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Ojibwe Family History Research: Getting Started

Getting Started

Family history research involves finding names, locations, dates, and stories, beginning with you and working back through time.  The best way to proceed is, as the popular saying in genealogy goes: Start with what you know

Start with yourself, your father, and your mother. Gather together the information you have, such as names, dates and places of birth and/or death, and dates and places of marriagePlace the information that you have on a pedigree chart.

Search your own records—talk to other family members, review deeds, look at Bibles, scrapbooks and photo albums, etc. Who are the 'keepers' in the family? See what information you can find about your family before heading to the Library or going online. Remember that while many records which assist researchers with family history are online, many others are only available in a variety of formats at libraries, including MNHS's Gale Family Library.

Using a Pedigree Chart

A basic family history chart will look something like the one below. A "family group record" brings together the parents and siblings in a particular family on one sheet. Pre-printed charts can be purchased, and most family history software will print charts as well.

pedigree chart

Note: There are many different spellings of the name "Ojibwe." When searching try several variations in spelling such as:  “Ojibwa,”  “Ojibway,” or “Ojibwe”; other terms and spellings commonly used in sources on the Ojibwe people include “Chippewa”, “Chippeway”, “Anishinabe”, and “Anishinaabe”.

Getting Started Links

Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
Currently open by appointment only.