Okay, now that the frustration and anxiety has been stewing in your heart for a day or two, here’s what you do next.

Step 2. Choose one family to focus on.  Husband, wife, children.  Focus on finding documentation for their lives.  If you find information on grandchildren, grandparents, aunts, cousins… make a note of it.  Create a document in your family history file called “Look into this Later” or something like that.  Then get back to your focus family.  If you feel like you need to fully research every possible source for every possible relative you come across, you’ll find yourself back at Step 1.

The easiest families to research are where the parents were married after 1850 and a child was born before 1910.

So wander through “Me and My Ancestors” on new.familysearch.org.  Pray; try to listen for guidance from the Spirit.  Maybe the Lord has willed that it is Time for someone to be found.

Or not.  If no such revelation comes, just pick a family.

And then get a genealogy software program.  A good one is Rootsmagic.  If you want to research it thoroughly, Google something like “genealogy software” and maybe some blogger has compared all the possible options.  If you don’t want to think too much about it, Rootsmagic will do a good job.  (BYU-I uses it; I downloaded it and I like it a lot.)  There is a free version and a full version, but it is pretty universal, and it syncs with new.familysearch.org.

Your first assignment is to familiarize yourself with Rootsmagic (or whatever program you chose) and your family.  Keep a To-Do List of information you’ll be looking for later on.  Get an idea of the time period and region of your family. Watch Rootsmagic tutorials, click a lot of buttons, and have fun.

See you at Step 3!