How to Begin a Family Genealogy Search

[ca.1904] Davis/Bicknell/Easley family portrait

Davis/Bicknell/Easley family portrait
Genealogy is an adventure, a time-travel journey to meet older generations, and a treasure hunt full of twists and turns, dead ends and discoveries.
So how do you begin your genealogical “treasure hunt?”
Step one: download and print a free family tree (also known as an “ancestral chart”). Using your memory and consulting with family members, fill in as much as you can of the chart.
Step two: head to the Denver Public Library Western History and Genealogy Department(WHG), either online or in person!

circa 1980 George Washington High student using computer

George Washington High student using computer
What can you do from home? 
Getting Started In Genealogy Tutorial – This tutorial explains how to begin your research and briefly introduces you to genealogy staples like census, immigration and land records.
Genealogy Research Guides – Obituaries, pioneers, place names—oh my! Discover the variety of tools and services available in the library and online. Some favorites? Obituaries, Cemeteries & The Dead and Civil War Genealogy and History.
Genealogy Tools – Amazing databases like Heritage Quest and America’s Obituaries and Death Notices can be accessed on your home computer with your library card.
Digital Collections – Digitized historical photos, maps, art, building plans and more converge in one, easy-to-search database.

[between 1895 and 1900?] /; Brooks – 16th & Stout – Denver Woman’s [sic] Room, Denver Public Library, East [sic] High School

Woman’s [sic] Room, Denver Public Library, East [sic] High School
What can you do by visiting DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department?
Beginning Genealogy course – Jumpstart your genealogical research with this free class.
FREE! Ancestry Library Edition. No need to subscribe to this popular (yet pricey!) genealogy research website—Ancestry Library Edition is available on all Denver Public Library computers (yes, all DPL locations) for FREE.
WHG staff members – Dedicated reference staff know exactly how to get newbies started with their family history. They can also direct seasoned researchers out of a dead end and into new resources. 
Books, journals, microfilm, manuscripts and more – There’s a treasure trove of resources to see by stopping into the Western History and Genealogy Department. Our genealogical resources span 50 states and several countries; this is NOT a Colorado-only genealogy collection. Search our catalog first; you will find much more than you ever imagined. (Note: WHG materials cannot be checked out. Why? This means our research materials are always ready and available for you to use).

The Western History and Genealogy Department also offers classes and meet-ups for specific ancestral groups. To learn more, visit and check the Events and Classes section to search for genealogy events or pick up a copy of Engage! magazine at your local branch.

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