NGS Books

Paths to Your Past: A Guide to Finding Your Ancestors

The 2018 edition of Paths to Your Past: A Guide to Finding Your Ancestors is a completely revised, updated, and comprehensive reference guide for family historians and genealogists. It is an excellent primer for those just getting started on building their family tree and a valuable reminder to all family historians and genealogists about the various methods and sources we need to consider in our daily work.  

The author discusses how to find and use records, including the US Census, military records, land and probate records as well as vital records for birth, death, and marriage. The book also reviews how to use sources on the internet; the importance of documenting and citing your sources; and how to keep research logs and ancestor charts. Throughout the book, the author refers readers to additional courses and books to enhance their knowledge of important topics such as genetic genealogy. Also included are references to local, state, and federal repositories.

Paths to Your Past is available for purchase in the NGS online store in print or as a PDF.


Pamela Boyer Sayre CG, FUGA, is a professional researcher, educator, author, and national lecturer. A former board member of the National Genealogical Society, Sayre co-authored Online Roots: How to Discover Your Family’s History and Heritage with the Power of the Internet and is a former editor of the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.