Back to top

Get Started

Start with what you know. Yourself!

The easiest way to begin building your family tree is start with you. Download or print MGC's six-generation chart. Record your information and then start moving back in time. Add in information on your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and other relatives until you get to where you don’t know any more.  

Okay, now what’s my next step?

Family Sources:

Use resources you have at home or have available through your family.

  • Letters
  • Diaries
  • Family Bibles
  • Photographs

Now it's time to search for records!

Census Records:

The United States conducts a census every 10 years. Trace your family decade by decade. At home, you can search the census with HeritageQuest Online with your library card. At MGC, you can search with Ancestry Library Edition and Findmypast.

Vital Records (birth, marriage and death):

Some are available online (Jackson County, MO, marriage records and Missouri death certificates). Others may be more difficult to track down. Many are indexed within our genealogy databases.

Other Records:

  • Military
  • Immigration
  • Church
  • Probate

At the Midwest Genealogy Center, you will find access to databases, books, periodicals, microfilm, and maps that cover the United States as well as countries around the world. Information like this can help you move back through generations in your family's history.


Tips and Advice


Was this page helpful?
If you would like a response, please use the Talk to Us form below.