Getting Started

It’s holiday time, which is the perfect time to get started on your family history. Whether you’re just starting out, or if you’ve researched for a while, but are beginning your search in a new country, we have guides that can help you learn how to go about it.

Getting Restarted

Genealogy is a stop-start hobby that lasts years. So if you are one who is just re-starting or picking it up again, you might consider the “Do-over Book” which takes you step-by-step through reanalysing everything you have, while getting it all into an organized form.

Getting Organised
There’s no doubt that doing genealogy you need to be organised. The amount of paper, photos, documents, even emails, you will get relating to your research is huge. And there’s no point having information if you can’t find it, so you need to get organised. There are numerous books relating to organsing.Apart from physical organisation of genealogy files, photo filing and heirloom documenting are both an important part of genealogy organisation. But don’t forget about your old slides, home movies and audio tapes – these are important and irreplaceable records. For some, writing is a way to get their research into order. No matter what aspect you’d like to focus on and learn how to improve … there’s a guide for it.More getting organised:

Getting Started


A5 Four Generation Pedigree Note Pad – Stationery, 50 sheets – $5.95
Ideal as a gift item or to have in your research folder, or for societies to have on hand when dealing with queries. This pad consisting of 50 sheets, and has space for a basic four generation pedigree (yourself, parents, grandparents and great grandparents), with room for name, birth date and place, and death date and place. On the back of each sheet is a lined page for notes. So if you’re describing the family connections to someone, or working out who fits in where, it’s an easy tool to bring out and use.

9 Generation Chart – Stationery – $2.20
Large, flat, white card with black printing. Great as a working chart.

500 Best Genealogy and Family History Tips – T. MacEntee, paperback, 72 pages – $19.50
What will you find in this ‘best tips’ guide? Everything from practical ways to use Google, advice on protecting your privacy online, information about secret or little known resources for genealogy research and more. The best way to use this guide is to browse the table of contents to find a topic of interest. Also simply search the book when trying to find a solution to a problem, such as how to cite a source or locate an app to generate bibliographic information.

The Basic Genealogy Checklist: 101 Tips and Tactics to Find Your Family History – H. Christmas & P. Rhetts, paperback, 128 pages – $35.00
This book is designed to help genealogists of all types and at all stages in their search. There are several hundred tips, tactics, and online web links provided to help the beginner find the right path to get started, of the experienced researcher to jump ahead to the next level.



Ancestor Family Tree Work Book – Anne Trubshaw-Dow & Lynn Dillon, paperback, 48 pages – $15.00
Ideal for putting in your bag and taking with you to the genealogy society or archives office ready for a day of research. No more pads of paper with the pages falling off – its all here in your Work book for you to record your findings. This book is designed to assist the beginner to start recording their family tree, though the experienced researcher will also find the book to be a helpful tool as well.

Genealogical Research Work Book – Anne Trubshaw-Dow & Lynn Dillon, paperback, 48 pages – $10.00
This work book is designed for you to take with you to the genealogy society or archives office ready for a day of research. No more pads of paper with the pages falling off – its all here in your Work book for you to record your findings. This book is designed to get rid of the clutter of paperwork, and keep it altogether in a single book. This work book contains 20 family group sheets, and 20 pages of notes, and an index page for your to fill in, so you can easily find the right page quickly. Each page is a full A4 size, so that gives you plenty of rooms to write.

Genealogy Basics in 30 Minutes -S. Combs-Bennett, paperback, 106 pages – $32.00
Genealogists are like detectives. Working out puzzles is the name of their game! If you have ever wanted to research and document your family history the right way, then Genealogy Basics in 30 Minutes is for you! Authored by professional genealogist Shannon Combs-Bennett, this genealogy book explains the joys, challenges, and triumphs of researching your family’s origins. While many people assume genealogy research starts online, Combs-Bennett shows the importance of starting a family tree using documents that can be found in your own home!

