The following is written for both beginners ( newbies) and for a reference for veteran genealogists, who are continuing their search.
As a genealost knows getting correct information is paramount to a successful conclusion to your genealogy.
Now where do we begin our search? We begin with what we know and work backwards. We begin with our parents and other relatives, being sure to talk to the oldsters, getting their memories, dates that you can pursue.
Now let's assume your parent/ parents are deceased, assuming you know the state where death occured you will send for a death certificate.
Now I have listed the type of information on my grandfather's death certificate.
Date of Death
" " Birth
Maiden name and birth place of mother.
Social Security Number
Last Employment and location
Name of Present Spouse
Name of town where death occured
Name of MD or Coroner
Where and when buried
Name of Embalmer
Cause of Death
Of course there are other types of certificates you can get, I shall list two more for my grandfather.
Marriage License Information
Witness ( name) to marriage and residence
Signature of person performing marriage
Information of Groom and Bride
Single or married before
Mother's maiden name
Birth Certificate Information for my Grandfather
Name of father
Name of mother
Country of father's birth and occupation
Children by this marriage
Name and P.O address of medical attendant.
So the above information would give you a very good profile of who/whom you are researching whether it be parents or not.
Now let's assume you are ready to begin using your computer as an asset, here are some sites for you.
R.A.O.G.K Random acts of genealogical kindness, the US and other countries.
U.S. Gen Web Project
Mail Lists- go to Rootsweb.com
Michigan and family history network--genealogy databases
Civil War Soldiers and sailors system search form
Virginia Marriages ( Library of Virginia)
If your family lived in a certain area for a long time they just might have information for you. If they do, then it will probably be best to become a member of said society because sometimes the research rates are lower if you are a member!