If you are just starting your genealogy research, talk to as many immediate family members as you can and collect names, dates and places that relate to your family. Make note of everything they tell you--you never know what might prove useful. Dates and places are valuable to help you find published information. Copy any family documents you can, including family listings in Bibles and other resources, as well as birth, marriage and death certificates, and obituaries.
You will also want to do secondary research, as opposed to the actual birth, marriage, death records or primary research, to see if someone else has researched your family. This included genealogies, family histories in books and articles in genealogical and historical society magazines and journals.
Identify what you know about our family.
Decide what you need to learn.
Pick one of your ancestors and try to identify needed information (document pertinent information on other relatives as you find it).
Select records to search.