Granny Was a Brothel Keeper: 50 Family History Traps – K. Broad & T. Beobard, paperback, 136 pages – $26.00
‘Granny was a Brothel Keeper’ is an entertaining collection of true stories which illustrate the fascinating and sometimes bizarre world of family history research. A fun read in its own right, this book also outlines many of the traps which lie in wait for the family historian. It will help both newbies and old hands become more effective in their research. Who knows, you too may discover lying brides, exploding sheds and bath chairs, shipwreck survivors, serial bigamists and more …


Grandad Did a Dastardly Deed: 50 More Family History Traps – K. Broad & T. Neobard, paperback, 132 pages – $28.50
“Grandad Did A Dastardly Deed” continues the work of its companion book “Granny Was A Brothel Keeper” in highlighting pitfalls associated with family history. Written in a distinctive light-hearted style, this volume is packed with cartoons, true stores, and tips to take you further along your ancestral voyage of discovery. Expect to encounter dumpling-flingers, ancestors who drowned in exotic places, fake social network profiles, concealed lunatics, dwarf strangles and malevolent microfilm!

It’s Not All Online: A Guide to Genealogy Sources Offline – S. Hicks, paperback, 68 pages – $14.00
This publication explores the various places that there may be additional and more detailed information on our ancestors. Libraries, archives, genealogical and family history societies, museums and local historical societies are just some of the places that can tell us more about who our ancestors really were. We can learn about where they lived, what clothes they wore, where they went to school, their church activities and where they worked. If they did military service, were active in sport or their local communities or perhaps they were sick, or had encounters with the law and order agencies – it is all there waiting to be discovered.

My Family History Note Book – spiral, 88 pages – $14.50
Ideal for putting in your bag and taking with you to the genealogy society or archives office ready for a day of research. No more pads of paper with the pages falling off – its all here in a spiral bound booklet for you to record your findings.

Pitfalls in Family History – G. Jaunay, paperback, 36 pages – $12.50
Somewhere there may be a family historian who claims never to have encountered a pitfall in their research, but most of us, if we’re honest, will admit to being bruised all over by the number of falls we’ve taken whilst our family trees have been growing. By reading this booklet you will be more aware of many of the pitfalls waiting to entrap you!




To Trace or Not to Trace: A Family History Overview for the Curious – C. Baxter, paperback, 68 pages – $15.00
Have you ever asked yourself “Who am I?” or “Why am I here?” Some people seek answers in philosophy or religion or other forms of spirituality. But there’s a really simply scientific explanation that overrides all others. We are here because an awful lot of people had a Fantabulous Time. And as genealogists – as family history researchers – we are trying to identify them so we know who, exactly, we should blame … for everything. “To Trace or Not to Trace” … a simple guide to the art of chasing our own tale.

A Beginner’s Guide to British and Irish Genealogy – C. Paton, paperback, 72 pages – $16.00
In this Unlock the Past guide, genealogist Chris Paton takes you through the key record sets that will help you get underway with your family history research. He will introduce you to the family history societies and archives that can assist your efforts, and provide a little context to the ancestral landscape within which your ancestors once lived, and into which you will soon be immersed. Along the way he will point out some of the major differences in record types to be found in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and the Crown Dependencies of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Family and Local History Resource Directory for Victoria – S. Hicks, paperback, 130 pages – $28.50
Although geographically a small State, Victoria has a multitude of places to do original research. The ‘Family and Local History Resource Directory for Victoria’ with its comprehensive index allows researchers to look for places their ancestors lived and to find what research repositories are in that local area.

Family History Research in South Australia – G. Jaunay, paperback, 100 pages – $28.00
It has been said by many that South Australian records are harder to access than those of their Eastern states counterparts, not to mention those overseas. Now here is a guide to help you find, and access those South Australian records.


Finding Your Italian Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide – S. Adams, paperback, 206 pages – $29.50
In ‘Finding Your Italian Ancestors’, you’ll discover the tools you need to trace your ancestors back to the homeland. Learn how and where to find records in Italy as well as the United States (it is a US published book). Get practical advice on deciphering those hard-to-read documents, and explore valuable online resources. The guide also includes maps, multiple glossaries, and an extensive bibliography.

Introduction to German Family History Research for Australians – E. Kopittke, paperback, 68 pages – $15.00
Perhaps the biggest hurdle for Australians in researching their family history from Germany, or a German speaking area, is knowing where and how to start. But once you’ve started you often find that the amount of detail that is available in German records exceeds that of comparable English records.

