Getting Started in Genealogy Tutorial

You may be inspired to research your family history after watching “Who Do You Think You Are” or “The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.”  The Denver Public Library is here to help you in your quest.

Everyone begins the same.

  • identify facts about those who came before you 
  • find their dates and places of birth, marriages, divorces, and death. 
  • gather the same information about your aunts and uncles and previous generations of aunts and uncles. 
  • A network of family and extended family members develops.

Interview family members to see what information is already known. 

  • A cousin may be working on a family history
  • They may have newspaper clippings of weddings and anniversaries photographs and Bible records.
  • They will have stories to share about their own lives and what other relatives have done in their lives.

Organize your findings using two basic forms.

Educate Yourself

Take a genealogy class. Attend the Beginners Genealogy Class the second Saturday of most months, and the Special Interest Classes the third Saturday of most months. They are free and open to everyone.

You will learn basic research methods and be introduced to various records such as home sources, interview techniques, vital, census, land, tax, cemetery, and military records.


If you would like to do further reading on the subject, here is a list of books to help in your research. There are also circulating copies of these and many other titles throughout the DPL system.