Start Here

New to genealogy? I can help.

When we die we become stories in the minds of other people. — Unknown

Welcome to the Occasional Genealogist. If you’re here it’s because you’re interested in genealogy and family history. That makes us kin! I’ve created this start here page to help you get started with your genealogy research and to learn about the resources available on the Occasional Genealogist.

How Can I Help You With Your Research?

Most readers new to the Occasional Genealogist are also new to genealogy or are looking for records or photos on specific ancestors, artifacts, or historical events. To help you with your research, the Occasional Genealogist is organized into 5 categories plus a recommended reading list:

  • Research Tips — Search the collection of “how to” articles. Learn about various research techniques that can help you locate family records.
  • Articles — These articles are based on original genealogy research. Topics include short biographies of ancestors, historical events, and specific periods in history.
  • Worksheets & Forms — Download free genealogy pedigree charts, census forms, family worksheets, research checklists and more.
  • Surnames — What does your surname say about you? Check out the surname index and find the meanings and origin of your last name.
  • Historic Photo Gallery — Browse through the gallery of people, places, and historic artifacts. Right-click and select save as to download a copy of the artifact to your computer.
  • Recommended Reading — Looking for more on ancestry, genealogy, and family history? Pick up one of these titles on my recommended reading list.

Genealogy Blogging Resources is another popular page on the Occasional Genealogist. It contains a summary of resources that will help you develop your own genealogy or family history blog.

Access these categories from the top navigation bar or sidebar on every page.

Looking for information or records on Italian immigrants to America or the settlers of early Appalachia? I can help you get started. Contact me with a few details about what you’re looking for. I’ll give you a few research pointers.

Popular Posts

These popular posts will help you get started with your genealogy research. Browse the archives and read through all the posts on the Occasional Genealogist. Use the search function in the upper right corner of each web page to look for specific topics.


Genealogy – It’s Not Just A Hobby

Research Tips

How To Start A Family Tree — Use this no cost approach and five easy steps to start your family tree.

How To Use Timelines in Your Genealogy Research — Learn how to use a chronological timeline to help you break through research road blocks.

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Keep up with the Occasional Genealogist by subscribing to the free weekly newsletter.  Sign up at the bottom of this page and stay up to date with the latest news and events. Your name and email address will not be sold or shared in any way.

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Some of the articles on the Occasional Genealogist contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and buy the product, I will receive a small commission of the sales price at no cost to you. I only recommend products and services that I use or that I believe are worth using.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at