Tracing Your Family History: How to Get Started – K. Chater, paperback, 96 pages – $18.95
Find your family’s history. Experience the thrill of tracing back your bloodline hundreds of years while discovering who your ancestors were and what they did. A fascinating and complete introduction to genealogy and finding relatives in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales – beautifully illustrated with over 135 colour photographs, diagrams, facsimiles and artworks.

Where Do I Start?: A Brief Guide to Researching Your Family in Australia and New Zealand – S. Hicks, paperback, 72 pages – $19.00
As a beginner’s guide it has been hard to keep it simple as there are just so many resources that can be used for genealogy and family history. While Shauna has tried not to overwhelm those just starting out, she has also tried to make people aware that there are many ways to research and record your family history.

Getting Restarted


The Genealogy Do-over Workbook – T. MacEntee, paperback, 72 pages – $15.00
If you think it’s time for a genealogy makeover, or better yet a Genealogy Do-over, this workbook will take you step by step though the process he followed with his own research throughout 2015.

Getting Organised


Lets Get Organized!: A Practical Guide For All Aspects of Family History Research – P. Christensen, paperback, 252 pages – $49.50
This book has been divided into six progressive steps, which the author terms as ‘The Six Steps to Success’. She starts with goal setting and then looks as the different kinds of genealogical evidence. Then it is on to discuss how to store and file these items in a manner that they can be retrieved (what good is a filing system if you can’t find anything in it!) Then she goes on to discuss how to organize supplies, reference material and even idea, and how to efficiently contribute to and make use of Family History Societies and retrieve information from their journals.

Organize Your Genealogy: Strategies and Solutions for Every Researcher – D. Smith, paperback, 240 pages – $44.95
”Organize Your Genealogy” will show you how to use tried-and-true methods and the latest tech tools and genealogy software to organise your research plan, workspace, and family history finds. In this book, you’ll learn how to organise your time and resources,including how to set goals and objectives, determine, workable research questions, sort paper and digital documents, keep track of physical and online correspondence, prepare for a research trip, and follow a skill-building plan.

Organizing the Mountains of Paper – L. St Denis, paperback, 108 pages + 19 charts – $17.00
This book has been prepared to assist you in making the ‘mountains of paper’ more manageable. There are no hard and fast rules, telling you exactly how to go about doing this. What’s important, is being able to find information quickly in the mountains of paper that you will create.

Preserving Your Family’s Oral History and Stories – T. MacEntee, paperback, 36 pages – $14.00
‘Preserving Your Family’s Oral History and Stories’ provides you with all the information on the latest methods and tools used to capture and preserve those family stories. In addition, once you’ve learned how easy it is to build a family archive of stories, you’ll want to share them with others using the tips and tricks provided in this book.



How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records – D. Levenick, paperback, 208 pages – $42.95
In every family someone ends up with Mum’s and Dad’s “stuff” – a lifetime’s worth of old family photos, papers, and memorabilia packed into boxes, trunks and suitcases. This inheritance can be as much a burden as it is a blessing. How do you organize your loved one’s estate in a way that honors your loved one, keeps the peace in your family and doesn’t take over your home or life? ‘How to Archive Family Keepsakes’ gives you step-by-step advice fro how to organize, distribute and preserve family heirlooms.

How to Archive Family Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally – D. Levenick, paperback, 240 pages – $44.95
Finally! Practical solutions to organising your ever-growing digital photo collection. Discover simple strategies and step-by-step instructions to manage photos across devices, create an easy-to-use filing system, and enjoy your memories via 25 easy photo projects..

Digital Imaging Essentials: Techniques and tips for Genealogists and Family Historians – Australian edition – G. Rasmussen, paperback, 152 pages – $34.95
From the very first page you will notice that this book is much more than a boring instructional manual – it is full of real-life examples that not only teach you the right buttons to push, but it thoroughly explains how to get the most of your digital imaging experience. AND this book is written specifically for genealogists!

Your Family History Archives: A Brief Introduction – S. Hicks, paperback, 40 pages – $9.50
‘Your Family History Archives’ is a brief introduction to the basics of recording, organising and caring for family archives and what to do to ensure the collection is not lost to future generations of family and other researchers. It is based on a talk that the author presents to genealogy and family history groups.