Amy and Dan's family includes some of the most
famous people throughout history.
Have you ever wondered where your family comes from?

Children and adults can enjoy investigating family trees together. Genealogy as a hobby creates a unique opportunity to learn about one’s ancestors and the countries from which they immigrated. Students are able to use their organizational and research skills and in the process discover a whole new world--in the past. Here are some helpful guidelines to get you started.

Where to Start

Begin by documenting your personal data, then work backwards. Start at home by interviewing immediate family members; they are your most valuable resource and can help to establish a framework for further research. Listen to old family stories at the next reunion. Send an e-mail or letter to a distant relative who may remember details that otherwise might go unmentioned. Let the digging begin!

What to Expect

Do not expect to find a single book on the shelf that traces your family tree. Answers may be found in the most unexpected places.  Anticipating results and discovering clues along the way adds excitement to this potentially life-long project. Documenting your family tree is a worthwhile task which preserves your family name for future generations. Patience is a requirement, although with so many resources accessible online, information is more readily available than ever before.   

Where to Look

Websites, obituaries, newspapers, microfiche, census and military records, birth and death certificates, marriage and divorce records, city and county records, family heirlooms, bibles, journals, letters and old photographs all may contain family clues. Document copies requested may require a nominal fee.   

Basic Forms Available for Recording Findings

Copies of ancestral charts and census forms for recording family specifics are available in the Genealogy Department on the main level. Reproducible forms also are in various genealogy reference materials.

Find resources on Genealogy for Kids on the St. Charles Public Library's

Genealogy for Kids Research Guide, where you'll find books, databases, websites and more!