Skip to main content

Genealogy and Family History

Explore your roots at VPL and beyond: resources and services for genealogists

Getting Started with Your Family History Research

Genealogy is a popular hobby for millions of people around the world. Exploring your identity through the search for your ancestral roots can lead to many unexpected discoveries and baffling mysteries. Along the way, you may find records of your ancestors in many different sources. Other times, the trail may go cold as you run into a brick wall.

The number of direct ancestors doubles with each generation. After eight generations, there are 256 direct ancestors, which for most people takes their family tree back to sometime around the 17th-century. With each person having so many direct ancestors to trace, genealogical research is potentially an almost endless pursuit.

Here is a video to help get you started.

For more videos from FamilySearch, visit their Getting Started with Your Family History web page. also has videos online, check it out at YouTube.

Featured Booklists