First Steps to Finding Your Family History with Hallo Genealogy Services: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Tamara Hallo, a seasoned professional in the field of genealogy, combines her roles as an educator, librarian, and researcher to offer unique perspectives on tracing family roots. Through this interview, she unveils personal experiences and shares invaluable tips for those embarking on their journey to uncover their ancestry. Her expertise encompasses delivering lectures, conducting research, retrieving documents, and analyzing evidence — essential skills for anyone looking to dive deep into their familial past.

What motivated you to pursue genealogy?

Growing up in a warm, affectionate family environment, surrounded by festive celebrations and familial bonds, ignited my passion for uncovering my lineage. The turning point came when I received a binder from my mother, filled with genealogical research compiled by an ancestor renowned for her dedication to preserving our family’s history. This treasure trove of documents opened my eyes to the possibility of tracing back generations and learning about the lives of those who came before me.

This fascination evolved into more than just a hobby; it became a quest to understand my roots and how they connect me to the broader tapestry of human history. Such knowledge isn’t merely academic—it touches something deep within us all. We crave connection, seeking assurance that we belong to something larger than ourselves.

As I delved deeper into this journey, I realized that many others share this desire. My role as a professional genealogist is not only about charting ancestry or documenting historical facts but also about aiding others in their search for identity and belonging in this vast universe. Through exploring family histories, we find stories of resilience, love, struggle, and triumph that remind us of our shared humanity and unique legacies waiting to be discovered.

Suggestions for beginners in genealogy and the initial step in researching family history

Embarking on a family history exploration begins with a step towards understanding yourself and those closest to you. It’s tempting to dive deep into the past, targeting ancestors from generations ago, yet it’s crucial to recognize the significance of your immediate lineage. Your narrative is equally vital, serving as the cornerstone for this fascinating journey through time.

Kick off this adventure by examining your life and that of your direct family members. Progress systematically from one generation to the next, similar to a detective piecing together an intricate puzzle. Scour through old boxes in attics or basements for hidden treasures—photographs, letters, and other relics often overlooked yet bursting with stories waiting to be uncovered.

Before turning to online resources for further research, engage in conversations with relatives. These discussions can unveil rich details about your ancestry, laying a robust groundwork for deeper investigation. This approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of where you come from, setting you up for success in uncovering your family’s unique saga.

Common error in amateur genealogy research and its prevention

One common pitfall in the journey of tracing one’s lineage involves the uncritical acceptance of data found on platforms like or It’s tempting to take a family tree discovered online and integrate it wholesale into your own without questioning its accuracy. This approach, however, is fraught with risks.

The truth is, not every piece of information hosted on these sites has gone through rigorous verification. By adopting another person’s research as gospel, you risk embedding errors into your genealogical work. These inaccuracies don’t just affect you; when shared, they multiply across countless trees, complicating the quest for factual history for everyone involved.

Yet it would be wrong to dismiss the value of online trees entirely. They serve as excellent starting points, offering clues and connections that might have remained elusive otherwise. The key is to use them judiciously—as springboards rather than definitive sources.

Engaging with historical records directly provides a firmer foundation for your family tree. Primary sources such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and census data offer concrete evidence that can either corroborate or correct the leads gained from other people’s trees.

In conclusion, while navigating genealogy databases can certainly enrich your understanding of where you come from, it pays to proceed with caution. Treating information gleaned from others’ submissions as provisional until proven by solid research not only enhances the integrity of your familial narrative but also respects those who form its branches and roots.

Can you suggest any digital tools or web services for tracing family ancestry?

First Steps to Finding Your Family History with Hallo Genealogy Services: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Emphasizing the importance of safeguarding your painstakingly gathered genealogical records cannot be overstated. It’s crucial to have a dual-layer backup strategy: one in the digital ether, such as platforms like or, and another locally on your personal computer. This approach ensures that all your efforts are not at risk of being lost or inaccessible due to unforeseen circumstances.

To facilitate this, consider investing in a reliable family tree software application like RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, or Legacy Family Tree. These tools allow you not just to store but also to meticulously organize and update your family history data right from your desktop. The peace of mind knowing that you’re not wholly dependent on external entities for accessing your family’s legacy is invaluable.

Choosing the right software boils down to what fits best with your specific requirements. Each option comes with its unique set of features tailored towards different user needs – whether it’s ease of use, depth of research capabilities, or flexibility in sharing and exporting data. Therefore, taking some time to assess what you prioritize most will guide you toward making an informed decision that complements your genealogy project perfectly.

Is there a family history or historical project you’d love to do if you had all the time in the world?

In the life of a professional genealogist, personal projects often take a back seat to client work. Despite this, there’s always been this dream floating around: to craft a detailed family tome. This wouldn’t be just any book—it would weave together photographs, official records, and captivating stories from various branches of my ancestry. The idea is to create something tangible and meaningful that can be passed down through generations, allowing my descendants and relatives to connect with their roots in a profound way. Yet, finding the time for such an ambitious undertaking remains a challenge. Still, I hold onto hope that someday I’ll turn this vision into reality.

Exploring the « Scavenger Hunt » Online Course: What Participants Can Learn

For those delving into their family history, I often point them towards using It’s a fantastic tool that doesn’t cost a dime—unlike, which requires an annual fee. This website is particularly useful for accessing historical records and indexes at the county level.

However, navigating can be somewhat complex. That’s where my unique online class comes in handy. It’s designed as a Scavenger Hunt to make learning both fun and effective, guiding students through the various features of including historical documents, helpful pages, online family trees, and engaging activities for all ages.

What sets this self-paced course apart from other genealogy classes is its interactive approach. With 8 lessons filled with practical strategies and information presented in an entertaining scavenger hunt format, participants will not only enjoy themselves but also acquire advanced skills in searching efficiently. Mastering these techniques could unlock new discoveries about your ancestors and provide rich details about your family’s past story.

How DNA discovery and internet advancements have greatly benefited genealogy research recently

Currently, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment, fundamentally reshaping how we engage with the realm of genealogy due to the impact of Covid-19. The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital platforms for both professional and leisure activities, breaking down previous barriers that restricted access to genealogical learning.

Gone are the days when attending seminars and conferences in person was the only way to delve into one’s family history. Now, from anywhere and at any time, individuals can explore their ancestry without leaving their homes. This change is particularly beneficial for those who previously found it challenging to participate due to health issues, age constraints, or financial limitations.

This transformation also presents an unprecedented opportunity for smaller genealogical societies. They now have access to speakers and resources that were once beyond their reach because of financial constraints. What was once considered expensive is now within a more attainable range, thanks to virtual platforms.

We stand on the brink of an educational revolution within the field of genealogy that promises not only to invigorate local and state societies but also to captivate newcomers with this engaging pastime. Moreover, veteran researchers will find fresh enthusiasm for continuing their explorations into family histories.

Indeed, it’s an exhilarating period for anyone involved in or interested in starting their journey into family history research. The move towards online accessibility is transforming traditional practices and opening up new possibilities for discovery and connection within the community of genealogy enthusiasts.