London Westminster & Middlesex Family History Society

We were all beginners once. Family History is becoming more and more popular, stimulated by TV programmes such as Who do you think you are?

If you are a complete novice, you may be under the impression, given the TV programmes, that tracing your ancestors is easy. It isn't. On the other hand, you don't necessarily have to travel around the country or even the world to put together your family tree. Always remember that these TV programmes are entertainment, not real life.

Far too much has already been written on this subject for me to write yet another 'getting started' article. So let me recommend reading two articles on the GENUKI website:-

The first is GENUKI's Getting Started in Genealogy and Family History and the second is a companion article written by a good friend and 'professional Yorkshireman', Roy Stockdill. This article, entitled Newbies' Guide to Genealogy & Family History has lots of good, if blunt, advice about starting out.

Another piece of advice is to join a local Family History Society, like ours. Researching your family history can sometimes be a lonely activity. Sometimes poring over a computer screen and sometimes sat in a Record Office where, like libraries, silence is expected. So it is good to be able to meet fellow addicts and share your triumphs and also your problems.

Peter Walker