Search Advice. That site will provide you with customized research advice based on what you already know about your ancestors.

Other Decision Charts on This Website

Decision Chart for Birth and Death Records

If you know the birth or death date within ten years and the location (state or county depending on the year), you can obtain a copy of your ancestor's birth or death record. View the decision chart for birth and death records.

Decision Chart for Family Trees

This might sound discouraging at first, but there is a good chance you will not be able to find your ancestor in an existing online family tree. It all depends on someone else having researched your genealogy and posted the family tree to one of the sites on the Internet. Nevertheless, it is always worth a try to find existing trees. View the decision chart for family trees.

Decision Chart for the Federal Census

If your ancestors were living in the United States between 1790 and 1940, you should be able to find them in the Federal Census. No other genealogy resource has coverage comparable to the Federal Census. View the decision chart for the federal census.

Decision Chart for Genealogy Software

It is best to use some type of family tree software for keeping track of your genealogy records. View the decision chart for genealogy software.

Decision Chart for the Social Security Death Index

Three items of interest in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for those searching their ancestry is the date of birth, date of death, and last known location. View the decision chart for the social security death index.

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