Attention Genealogy and Family History Buffs…

“Who Else Wants to Learn How To
Create A Family Tree That Will Be
Treasured For Generations?”



Dear Friend:

Welcome to Family Tree Research Secrets!


My name is Jeff Kona and I’ve been a family history enthusiast for many years.  And like so many people my age I spent months struggling to learn how to research my ancestors and make a family tree using the Internet.I was determined to learn how to do genealogy research online so I could finally have a treasured gift to give my children, grandchildren and other family members.

You can benefit from my experiences!  After hundreds of hours of “learning the hard way”, I want to share what I’ve learned with as many people as possible.  People who are motivated to learn because they have a passion to connect with their past, their ancestors, and their family history.  If that describes you, then you’ve found the right place!

All the best to you,


Congratulations! You’ve already proven yourself to be a diligent researcher just by finding this website!  Now you are well on your way to learning the secrets of family tree research – secrets which will save you hundreds of hours.

Feel free to browse the links on this website and read the articles I’ve written here so you can learn more about genealogy, family history and how to create your own unique family tree.

Now, let’s get started with your first genealogy lesson…


Introduction To Genealogy

Genealogy is the study of the ancestry and descent of a person, family, group, etc. Basically, it is the study of how one person, family or group is related to another. For example, did you know that US President Barack Obama is related to movie mega-star Brad Pitt?  It’s true!  They are ninth cousins, and they share a common ancestor born in 1690.

Thanks to the field of genealogy we can find out how one person is related to another.  Who might be hiding in your family tree?  If you’ve ever wondered about your family history, you’re not alone.  Millions of people across the world want to find out about their own family history – just like you.  So how do you get started?

How Do I Find My Family History?

The first place start your family history research is with your own family.  Go to your attic and start digging through those old storage bins.  Then its time to visit with your relatives and start asking them a series of questions.  After you’ve completed all of these types of family history research its time to look elsewhere.  Where to next?  Public records?  Local libraries?

There’s no doubt that the fastest and easiest place to find information today is the Internet. There is certainly an abundance of information here – and it keeps growing like crazy every day!

You can find just about any type of information on the internet – you simply have to know how to do it!  There are some excellent genealogy sites that are specifically set up for this kind of research like,, or  These are popular websites for family history research and they offer many different sources of information.

On these sites you can look up marriage licenses, birth and death certificates, military records, census records, wills, or even old tax information.  That is both amazing and exciting, as well as a bit frightening – to consider how much information is out there on the Internet.  What can you find out about your family ancestry?

How Do I Know Which Ones Are My Relatives?

The one issue you will quickly realize when researching your family history on these sites is this – how do you know which of these people are actually your relatives? You may have never realized how many different people have the same names or similar names of your family and ancestors.

But if you have some key pieces of information about your family’s past, then you will be able to fill in the gaps and find the information that is relevant to you.  You make it easier to find your relatives by inputting as much information as you can into these search engines.

What’s great about these sites is that they have uploaded volumes and volumes of recorded information from databases that most people do not have quick and easy access to, such as the information at New York’s Ellis Island database.  With the Ellis Island information you might possibly find records of your family’s journey into America.

It’s important to remember that these records were handwritten, so it is possible (and quite likely) for the names to be spelled differently or incorrectly.  Your ancestors may have chosen to change the spelling of their surname – or even change their last name completely!  This can make your family history research much more difficult.

Where Else Can I Find Information About My Family?

You can research your family history from records at the court house, but you may have to travel to another location because your own local court house may not have the information.  In these cases you have to go to the source of the information.

For example if your relatives arrived at Ellis Island, then moved to Chicago to settle down, but you live in St. Louis now, then you will need to search court records in Chicago at the Cook County Court House.  There may be zero information about your family in St. Louis.

Just like information on the Internet, you can find marriage licenses, birth or death certificates, or divorce records from your local government records.

You might be able to find these records through your state department.  These types of documents often contain links to other information.  At the very least they can fill in the missing gaps that you need to complete a more accurate search on the internet.

Other places to search are funeral homes and cemeteries in the towns that your ancestors lived in.  Funeral homes have more than just death records – they may provide other helpful research data such as the names of spouses, children, or parents.

A Hobby That Benefits Your Entire Family!

Genealogy is a hobby that is rewarding for the whole family for generations to come.  Imagine what your great grandchildren will feel as they discover their family history which you are documenting right now – today!  The hobby that you start today will be treasured by generations several decades from now (so it’s very important that you provide the most accurate information that is possible – that’s why you need to study and learn all this great stuff!).

So why not get started on your family history project now?

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