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Genealogy and Family History: Getting Started

A guide to assist those interested in starting a family history project.

What Is Genealogy And Why Should I Care?

The Merrian Webster Dictionary defines it as:

1) an account of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or from older forms

2) regular descent of a person, family, or group of organisms from a progenitor 

3) the study of family ancestral lines

4) an account of the origin and historical development of something

Using Ehe TMCC Library To Learn About Genealogy

This research guide will help to meet the following objectives:

  • Understand what the definition of genealogy is and why it might be important for you to pursue it
  • Explore genealogy topics such as creating a family tree, locating family records, preserving your research, networking to collect additional information
  • How to use Social Networking to increase your genealogical research
  • Develop critical thinking skills by evaluating historical documents and information
  • How to use both print and eBooks, as well as Reference sources in your research
  • Becoming familiar with terminology used in the field of genealogy
  • Learn how to construct an effective online search for genealogical information
  • Understand how to effectively use a web search to find quality sources appropriate to your task
  • Learn which type of information source is effective for which part of a search
  • Learn which library databases contain information on specific genealogy subjects
  • Learn what a peer reviewed journal is and how to search for them
  • Learn how to use digital newspaper databases
  • Websites that will teach you new genealogical skills (Boolean/Advance Google searching, Cemetery Research, etc.)
  • Learn how to cite genealogical sources and write a research plan
  • Learn to use a variety of sources to locate information (paper, electronic, etc.) 
  • Learn how to visualize complex data sets using Mind Maps, apply it to your family tree
  • Using Table of Contents and back of the book index to save time
  • How do I pursue a career in genealogy? What are the professional organizations associated with it?
  • What is DNA Genealogy? What types of DNA testing is available?
  • What local resources are available for me to learn more about genealogy?
  • How do I write and publish my family history?
  • Sources for faculty and librarians, how to incorporate genealogical research across the curriculum

TMCC Research Guides will assist you with your research and documenting and writing your family history:

Beginning Genealogy

Start Here: Download And Fill Out As Much In These Charts As You Can. Organize it on paper before you put it online.

How to Fill out a Pedigree Chart

Use Social Networking To Further Your Research, Its Easy And Free!

Librarian (I am available for one on one appointments as well)

Profile Photo
Sue Malek
Truckee Meadows Community College
Elizabeth Sturm Library
7000 Dandini Blvd
Reno NV 89512
Contact: LinkedIn Page

TMCC Library Open Genealogy Lab

Due to COVID-19 our campus has temporarily closed. As a result the TMCC Library Open Genealogy is now meeting each week online via a live feed webinar format. If you would like to attend the Open Genealogy Lab by logging in from home, please contact Suzanne Malek at Thank you.​

TMCC Library Open Genealogy Lab

  • We meet each Friday in Library Room #210 from 11:30am-2:00pm
  • Free, open to everyone (students, faculty, employees and the public)
  • Free parking
  • No registration required
  • All skill levels welcome!
  • Get a free TMCC Library Card, check out our outstanding genealogy collection books!

Come in and learn new research techniques, hear guest speakers, collaborate and have fun while building your family tree. Please see the links below to read a variety of articles that have been published regarding our Open Genealogy Lab.

Looking for a guest speaker? 

Click here to see a list of the TMCC Experts List


Past TMCC Library Open Genealogy Lab guest speaker presentations are now available on the TMCC YouTube Channel! Click here to visit our YouTube Playlist.

Below are links to newspaper and magazine articles about the TMCC Library Open Genealogy Lab:

List of Upcoming Guest Speakers at the TMCC Library Open Genealogy Lab:

To get a Zoom link to join us live, please email your request to
July 2021:

Friday, July 23 - John E. Smith III, Chester County, PA Archives

Friday, July 30 - Dana Kelly - Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library


August 2021:

Friday, Aug 6 - Virginia Hanson, Archivist, South Dakota State Historical Society Archives

Friday, Aug 13 - Robert S. Davis, Escape from Andersonville: Records of the Civil War’s Most Notorious Prison

Friday, Aug 20 - Sara Bennett - Urbana Free Library Genealogy Collection

Friday, Aug 27 - Sherman McRae - FamilyTreeDNA, Part 2


Sept 2021:

Friday, Sep 3 - John Thiesen, Bethel College - Mennonite genealogy

Friday, Sep 10 - Open forum, work on our family history together as a group

Friday, Sep 17 - Ashley Ramey - Library of Virginia Genealogy Collection

Friday, Sep 24 - Open forum, work on our family history together as a group


Oct 2021:

Friday, Oct 1 - TBA

Friday, Oct 8 - TBA

Friday, Oct 15th - Jonathan Dickey - The First Families Societies of New England

Friday, Oct 22 - TBA

Friday, Oct 29 - TMCC closed for holiday


Nov 2021:

Friday, Nov 5 - No class today 

Friday, Nov 12 - TBA

Friday, Nov 19 - TBA

Friday, Nov 26 - TMCC closed for holiday


Dec 2021:

Friday, Dec 3 - TBA

Friday, Dec 10 - TBA

Friday, Dec 17 - TBA

Friday, Dec 24th - TMCC Closed for holiday

Friday, Dec 31 - TBA