1. Identify what you know about your ancestors

You have probably seen photos or heard stories about your ancestors or concerning your clan's history. Use this information as a starting point. Talk to relatives, clan leaders, and people who may recollect information about the family and clan or those who have family records in their possession documenting your family and clan history. Collect and compile all this information as a starting point.

2. Decide what you want to learn

After you have learned all you can from family and clan members, you will next need to decide what you desire to know. Some people interested in genealogy often desire to create pedigree charts, such as a family tree showing a family line going back generations. This is largely a matter of collecting names, and birth, marriage, and death dates. Others are interested in stories about family and the lives of their ancestors, as well as clan history. If not learned about from family members and clan leaders, information of this nature will often be found in published works held in libraries or in unpublished records kept at archival repositories.

3. Select which records to search

Your questions will be answered more fully if you choose the right records to research. If you want to know when a person passed away, search newspaper obituaries, cemetery records, death certificates, and other similar documents to determine this information. If you want to know about clan history visit libraries and archives and inquire about rare publications, Alaska Native periodicals, or audio recordings. To obtain access to these records you will need to determine what entity keeps these records, whether library, archive, city office, or other.

4. Obtain and search the record

Contact the research entity that may have the records you desire to view. Examine their website for tips on how to find the resources you need. Plan your visit and search the records for pertinent information. Take notes and understand that conducting genealogy and researching clan history takes time and effort, but it can be very rewarding.