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How-to information on starting your genealogical research can be found at the following sites:

A Genealogy Introduction, by Dick Eastman

Genealogy Research Forms  (FamilySearch Wiki)

FamilySearch Free search engine with numerous databases

FamilySearch Wiki Help pages, beginner help, research outlines, strategies and much more

Santa Maria Family History Center  Open several days of the week with a helpful staff!!  Many resources are available through the Family History Center.

A member of SMVGS is available at the Santa Maria Library every Wednesday from 1 to 3 pm, except holidays.

The Santa Maria Public Library has full access to the Ancestry databases (normally a fee based service).  SMVGS members can help you get started using the service on the many computers available at the library.  A library card is required


Take the First Step!

STEP 1. Chart the Ancestors you already know.

Talk to parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, anyone in your family that knows about your family tree.  Print out this Ancestor Chart and bring it with you, have them help you fill in as much information as you can.




STEP 2. Then begin filling in information on Family Groups.  

Start with your own family, your parents and siblings.  Then go on to your grandparents and great-grandparents.  Each couple are a Family Group.

Santa Maria Valley Genealogical Society Ancestor Chart
Santa Maria Valley Genealogical Society Ancestor Chart with Family Groups
Santa Maria Valley Genealogical Society Census Worksheet

The basic research records you can use are "Vital Records" (birth, marriage, death) and the US Census.  Use any family records you can get a hold of then search through the on-line databases (Family Search and Ancestry are just two).  Searching on-line is a bit of a challenge sometimes because family names are often transcribed incorrectly.  Names change or are misspelled frequently.  The Santa Maria Valley Genealogical Society has members that are well versed in how to make these searches