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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  • Develop critical thinking skills by evaluating historical documents and information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)

Sue Malek's picture
Sue Malek
Truckee Meadows Community College
Elizabeth Sturm Library
7000 Dandini Blvd
Reno NV 89512

TMCC Library Open Genealogy Lab

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.

I am available for public presentations. To book me, please click here:

Upcoming Faculty Professional Development Class

Friday, Aug 16, 2019:

Learn how the genealogical narrative essay provides a low-stakes, entry-level writing assignment that introduces students to the rigor of academic research, all the while doing it at a personally fulfilling level. This assignment can apply to courses across the curriculum, from English to Culinary Arts, from History to Geography, and more. The presentation will be divided into three sections: how family history can be incorporated into a course curriculum as a narrative essay assignment, how to find and use the library resources to support the paper, and how the Tutoring and Learning Center can assist students in the writing and revising stages.

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:

Friday, Mar 27 - Debra Dudek, WWI Records

Friday, Apr 3 - Carol Kostakos Petranek - Alien Registration Files

Friday, Apr 10 - Jennifer Hornsby, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum

Friday, Apr 17 - Healthy Nevada Renown DNA testing

Friday, Apr 24 - Robert S. Davis - Locating Your Civil War Ancestor Records

Friday, May 1 - National Archives

Friday, May 8 - Katie Windahl, Jack Marsick, Genealogical Journey to Ukraine

Friday, May 15 - Dick Tolman - Studies in DNA: Family Lies are the Best Kind

Friday, May 22 - Micki Jones - Photo Mess SOS: Save, Organize, Share

Friday, May 29 - Susan Weinberg - Jewish genealogy: Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and Poland

Friday, Jun 5 - Courtney Pinkard, Alabama Department of Archives & History

Friday, Jun 12 - Gordon T. Belt, Dir. of Public Svcs., Tennessee State Library and Archives

Friday, Jun 19 - Linda Harms Okazaki - Japanese American Genealogical Research

Friday, Jun 26 - Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research

Friday, Jul 3 - Campus closed for holiday

Friday, Jul 10 - Women who Paved the Way : Exploring Women Homesteaders and Suffragists - Homestead National Monument of America

Friday, Jul 17 - Dorothy Wray - How to Write a Family History

Friday, Jul 24 - TBA

Friday, Jul 31 - TBA

Fri, Aug 7 - TBA

Friday, Aug 14 - TBA

Friday, Aug 21 - Seattle Genealogical Society

Friday, Aug 28 - TBA

Friday, Sep 4 - TBA

Friday, Sep 11 - TBA

Friday, Sep 18 - TBA

Friday, Sep 25 - TBA

Friday, Oct 2 - TBA

Friday, Oct 9 - Annette Burke Lyttle - Genealogical Proof for the Everyday Genealogist

Friday, Oct 16 - TBA

Friday, Oct 23 - Marcia Maloney - Children of the Mayflower

Friday, Oct 30 - Campus closed for holiday

Friday, Nov 6 - TBA

Friday, Nov 13 - TBA

Friday, Nov 20 - TBA

Friday, Nov 27 - Campus closed for holiday

Friday, Dec 4 - TBA

Friday, Dec 11 - TBA

Friday, Dec 18 - Open Genealogy Lab Year End Gathering

Friday, Dec 25 - Campus closed for holiday

Friday, Jan 1 - Campus closed for holiday