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Genealogy- Old: Beginners & Basics

Genealogy Resources at the University of Delaware Library

Family tree

Although not aimed at genealogy and family history, the collections of the University of Delaware Library (Morris Library) include materials useful to genealogists and family historians.

This Genealogy Research Guide is provided as a service for genealogists. It presents topics and resources to assist researchers.

The UD Library does not specialize in genealogy and does not have staff responsible for genealogy. Library staff cannot conduct research.

For questions about library resources and holdings, use the Ask the Library service.

For questions about getting research assistance, see the suggestions on the home page of this guide or on the topic/resources pages.

Delaware and United States Genealogy Research

Start here:

These guides provide concepts and strategies for genealogy research in Delaware and other states. A few minutes reading this information may save you from a lot of problems later on.

Family History Guide logo

Major Players

There are several companies, products, and organizations that can be considered major players in the genealogical research world.

 Indicates a fee-based site

Indicates a fee-based site with significant free content

Local Major Players

Guides to Delaware Genealogy Resources

Genealogy for Beginners

Where to start?

Start with yourself and work backwards

  • Record what you already know about yourself and your family
  • Organize, sort, separate (newspapers, photographs, textiles, papers)
  • Contact other family members
  • Keep track of what you have searched and whom you have contacted
  • Document everything
  • Then, do something with all this research: write it up; publish it; pass it on

Getting Organized

Decide how you will organize your information.


Notebooks or file folders?

Computer (Genealogical Software)

Learning and Exploring

There is much to learn about genealogical research!!

You can learn by reading books, by consulting websites, and by sharing information with other researchers.


One easy way is to join a genealogy society. You can join a local genealogy society even if your family is not local. Societies will often have programs and speakers about techniques and resources that are valuable for many places, not just local. You can join a genealogy society in an area where your family lived if the society has newsletters or publications.

Starting Places

Digital Book Collections

YouTube Channels

Courses and Lessons

Lessons and courses are offered for a fee by many associations and companies. Sometimes free material is included.

 Indicates a site that is entirely or predominantly fee-based.